S.T.D., what does it mean? It stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease. STDs used to be called venereal diseases. Sexually transmitted diseases have been around for a long time. There were references to gonorrhea in the Old Testament and descriptions of syphilis at the time of Columbus. Sexually transmitted diseases cross all boundaries. They are not restricted to people of one sexual orientation, race, cultural group or socioeconomic class. When most people think about infectious diseases, they think about their last cold or flu that had been going around at school or work. Reports come from health departments all over the country. Government workers at the Centers for Disease ...view middle of the document...
Symptoms of infection usually appear within two to ten days after exposure but can take up to thirty days.
In males, gonorrhea usually strikes first at the urethra. A burning sensation during urination may be experienced due to the irritation of the urethras mucosal lining. Many males may also notice abnormal discharge from the penis. The penis itself may be red or swollen at the tip. Urination may become more frequent or difficult; however occasionally no symptoms are evident immediately.
In females gonorrhea seems to strike selectively at the cervix. Eighty percent of females with gonorrhea 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, women may experience a burning sensation upon urination.
Gonorrhea can also infect the anal region, oral cavity, and eyes. The period of communicability for gonorrhea is uncertain but can last as long as discharge continues anywhere from three to six months. Precise diagnosis of gonorrhea requires cultures of discharge specimens. Under most circumstances gonorrhea is easily treated. It is now clear that larger and larger doses of penicillin may be necessary to kill some resistant strains.
Untreated gonorrhea may result in irreversible complications. Infertility and sterility can develop in males and females. Gonococcal arthritis in major joints is a generalized infection that irreversibly damages the brain, heart, liver and other key organs and can be present 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.
Syphilis, also called \"bad blood\", is perhaps the best known STD of all. Once confined to certain parts of the world, syphilis now occurs universally. Treponema Pallidum is the causative agent. It belongs to a group of organisms that resemble bacteria. Humans provide the only known host for T. Pallidum. There is no vaccine or other acquired immunity for syphilis. Only about thirty percent of the people exposed result in infections.
Syphilis is transmitted by direct contact with infected sores called chancres, syphilitic skin rashes, or mucous patches on the tongue and mouth during kissing, necking, petting, or sexual intercourse. It can also be transmitted from a pregnant woman to a fetus after the fourth month of pregnancy.
The incubation period for syphilis is from ten to ninety days with twenty one days being the average. The diagnostic blood test for this STD is likely to be negative during the incubation period. Syphilis goes through several stages. In its primary stage, it is...