Describe sexually transmitted diseases and mention the ways to prevent them.
It is a group of infections caused by different types of pathogens that are transmitted by sexual contact between a healthy person and an infected person. The sexually transmitted diseases are also called venereal diseases (VDs). Some 30 different types of STDs are known.
- It is caused by bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Gonorrhoea spreads through sexual contact, common toilets and under clothes. Incubation period is 2-5 days. Bacterium resides in genital tubes. It causes pus containing discharge, pain around genitalia and burning sensation during urination. Effective medicine is ampicillin.
- The disease is caused by corkscrew like bacterium Treponema pallidum. It spreads through sexual contact and from mother to infants. Incubation periods is 3-5 weeks, Painless ulcer on genitalia and swelling of lymph glands occur in first stage. In second stage skin lesions, rashes and hair loss occur. Tertiary stage is characterised by chronic ulcers and damage to vital organs. Effective medicine is tetracycline.
- Genital Warts: The disease is due to Human Papilloma virus (HPV). Hard benign outgrowths called warts appear over external genitalia and perianal area. In women infection may enter vagina and cervix causing acute pain. Cryosurgery and Podophyllum preparations are effective.
- AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome): It is caused by human immunodeficiency virus or HIV. The virus is transmitted through sexual contact, blood contact (as using common needles, syringes, razors, transfusion) and placenta (mother to foetus). Incubation period is generally 27-28 months but symptoms may appear early. Count of T-helper cells becomes low, 200/ml or less. There is headache, rashes, nausea, pharyngitis and fever. Immunity is drastically reduced so that many infections (opportunistic infections) begin to appear. A proper treatment has not yet been discovered. ART (antiretrovirus treatment) is given to patients to reduce the effect of infection.