Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are acquired and transmitted by sexual contact. Although virtually any infection may be transmitted during intimate contact, the term sexually transmitted disease is restricted to conditions that are largely dependent on sexual contact for their transmission and propagation in a population. The term venereal disease is literally synonymous with sexually transmitted disease but traditionally is associated with only five long-recognized diseases . Sexually transmitted diseases occasionally are acquired nonsexually, but in adults they are virtually never acquired by contact with contaminated intermediaries such as towels, toilet seats, or bathing facilities. However, some sexually transmitted infections are transmitted primarily by sexual contact in some settings and by nonsexual means in others
Sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a term used to describe more than 20 different infections that are transmitted through exchange of semen, blood, and other body fluids; or by direct contact with the affected body areas of people with STDs. Sexually transmitted diseases are also called venereal diseases.
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are viral and bacterial infections passed from one person to another through sexual contact.
Adolescence is a time of opportunities and risk when many health behaviors are established. Although many of these behaviors are health-promoting, some are health-compromising, resulting in increasingly high rates of adolescent morbidity and mortality. For example, initiation of sexual intercourse and experimentation with alcohol and drugs are normative adolescent behaviors. However, these behaviors often result in negative health outcomes such as the acquisition of STDs. As a consequence of STDs, many adolescents experience serious health problems that often alter the course of their adult lives, including infertility, difficult pregnancy, genital and cervical cancer, neonatal transmission of infections, and AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
Some symptoms of STDs affect the genitals and reproductive organs:
- A woman who has an STD may bleed when she is not menstruating or has abnormal vaginal discharge. Vaginal burning, itching, and odor are common, and she may experience pain in her pelvic area while having sex.
- A discharge from the tip of the penis may be a sign that a man has an STD. Males may also have painful or burning sensations when they urinate.
- There may be swelling of the lymph nodes near the groin area.
- Both men and women may develop skin rashes, sores, bumps, or blisters near the mouth or genitals. Homosexual men frequently develop these symptoms in the area around the anus.
Prevention of STDs involves primary and secondary approaches. Primary prevention aims to educate individuals about the advantages of discriminate and safe sex (prevention by the use of condoms), about the symptoms of the common sexually transmitted diseases, and about how to seek care for them. It is also important to point out that some conditions may cause no symptoms, so that regular check-ups are advised for those who often change their partners.
Secondary prevention aims to encourage people to seek care without delay once the symptoms of a disease are recognized, to stop sexual intercourse until medical advice has been sought, and to adhere to the advice and treatment given. The final aspect of control is the tracing of the sexual contacts of the infected patient, who may have infection without being aware of it.