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Sexually Transmitted Diseases

.. V, most people experience general flu like symptoms like fever, headache, skin rash, tender lymph nodes, and malaise. These symptoms last for about one to two weeks. During this time HIV reproduces to very high concentrations, it circulates through the blood, and creates infections all throughout the body, especially in the lymph nodes. The infected person’s CD4 T-cell count falls briefly but then returns close to normal and the person’s immune system responds to the infection and limits the spread of HIV.

The next phase can last for up to ten years. The person stays healthy and his or her CD4 T cell level is between low and normal, which is 500 to 700 cells per mm3. HIV continues to spread and reproduce causing more destruction to the immune system. Eventually the immune system declines and the person’s T cell level drops dramatically from about 500 to 200 cells per mm3. Infections then spread but they are not yet life threatening. Within the next couple of months or years the immune system is destroyed and serious illnesses set in.

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The infected person may have CD4 T-cell levels below 200 per mm3. Next comes a stage of ongoing weight loss and fatigue. The immune system fails and the T-cell count is below 50 per mm3, and death occurs within one to two years. HIV is most commonly spread by sexual contact with an infected person. The virus is present in the sexual secretions of men and women.

HIV goes into the bloodstream of the uninfected person by getting into small abrasions or by sexual intercourse. Sharing needles or syringes that contain the blood of an infected individual also spreads HIV. Transmission through blood transfusions is now very rare and it occurs in less than one person in every 100,000. HIV can be transmitted from an infected mother to her baby, either before or during childbirth or through breast-feeding. Only about 30 percent of babies born to HIV-infected mothers actually become infected.

The three anti-HIV drugs currently licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are all RT inhibitors: AZT, ddl, and ddC. These drugs work as DNA-chain terminators. Because the drug appears to be a normal nucleotide base (the building block for DNA), the RT enzyme mistakenly inserts the drug into the growing viral DNA chain. Once the drug is inserted, no additional DNA bases can be added (Encarta). These drugs are not a cure for the HIV infection, scientists originally wanted them to slow the progression of AIDS, and they have extended the life of the infected individual by about six months.

Syphilis is an infection that can be life threatening if it is not treated. It is caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum. This bacterium is found in sores and rashes that occur anywhere on the skin or inside the mouth or genitals. Syphilis is spread by sexual contact and from mother to baby during pregnancy. Without treatment the infection can lead to heart disease, nerve disorders, brain damage, mental disorders, blindness, and death.

There are six symptoms that an infected person with syphilis may have. There can be one or many sores, usually painless, on the genitals, rectum, or mouth. Rashes anywhere on the body are another symptom. The rashes can be flat, scaly, round, or crater like. One may also develop headaches, sore throats, swollen glands, and hair will fall out in big patches.

There are four stages of syphilis. First, there is a development of a red, painless sore. Within one to six weeks it will go away on its own. Second, development of the rash and flu-like symptoms. These symptoms can be mild and come and go for over two years.

Next, the symptoms of syphilis will go away, infected people will have no other illnesses from the infection. Stage four is late stage syphilis. The infection begins to damage the heart, brain nerves, bones and other parts of the body. Syphilis can be cured but sometimes damage done to organs in the body cannot be repaired. Syphilis can be treated with antibiotics, mainly with penicillin. Other antibiotics can be prescribed if one is allergic to penicillin.

This antibiotic kills the bacteria causing the infection. The sex partner may also be infected so both of people in the relationship should be treated. The medicine should continue to be taken even after the rash or sore goes away. Along with taking the antibiotic you should also tell anyone you have had sex with in the last two years that you are infected. Do not have sex again until your doctor gives an okay.

You should get rechecked to make sure you are cured and also get checked for HIV. Gonorrhea is a disease caused by a bacterium called Neiserria gonorrhoeae. The bacteria that cause gonorrhea are found in the vagina, penis, throat, rectum, and in the semen or vaginal fluids. Gonorrhea is spread through sexual contact and from mother to baby during delivery. It is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States. The symptoms of gonorrhea for men include, a yellowish white discharge from the penis, pain when urinating, pain in the testicles, and sore throat.

Women usually do not have symptoms. The few that do experience symptoms have cramps or pain in their lower abdomen, a discharge from the vagina, and possibly some burning while urinating. Symptoms can be noticed as early as two to seven days after having sex with an infected person, sometimes it can take as long as thirty days for symptoms to develop. The disease is diagnosed through tests done on penile or vaginal discharges to see if the bacterium is present. Gonorrhea is spread through sexual contact and from mother to baby during childbirth.

Gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics. All strains of gonorrhea are curable, but this disease is becoming more and more resistant to many standard medications. Penicillin is one of the drugs that the bacterium is now resistant to. Presently the antibiotics ceftriaxone, cefixime, ciproloxacin, or ofloxacin are used. Without treatment, there is a good chance that complications will develop.

Women could develop pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a painful condition that occurs when the infection spreads throughout the reproductive organs. PID can make women unable to have children or cause them to be at risk for ectopic pregnancy (Virginia Department of Health). Men experience a swelling of the testicles and penis. Both men and women may develop arthritis, skin problems and other infections that will spread throughout the body. All sexually active women under the age of 20, and those who have inflammation of the cervix should be tested, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Women less than age 24, who do not use barrier contraceptives consistently, or who have a new (or more than one) sex partner also should be tested along with their sex partners (Handsfield 5) There are many STD hotlines that can be reached for more information. The National STD Hotline’s number is 800-227-8922. You can also call Health on Demand at (607) 737-4499.

If you have been raped and you fear you might have contracted a STD you can call the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network Hotline (RAINN) at 800-656-4673. All hospitals and doctor’s offices also carry information on STD’s. Always consult your physician if you think you could be in danger of having a STD. By writing this paper I realized that I was pretty nave about how big of a problem STD’s are. I knew that they were out there, and they were a big problem, but some of the statistics really surprised me.

Like 50 percent of all men and women have genital warts. After learning so much about these diseases and what they can do to you, I really think we should have a unit in class dealing with STD’s. I also think that the school should offer a STD course, and offer free condoms to students like some other schools have started to do. The usefulness of knowing all that I do about this topic can really help me out in the future. I will able to recognize whether something looks bad, and I also learned the best methods of protection. All in all, I am really happy that I chose to do this paper.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Syphillis is a bacterial Sexually Transmitted disease. Each year there are over 100,000 cases of syphilis in adults, and over 3,000 babies are born with the disease. Syphillis is almost always passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore, lesion, or moist rash. It is almost always passed during sex., vaginal, oral, and anal. Moist kisses can pass the disease if one of the people has a lesion on the lips or mouth. A person might be able to contract the disease by touching a sore with his or her bare hand. Pregnant women with the disease can pass it to the babies they are carrying.
When a person in infected with syphillis the first stage is marked by the outbreak of a single chancre or sore. The chancre is firm, round, small, and painless. It show up at the spot where the bacteria entered the body. The chancre may last 1-5 weeks and heals on its own. The second stage starts when one or more rashes break out. While the chancre is going away the rashes can appear. The rashes can look like spots on the palms of the hands and bottom of the feet , a prickly heat rash, small blotches or scales all over the body, a bad case of acne, moist warts in the groin area, slimy white patches in the mouth, sunken dark circles , and pus-filled bumps like chicken pox. The symptoms of the second stage can also include fever, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, patchy hair loss, headaches, weight loss, muscle aches, and tiredness. Sometimes the rashes are so faint they are not noticed. The rashes last 2-6 weeks and clear up on their own. About 25% of untreated people will have a return of second stage symptoms within 12 months. One could overcome the disease only when the first or second stage sores are present.
As the rash fades, the disease may slowly begin to attack the nervous system and internal organs, mainly the heart. This happens in about one-third of untreated persons. Most of the time there are no symptoms for this third and latent stage. Symptons that come later include the lack of muscle movements, paralysis, no longer feeling pain, growing blindness, insanity, personality changes, impotency, shooting pains, blockage or ballooning of the heart blood vessels, tumors or “gummas” on the skin, bones, liver or other organs, severe pain in the belly, repeated vomiting, damage to knee joints, and deep sores on the soles of feet or toes. Untreated syphilis will kill nearly 20% of those infected by it. A baby born to a mother with the disease or one untreated after her 34th week of pregnancy almost without question infect the baby with syphillis. At or shortly after birth the baby may have skin sores, a very runny nose which is sometimes bloody, slimy patches in the mouth, inflamed limb bones, a swollen liver, and a small head. Untreated babies may become retarded or have seizures. About 12% of infected newborns will die because of the disease.
A good way of treating this disease is a shot of benzathine penicillin. This will cure a person who has had the disease for less than a year. If a person has had it longer than 1 year then three shots are required. Correct treatment will destroy syphilis in the body, but will not repair any damage done by the disease.
Herpes is a viral STD in which an infection is caused by two different but closely related viruses: herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). Both can easily be caught. They have similar symptoms. And both can occur on different parts of the body. When the infection is on the mouth, it is called oral herpes. When it is on or near the sex organs, it is called genital herpes.
Very often there are no symptoms. The most common symptom is a cluster of blistery sores, usually on the vagina, vulva, cervix, penis, buttocks, or anus. Symptoms may last several weeks and go away or may return in weeks, months, or years. The first episode of symptoms of a genital herpes infection is called “primary herpes.” Symptoms include blisters, open sores, pain in the infected area, itching, burning feelings if urine goes over sore, severe swelling may block the urethra. But there are more sever types of symptoms like swollen, tender lymph glands in the groin, throat, and under the arms, fever, chills, headache, general run-down feeling, and an achy, flu-like feeling. The symptoms of later episodes are usually less severe than the first.
Many people carry the virus in their bodies but do not have their first episode of symptoms until they are infected another time.
Herpes is spread by touching, kissing, and sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse. It can be passed from one partner to another or from one part of the body to another. Herpes is most contagious when sores are open and “weeping” until the scabs heal and fall off. Over the course of one year, the chance of getting genital herpes from an infected partner who has no symptoms is 10 percent. Primary herpes usually begins from two to three weeks after the virus enters the body. But it may happen earlier. And it may take much longer. The sores usually heal in about two weeks. But the virus stays in the body. It can “flare up” and cause sores again. Symptoms are more painful and last longer in women or men with illnesses that weaken the immune system like leukemia and HIV.
When herpes flares up again, it is called a “recurrence” or “outbreak.”
No one is sure what causes recurrence. Other infections, stress, surgery, menstruation, sexual intercourse, and skin irritations like sunburn may bring on recurrences. A good diet, enough rest and sleep, and peace of mind may prevent recurrences.
Symptoms may be relieved by warm baths or wet tea bags (not herbal). Loose cotton clothes will help prevent chafing. A clinician may prescribe acyclovir, famiciclovir, or valacyclovir. They may speed up the healing of sores and weaken the virus. Using these medicines during outbreaks themselves is called episodic therapy.
People who have more than six outbreaks a year may be advised to take small daily doses of acyclovir, famiciclovir, or valacyclovir to help reduce the frequency of recurrences. Daily use of these medicines is called suppressive therapy. At this time there is no cure for herpes. However, in most cases outbreaks become fewer and weaker over the course of a few years. They usually end within five or six years.
Most women who have herpes needn’t worry. Rarely does a woman with recurrent herpes pass the infection on to her newborn. The greatest danger for the fetus is during delivery if a woman is having her first episode. In some of these cases, contact with herpes sores can lead to severe damage of the nervous system or death. If herpes sores are present when a woman begins labor, a caesarean section can be done to avoid infecting the newborn. Very rarely is a fetus infected earlier in pregnancy.
Up to 80 percent of Americans have the most common form of herpes (HSV-1) at some time. It usually appears as oral herpes and is most often spread without sexual contact. More than 45 million Americans have gotten herpes through sexual contact. Half a million new cases are diagnosed every year. Most often genital herpes is caused by HSV-2. Millions do not know they have it because they never had, or noticed, the symptoms.

Trichomonas vaginalis is a member of the eukaryotic STD. T. vaginalis belongs to the Family Trichomonadidae, which includes Trichomonads with three to five anterior flagella. All members of this Family also have pelta located at the anterior margin of their bodies.
The Genus Trichomonas encompasses those tube like parasites that have four anterior flagella. There are several Species in this Genus, which infect the tubular organs of various animal hosts. Such Species include vaginalis, tenax, gallinae, muris, foetus, and augusta. None of the members of this Genus form cysts.
Trichomonas vaginalis grows best in an anaerobic environment, but will also grow in an aerobic environment. It grows best in an environment with a pH of 5.8 to 6.0, and at a temperature of 34-39oC. Reproduction takes at least five to eight hours to occur. Organisms can be obtained from urine, vaginal, and prostatic secretions. T. vaginalis grows faster and survives longer when E. coli is present. When E. coli is not present, T. vaginalis grows well in a totally bacteria-free environment. Such an environment can be obtained by adding a penicillin mixture to the medium.
The most definitive diagnostic test for trichomoniasis is creation of a culture. Specimens should be inoculated in a broth medium and incubated at 37oC for a maximum of 5 days. The most commonly used diagnostic tool is the wet smear. Vaginal and penile secretions are placed in a test tube and mixed with 1mL of normal saline. A drop is placed on a glass slide fixed with normal saline, and another drop is placed on a slide fixed with 10% potassium hydroxide. If the slides are fixed immediately, the motility of the organism is maintained. This technique is fast, but it has low sensitivity. Nitrazine paper can also determine the presence of Trichomonas vaginalis by test the pH of the vaginal and penile fluids.
T. vaginalis can decompose glucose, maltose, fructose, and galactose, and it produces lactic acid, succinic acid, pyruvic acid, and carbon dioxide. It does not use pentoses or sugar alcohols. The protist can survive up to 24 hours outside of the body.

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Trichomonas vaginalis is one of the most common protozoan sexually transmitted diseases. Trichomoniasis, commonly called “trich” is caused mainly by sexual contact. Since the protozoan can survive several hours outside of the body, the disease may be transmitted through saunas and whirlpools and on toilet seats, damp towels, and bed sheets. Both men and women can be infected with trichomoniasis.
Trichomoniasis is has symptoms in about 50% of cases, and the infected individual may be infected for several years before symptoms appear. The female vagina and urogenital tract may be infected, and symptoms may include inflammation and irritation of vaginal tissue. Vaginal secretions may become abnormal in amount, odor, color (yellow-green or gray), consistency, and pH. Pain may occur during one is urinating and while have sex. “Strawberry cervix” is seen in 2% of cases. The male genitals and urethra may be infected, and although male symptoms are uncommon, white penile discharge and painful urination can occur.
The best know treatment for Trichomoniasis is oral metronidazole. This drug is normally given doses of three times a day for seven days. However, it may also be given in one dose twice a day for seven days. When both sexual partners are treated, the cure rate is 95%.
Approximately 20% of pregnant women are infected with T. vaginalis. During the first trimester of pregnancy, metronidazole should not be used. During this time, amoxicillin or ampicillin are safer drugs to use. It is possible for the disease to be transmitted to the infant during delivery
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