Our parents and elders always talk to us regarding hygiene. They always insist that we wash our hands, legs and face once we reach home. We have often heard of a lot of infections transmitted by contact, food, water and air.
You must have heard of a disease called AIDS!
What is the mode of transmission of AIDS?
Food? Water? Air? Soil?
Besides these mode of transmission, there are certain infections which are transmitted by sexual intercourse. These infections are referred to as sexually transmitted diseases.
AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease i.e. a disease which is transmitted by unprotected sex. It is one of the deadliest and incurable diseases. The intention is not to scare you but to make you understand what are sexually transmitted diseases? How are they transmitted, cured and prevented?
Let’s understand more about STDs.
Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacteria named Neisseria gonorrhoeae.
Humans infected with gonorrhoea experience burning sensation during urination, penile or vaginal discharge, swelling in testicles in males and bleeding between periods in females. Kids born to gonorrhoea infected mothers may develop arthritis and eye infections.
Transmission can occur generally through vaginal, anal or oral sex. An infected mother can transmit it to the newborn.
Diagnosis is possible with clinical symptoms. Gram staining of discharge and culture can be done for identification of the disease.
Syphilis is caused by Treponema pallidum. It is a spirochaete, a type of bacteria.
Syphilis causes infectious painless genital sores in the initial stages. It causes swelling in the lymph nodes, sore throat, hair loss, swollen joints, body rashes and flu-like symptoms in the second stage of infection. In the third stage it causes brain damage, paralysis, blindness etc.
It can be diagnosed by clinical symptoms. Identification of the disease is possible with microscopic examination of the discharges and antibody detection.
Syphilis is transmitted by vaginal, oral or anal sex. It can also be transmitted by direct contact with sores.
Genital herpes is caused by a virus named Herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2).
Genital herpes causes infectious sores in the mouth, penis, anus and vagina. It may also cause high fever, itchiness, swelling of lymph nodes and body pain. Symptoms are severe in females. Newborns may get infected from infected mothers. Urethra and cervix also get affected.
Genital herpes can be transmitted by unprotected sex and by direct contact with sores.
Diagnosis is possible by clinical symptoms. Identification of the disease can be done by antigen detection, PCR etc.
This sexually transmitted disease is caused by a virus named Human papillomavirus (HPV).
Painful warts on the genitals and itching are the common symptoms of genital warts. In females infections can spread to vagina and cervix.
Genital warts are transmitted by unprotected sex (vaginal, oral or anal) and by direct contact with warts.
Diagnosis is done through clinical symptoms. Identification of the disease causing agent can be done through antibody detection, DNA hybridization etc.
Various methods are available for the treatment of genital warts as follows:
This method is used to remove the warts. In this method, warts are frozen using liquid nitrogen by the doctor.
This method involves physical removal of the warts.
Infected person is injected with some antiviral drugs for treating the warts in this method.
Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease caused by Hepatitis B virus.
Individuals infected with hepatitis B experience fever, jaundice, vomiting, weakness, headache and abdominal pain. It may lead to cirrhosis and cancer of the liver.
This viral disease can be transmitted by organ transplant, from expecting mother to the baby, through infected needle and blood transfusion. Intravenous drug abusers are at a high risk of contracting the Hepatitis B virus because these viruses transmit through body fluids such as blood. Intravenous drug administration is often done with the help of unsterilized reusable syringes. These unsterilized reusable syringes, if infected with the blood of Hepatitis B infected individuals, can transfer the virus to a healthy individual who uses it without sterilising it.
Disease can be identified through PCR, DNA hybridization etc.
It is a viral disease caused by Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It is considered as one of the deadliest of all sexually transmitted infections as it is an incurable disease.
Fever, body pain, body rashes, weakness, chills, itchiness and sore throat are some of the common symptoms observed in individuals infected with AIDS.
Infection by HIV occurs in the following stages, it includes acute infection, latent infection, ARC (AIDS related complex) and AIDS. Within the first 3-6 weeks of infection, clinical symptoms like fever, fatigue, enlarged lymph nodes, rashes, etc. can be seen in the infected patients. This phase is the acute infection phase.
The infection progresses in due course of time through various stages. This includes gradual reduction in the numbers of helper T lymphocytes, occurrence of minor opportunistic pathogenic infections, etc. This stage may continue for years, with alternating periods of wellness and sickness in the patient. Some people have even gone undetected for 10 years or more. This is the asymptomatic phase or the latent phase.
Then there is a huge reduction in the number of T lymphocytes leading to a marked decrease in immunity of the patient. It is at this stage of infection when the patient actually shows symptoms of AIDS. The patient also suffers from fatigue, unexplained fever, persistent diarrhoea, and marked weight loss. This stage is called ARC (AIDS Related Complex). Full blown AIDS refers to the stage where there is complete breakdown of the immune response machinery of the body.
This viral disease can be transmitted by organ transplant, from expecting mother to the baby, infected needle, sexual contact with the infected person, by transfusion of blood or blood products.
It can be detected using the ELISA test. Western blot is the confirmatory test.
It is a bacterial infection caused by Chlamydia trachomatis.
Common symptoms include urethritis, epididymitis, rectal pain, occasional bleeding, testicular pain, vaginal discharge and fever.
Transmission of Chalmydia can occur by unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex.
Microscopic examination, culturing, nucleic acid hybridization and gram staining are the common techniques used for detection of the disease-causing agent.
Trichomoniasis is caused by a protozoa, Trichomonas vaginalis.
Individuals infected with this disease experience burning sensation during urination, genital irritation and yellow vaginal discharge with foul smell. It causes epididymitis, urethritis and prostatitis in males.
Transmission of trichomoniasis can occur by unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex.
Diagnosis is done through the clinical symptoms. Microscopic examination, culture and immunofluorescent antibody staining are used for the identification of the disease-causing agent.
Ques:- Given below are the sexually transmitted disease along with their respective causative organism. Find the correct match.
Solution: Hepatitis B is a viral sexually transmitted disease caused by Hepatitis B virus. Hence the correct option is c.
Ques:- Ankita was experiencing a burning sensation during urination, vaginal discharge and bleeding between periods. She was diagnosed with sexually transmitted disease. Ankita is suffering from which of the following disease?
Solution: Burning sensation during urination, vaginal discharge and bleeding between periods are the symptoms of gonorrhoea, a sexually transmitted disease. Gonorrhoea is caused by a bacteria named Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Hence the correct option is a.
Ques:- Which of the following is a myth regarding AIDS?
Solution: AIDS, acronym for, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome, is a sexually transmitted disease caused by a virus named Human Immunodeficieny Virus (HIV). This viral disease can be transmitted by organ transplant, from expecting mother to the baby, infected needle and blood transfusion. It cannot be contracted by physical contact like hugging, touching or kissing.
Hence, the correct option is a.
Ques:- Find the odd one out among the following.
Ques:- Mention name of five sexually transmitted diseases along with their causative organisms.
Answer: Diseases which are transmitted through sexual intercourse or body fluid interaction are called sexually transmitted diseases. Examples are enlisted below:
Ques:- What are the general precautions one must take to avoid sexually transmitted diseases?
Answer: Sexually transmitted diseases are very common in individuals who are sexually active. Various preventive measures to reduce the chances of contracting these infections are as follows:
Ques:- If left untreated, how can sexually transmitted disease affect reproductive health of an individual?
Answer: Sexually transmitted infections can have various detrimental effects, if not treated. The common complications are enlisted below:
Ques:- What is the cause, mode of transmission, symptoms and treatment of syphilis?
Answer: Syphilis is caused by a bacteria named Treponema pallidum. Syphilis is transmitted by oral, vaginal or anal sex. It can also be transmitted by direct contact with sores. Syphilis causes infectious painless genital sores. It also causes swelling in the lymph nodes, sore throat, hair loss and body rashes.
Syphilis is caused by a bacteria and hence, can be treated by antibiotics which are medicines with the ability to kill bacteria and prevent them from growing, multiplying or causing disease.