Common STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) include chlamydia, HIV, hepatitis, herpes, HPV, gonorrhoea, and syphilis. Also called STI’s (sexually transmitted infections), they are bacteria and viruses that are spread from person to person during sexual contact. If not taken care of, they can result in severe health complications or even death. Everyone who is sexually active is at risk. It is important that people get an STD test to get the proper diagnosis and treatment.
Common sexually transmitted diseases in More Detail
1. Chlamydia is an infection caused by bacteria. It can cause a burning or stinging sensation during urination. It can also cause genital pain and discharge. It affects both men and women. Based on the USA Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s one of the most typical STDs in the USA. Sexually active people ages 16 to 27 have the highest rates of this infection.
It is easily cured with antibiotics that must be prescribed by a doctor. A lab must diagnose the chlamydia infection. A small urine sample is all that is needed for a chlamydia test. Often, people who test positive for chlamydia also test positive for gonorrhoea. Doctors recommend testing for both at the same time. If one partner tests positive, both partners need to be tested and treated. It reduces the risk of re-infection if they remain sexually active with each other.
2. Gonorrhea also in the class of common STDs, is a bacterial infection that can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics. Often known as the drip or the clap, it thrives in the penis or the vagina. It can also live in the anus or the throat. The CDC reports that people age 15-24 who are sexually active have the highest rate of new cases each year. A lab-based test is the only thing that can diagnose gonorrhoea.
A small sample of urine is needed. People that have gonorrhoea often have chlamydia as well. Doctors recommend getting a full STD test that will screen for both of them. Doctors also recommend that both sexual partners get tested and treated or they could quickly re-infect one another.
3. Hepatitis is a virus that plagues the liver. If it isn’t treated, hepatitis can cause severe liver damage, liver cancer, and even liver failure. There are three types of hepatitis – A, B, & C. Antibiotics will not cure hepatitis. Antiviral medication must be prescribed to suppress this virus instead.
Antiviral treatment allows infected people to live an active lifestyle. Research is underway to find a cure for hepatitis. It’s considered one of the common STDs because it can easily be transmitted during sexual contact. A blood test must complete to diagnose hepatitis.
4. Herpes (also called Herpes Simplex Virus or just HSV) is a viral infection. It can be treated with antiviral medication. There are two types of herpes – Type I and Type II. Both of these common STDs cause open sores and blisters. Type I creates sores and burns in and around the mouth and lips.They can be treated with medication. Type II causes sores in and around the genital or anal region. Antiviral medication is available with a doctors’ prescription. When the herpes virus is active, the sores and blisters it causes are known as “outbreaks”.
People refer to them as cold sores. The antiviral medication that is available can suppress these outbreaks. However, herpes can be spread even when outbreaks are contained. Without treatment, herpes can make pregnant women have a miscarriage or deliver early. It can also be transmitted from the mother to her unborn infant during delivery. That is why a caesarean section is suggested for mothers with herpes. A simple blood test can diagnose common STDs like herpes.
5. HIV (the human immunodeficiency virus) is the virus that causes AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). If not treated on time, it can be fatal. Many times it is the most stigmatised of all of the common STDs. Many people do not know they have been infected with HIV because they do not have any symptoms. However, if indications do occur, people may experience flu like symptoms within a few weeks of infection.
These symptoms can include fever, rash, headache, sore throat, swollen neck glands, and open sores or ulcers in the mouth. They go away without treatment within a few weeks. If left untreated, HIV can live in the body for about ten years. During this time the body’s immune system is weakened. If the HIV is still not treated, a person will develop AIDS.
AIDS is the final stage of HIV. This is when the body loses all of its ability to fight off infections. This is when it becomes fatal. A blood test is needed to diagnose human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Once diagnosed, it can be treated. When detected early, people that are properly treated for HIV can live long, active lives.
6. HPV (human papilloma virus) is a viral infection. There are approximately 100 types of HPV. When it comes to common STDs, it is one of the most common STDs in the U.S.A. The CDC estimates that about 75% of people between ages 15 and 49 who are sexually active get some form of HPV at some point. In many cases, the body can fight the virus, and any symptoms will pass away on their own.
However, if symptoms continue, they can cause genital warts as well as cervical, anal, and oral cancer. A lab test must be completed to diagnose the different types of HPV. Women will get a Pap smear to determine their HPV status.
7. Genital warts are common STDs caused by certain types of HPV. These warts can be big or small. They can be located anywhere on or near the genital region. This includes the cervix, penis, anus, groin, scrotum, or thigh. It takes weeks or months to show up after having intercourse with an infected individual. A doctor must do a visual inspection to diagnose and treat genital warts. The HPV types that cause warts are often associated with cervical cancer, not oral or anal cancer.
8. Syphilis is a bacterial infection. This sexually transmitted virus is among the most typical STDs that can be easily and quickly treated with antibiotics. But without treatment, it will develop in stages.
The symptoms vary with each stage.
- Stage 1 (also called the primary stage), a sore will develop. The sore (or sores) develop at the place where the infection entered the body. It is often painless and is often unnoticed. It lasts between three (3) to six (6) weeks and heals with or without treatment. However, treatment is necessary to kill the bacteria so that symptoms will not progress.
- Stage 2 (the second stage) is when multiple sores or rashes can develop in various parts of the body. These sores or rashes occur when the first sore(s) is healing. They can also occur several weeks after the primary sore has healed. They do not itch and can be so faint that they go unnoticed. Other symptoms can mimic flu like symptoms and include fever, fatigue, sore throat, headaches, muscle aches, and weight loss. These symptoms usually go away whether they are treated or not. However, getting the right medication is important, or the infection will progress to stage three.
- Stage 3 syphilis is also called the latent or late stage. This phase begins when the untreated symptoms from the first two stages disappear. The bacteria continue to live in the body for decades during this stage. Then when symptoms arise at this phase, they are serious. They can include paralysis, numbness, blindness, and dementia. They can also damage your internal organs and cause death.
Common STDs in Conclusion
Common STDs are easy to get and easy to spread. The only way to know if you have one is with a lab-based, FDA approved STD test. Medical practitioners advise that any individual who is sexually active is screened for all common STDs at least once every year. They also recommend that you get an STD test with every new partner or if your partner has other partners.