Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are infections that are transmitted through the sexual route. A lot of people (teenagers, married, unmarried, young) engage in unsafe sexual activities and do not care to know about the health condition of their partner. This has led to the fast spread of infections from one person to another.
Most people keep more than one sexual partner which has made a way for sexual transmitted infections to be on an increase and it gets to affect the faithful partners.
It is true that a lot of people don’t believe that sexually transmitted infections are real that is why they tend to ignore the effect whenever they engage in sexual activities. This is why when the symptoms begin to show up it becomes a fatal case which most times the carrier cannot survive it.
It is advisable to note the health condition of your sexual partner and also endeavor to be faithful.
However, the most advisable tip is complete abstinence from any form of sexual activity be it oral, vaginal or anal because they all come with deteriorating effects.
Apart from married men and women who must have in-depth knowledge of the health condition of their partner, the other class of humans no matter what type of relationship should not engage in sexual activity. Therefore, avoid any relationship or partnership that will cause future regrets.
Sexually transmitted disease can go as far as destroying the genes, DNA, womb and other vital components in the reproductive system.
The dangerous part is that women are at a higher risk of sexually transmitted infections then men.
However, most sexually transmitted infections do take number of years before their symptoms begins to show up and when most of these symptoms come, they can no longer be prevented.
The rate at which people suffer from sexually transmitted infections is alarming. In the United States, over 9,000,000 (nine million) women are diagnosed of STIs, every year and the yearly death rate of sexually transmitted infections is over 108,000 (one hundred and eight thousand) which the rate keeps on increasing year by year.
This means that those that are with some sexually transmitted infections without even knowing their status are not liable to survive in the next 15 to 20 years.
Also living with a particular sexually transmitted infection with early treatment makes one vulnerable to contracting other types of STIs.
What is sexually transmitted infections (STIs)
Sexually transmitted infections are infections or diseases that are transmitted from one person to another during sexual contact. These infections are usually as a result of bacterial, viral, yeast as well as fungal attack during sexual activities.
Sexually transmitted infections can also be called Venereal disease.
Apart from sexual activities, STIs can also be transmitted through unusual discharge or bleeding from the penis, painful or swollen testicles etc.
Causes of Sexually Transmitted Visions (STIs)
Sexually transmitted infections are caused by viruses, bacteria and fungi. During a sexual contact more than 30 different of these organisms are known to be transmitted where 8 (eight) of these pathogens are linked to the great incident of causing sexually transmitted infections. Among the eight pathogens four have been proven to have a cure which are gonorrhea, chlamydia and trichomoniasis.
Sexually transmitted infections are transmitted from vagina to penis and from penis to vagina during sexual intercourse with an infected partner, also during oral or anal sex.
Types of Sexually Transmitted Infections
Some of the most common types of sexually transmitted infections includes:
HIV means Human Immunodeficiency Virus and AIDS Means Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome. Over the years this virus has been one of the most common sexually transmitted infection which has not been discovered yet.
HIV is a virus that suppresses the human immune system rendering it vulnerable to any form of disease. It can stay for many years in the body before showing up and at this period it becomes very fatal. Diagnosis is done by lab test or imaging as well.
Over 100,000 (one hundred thousand) cases of HIV/AIDS are being reported yearly in Nigeria.
This is another most common sexually transmitted infection which is accompanied by genital pains, fluid filled bumps and sores.
The virus that causes this type of STI is called herpes simplex virus HSV-1 which results in cold sores and HSV-2. This virus gets into the body through infected body fluids like blood, vaginal secretions, saliva and semen. Its symptoms varies in both men and women.
Genital herpes can stay for a very long time in the body.
However, the cure for genital herpes has not yet been discovered but the cases can be managed.
Statistics shows that over 1,500,000 (one million five hundred thousand) cases of genital herpes are reported every year in Nigeria alone.
This is another most common sexually transmitted infection. It is caused by the bacteria called Neisseria Gonorrhea or gonococcus. It is transmitted during vaginal, oral or anal sex and the infection is usually on the area that was used for the activity. It causes pains in the sexual organs and inflammations.
If left untreated at the early stage can result to infertility.
The symptoms of gonorrhea show up after 7 to 10 days of infection and it can be treated.
Also in Nigeria over 1,500,000 (one million five hundred thousand) cases of gonorrhea is reported every year.
This type of sexually transmitted infection is being contracted by few people. It starts as sores without pain and it is caused by the bacterium called Treponema pallidum. There are four stages of syphilis which are the primary, secondary, latent and tertiary stage. The symptoms vary from one stage to another which usually comes up in a very short period after infection. It can be treatable.
In Nigeria less than 100,000 (one hundred thousand) cases of syphilis are reported every year.
Human Papilloma Virus infection (HPV)
This is another most common sexually transmitted infection. It is caused by virus. It spreads by direct contact. HPV also increases the risk of cancer, it leads to genital warts.
This infection has no cure but some vaccines have been put in place to prevent it.
An estimated rate of 14,000,000 (fourteen million) cases of HPV are being diagnosed every year. In Nigeria over 1,500,000 (one million, five hundred thousand) cases of HPV are being reported every year.
This is another most common infection that is easily transmitted through sexual affairs. It is caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis. Chlamydia is found in infected semen, mucus or vaginal fluids. It does not have any clear symptoms.
It can be treatable and it is a short term infection.
In Nigeria over 100,000 cases of Chlamydia are reported every year.
Other types of STIs includes
Public lice (crabs), trichominiasis caused by a tiny protozoan organism, Chancroid, scabies, granuloma inquinale, molluscum contagiosum, lymphogranuloma venereum.
Medical ways of treating sexually transmitted infections
- When treating bacteria causing STIs, antibiotics is used for treating such infections.
- For virus causing STIs, anti-retroviral drugs and vaccines are used for treatment.
Safety tips to preventing sexually transmitted infections
- For 100% protection against STIs, total abstinence from sexual activities is required
- Use of condoms during sexual intercourse
- Use of dental dams for oral sex
- Regular screening test (it can be every six months)
How to cope with sexually transmitted diseases
- Avoid over stress
- Avoid alcohol
- Seek counselling
- Eat fruits with high antioxidants and vitamins such as banana, ginger, carrots, etc. They help improve the immune system and fight against inflammation.
- Engage in regular exercise
- Socialize with people suffering from the same infection with you and form a network of association with them. Join associations like People Living with HIV (PLWHIV). This will help you not to be stigmatized.
- Pregnant women with STIs should seek regular medical attention for the safety of the baby and their health.