Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
What do we mean by sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are all the infections caused by organisms that are mainly transmitted through sexual intercourse. There are more than 20 STDs with the most common one being condylomas. Other STDs are genital herpes, syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, fungal infections, Lice,hepatitis, AIDS (HIV) etc.
How common are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
STDs remain to have a high prevalence in most countries of the world even though medicine has evolved in diagnosis and treatment methods. STDs appear more often in populations younger of 25 years of age. The world health organization (WHO) has evaluated that one million people are daily infected by a STD. In the United States one on four teenagers has a SDT. In Cyprus, a study of the ministry of health has shown that new cases of HIV positive patients has doubled within the last 6 years.
To conclude, SDTs are extremely common and tend to appear in younger population groups.
How can I realize that I have sexually transmitted disease (STD)?
Unfortunately in many occasions STDs at the beginning of the disease might present with minor symptoms that makes it difficult for the affected patient to realize they a carrier of the disease. This may result not only putting themselves at risk but also their sexual partner.
Symptoms that might be suggestive of a STDS are below and should be examined by a Dermatologist- Venereologist (Specialist in STDs):
- Increase of fluids from vagina or urethra
- If there are superficial ulcers (loss of skin surface) in the genital or anal area)
- If there are any lumps in the penis, urethra, anal or pubic area
- If there is pain/burning sensation during sexual intercourse
How can I protect myself from STDs?
It is important to understand that anyone that is sexually active can have a STD. There is no safe sex but safer. Safer sexual intercourse occurs when:
- Correct and systematic use of condom
- Correct hygienic techniques are applies i.e shower after sexual intercourse
- Vaccination for HPV (condylomas)
- Smaller numbers of sexual partners
- If there is suspicion of an STD should be discussed and examined by a Dermatologist-Venereologist ( Dr Sakka is a qualified Dermatologist-Venereologist)