Sexually transmitted diseases are also known as sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or venereal diseases (VDs). They are transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse. STDs spread through bodily fluids, for example, seminal and vaginal fluids direct skin contact and saliva (Barlow, 2011). If left untreated, most STDs can cause infertility and become chronic resulting in death. Some common symptoms of STDs include smelly vaginal discharge, painful sensation when urinating or during sex, abdominal pain, warts and rashes in the genital areas (Ambrose & Deisler, 2010).
Some venereal diseases cannot be cured but only controlled. Examples of incurable STDs are HIV and genital herpes. Treatable STDs include syphilis, gonorrhea, Chlamydia, cancroids, candidiasis, hepatitis B virus and trichomoniasis (Ambrose & Deisler, 2010). Others like Human Papillomavirus (HPV) if not treated can result in cervical cancer that is fatal. STDs have an incubation period and the only way to keep safe is by having regular checkups and using condoms during sexual intercourse. Other consequences of STDs are that they cause ectopic or tubal pregnancies. Furthermore, they can induce abnormalities in newborns (Barlow, 2011).
For those STDs that can only be treated, it is possible to pass on to others if bodily fluids are exchanged (Ambrose & Deisler, 2010). The most effective way of preventing the spread of STDs is by proper and consistent use of condoms during sexual activity. Another way to prevent the spread of STIs is by avoiding sharing of needles and other piercing objects with others. An infected person should not undergo blood transfusion especially for donating.
Being diagnosed with a venereal disease is not the end of the world. Denial is not the cure (Ambrose & Deisler, 2010). The infected person should seek medical attention as soon as possible to avert the consequences mentioned. There is no shame in being infected; the most crucial aspect is to accept the situation and work towards being cured.
The first step after being diagnosed with STD is to inform your current partner. It is also crucial to inform past partners with whom you were sexually involved (Barlow, 2011). This will give them a chance to be diagnosed and treated before it is too late. The most important thing is to seek medical attention to start on medication immediately. During treatment, proper and consistent use of condoms is imperative. This will ensure that no further infection is contained. It is important to follow the doctor’s advice to prevent future recurrence.
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