Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)
There are now more than twenty disorders recognized as being transmitted primarily by sexual means. The more familiar STD's are AIDS, gonorhea, syphilis, chlamydia-related infections, genital herpes, candidiasis, nonspecific vaginitis, trichomoniasis, pediculosis, scabies, and urinary tract infections.
One of the most frequently encountered communicable diseases in the U.S. It is caused by the bacterium Neisseria Gonorrihoeae, which is common all over the world today and can only thrive in human beings. There is no way to acquire immunity to this disease. Anyone who is sexually active is susceptible to gonorrhea.
This disease is transmitted by the way of direct contact with the secretions of mucos membranes such as those of the urethra, cervix, vagina, anus, eyes and throat.
The contact involved in transmitting gonorrhea is almost always sexual in nature. It is possible that contaminated fingers can transfer infection from one region of the body to another, however, this is highly unlikely because the bacteria dies rapidly when demed the warmth and moisture of mucous membranes.
Symtoms of infection usually appear within two to ten days after exposure but might take up to thirty days.
In males, gonorhea usually strikes first at the urethra, the tube that extends from the bladder to the tip of the penis. A burning sensation during urination may be experienced due to the irritation of the urethra's mucosal lining. Many males may also notice and abnormal discharge from the penis. The penis itself may be red or swollen at the tip. Urination may become more frequent or difficult. Occasionally, no symptoms are evident immediately.
In females, gonorrhea seems to strike selectively at the cervix (the entrance of the uterus, but it also can appear elsewhere. As many as 80% of the females with gonorhea have no immediate signs or symptoms. One symptom in women is a foul smelling vaginal discharge. Since vaginal discharges are not uncommon, women should be alert to any change in the color, odor, or other appearance of discharges. If gonorrhea has affected the urethra, a women may experience a burning sensation upon urination.
Gonorrhea can also infect the anal region, the oral cavity, and the eyes. The period of communicability for gonorrhea is uncertain but probably
lasts as long as discharge continues, anywhere from three to six months.
Precise diagnosis of gonorrhea requires cuttures of discharge specimens. Under most circumstances gonorrhea is easily treated. It is now clear however, that larger and larger doses of penicillin may be necessary to kill some resistant strains.
Untreated gonorrhea may result in irreversible complications. Infertlity and sterility can develop in males and females. Gonococcal arthritis in major joints and a generalized infection that irreversibily damages the brain, heart, liver and other key organs can be produced in either sex.
The most reliable form of protection is the use of condoms during sexual episodes. The sexually active individual should also be selective about sexual partners and stay alert to obvious signs and symptoms of disease.
Gonorrhea is known by such street names as
"clap","drip","dose","strain", "gleet", and "jack".
Syphilis is perhaps the best known of all the STD's. Once
confined to certain parts of the world, syphilis now occurs universally. Treponema Pallidum is it's causative agent. It belongs to a group of organisms that resemble bacteria. Humans provide the only known host for T. Pallidum. There is no vaceine or other acquired immunity for syphilis. Only about 30% of the people exposed result in infections.
Syphilis is transmitted by direct contact with infection sores, called chancres, syphitic skin rashes, or mucous patches on the tongue and mouth during kissing, necking, petting, or sexual intercourse. It...
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