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Word Count: 1773I chose do my biology report on Sexually Transmitted Diseases because STDs are becoming a concern for Americans and especially American teens. There are two kinds of STDs, viral and bacterial. Viral Studs are incurable; the most common viral Studs are HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, herpes, and HPV. Bacterial STDs are curable. The most common bacterial STDs are gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis.

STDs, are also known as venereal diseases, is a term that refers to more than 50 diseases and syndromes which have been transmitted through the exchange of body fluids such as semen, vaginal fluid, and blood. All though you can contract some STDs, such as herpes and/or HPV, by kissing, caressing, and/or direct contact with infected areas. STDs can be serious and painful, and can have long term health consequences including sterility, chronic infection, ectopic pregnancy, cancer, and even death. STDs affect men and women of all backgrounds and economic levels. One in four Americans between the ages of 15 to 55 will contract at least one STD before they die. Nearly 65% of all STDs occur in people under the age of 25. The most common STDs on college campuses are chlamydia, herpes, and genital warts. Some STDs cause no symptoms. It is estimated that 10 to 20% of males and 75% of females who are infected with chlamydia don’t experience any syptoms. There are several common signs that may indicate that you have a STD. For women there can be an unusual discharge or odor from the vagina, pain in the pelvic area, burning or itching around the vagina, unusual bleeding, and/or vaginal pain during intercourse. For men it can be a discharge from the penis. For both men and women there can be sore, bumps blisters near the mouth or genitals, burning and pain during urination or a bowel movement, flu-like feelings, including fever, chills, aches, swelling in t he groin area, and/or persistent swelling or redness in the throat. If you have any of these symptoms or even suspect that you’ve been exposed to any STDs then you should see your local health care provider. Bacterial STDs, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia and syphilis are relatively easy to cure with antibiotics if diagnosed early. Viral STDs such as herpes, HPV, and HIV/AIDS cannot ever be cured though the symptoms can be relieved. But no STDs should be dismissed as harmless. Even a curable STD, if left untreated, will have serious consequences.
The most common STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B, herpes, HIV/AIDS, HPV, and syphilis. Bacterial Vaginosis, Candidiasis, Chancroid, Granuloma Inguinale, Lymplhogranloma Venereum, Mucopurulent Cervicitis, Molluscum Contagiosu, Nongonococcal Urethritis, and Trichomiasis are more STDs that not as common and not generally discussed. Chlamydia is a bacterial STD and can be contracted through vaginal and anal sex. 75% of women and 25% of men are asymptomatic. The symptoms may include abnormal genital discharge, and burning during urination. Chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics, but the antibiotics can not undo the damage done prior to treatment. If left untreated in women, up to 30% will experience pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which often causes ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain. In men, causes epidiymitis, an inflammation of the testicles, which causes sterility. Infected individuals are also at a greater risk of contracting HIV. Gonorrhea is a bacterial STD that can be contracted through vaginal, anal, and/or oral sex. Though some cases may be asymptomatic, when symptoms do appear, they are often mild and usually appear within 2-10 days after exposure. The symptoms include discharge from the penis, vagina, or rectum and burning or itching during urination. Gonorrhea can also be treated and cured with antibiotics but they cannot undo the damage done prior to treatment. IF left untreated, gonorrhea can cause PID, eptopic pregnancy, infertility, and chronic pelvic pain. It can also cause sterility in men. Untreated Gonorrhea can infect the joints, heart valves and/or the brain. Hepatitis B is a viral STD that can be contracted through vaginal, oral and especially anal sex, sharing contaminated drug needles, piercing the skin with contaminated instruments such as those used in dental and medical procedures, and receiving contaminated blood or blood products trough transfusions. About 1/3 of people with Hepatitis B are asymptoamtic. When symptoms are present they include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms of liver involvement include dark urine, abdominal pain, and yellowing of the skin and the whites of the eyes. There isn’t a cure but most infections clear up themselves within 4-8 weeks. Some individuals become chronically infected; for those people, the disease can lead to cirrhosis, liver disorders, and immune system disorders. Gentital Herpes is a viral STD. Herpes is spread by direct sexual skin-to-skin contact with the infected site during vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Another strain of the virus, Herpes Simplex Type 1 is most commonly spread by non-sexual contact and usually causes sore on the lips. All though you can contract Herpes Simplex Type 1 can also be transmitted through oral sex and can cause genital infections. The symptoms are often mild and may include an itching or burning sensation; pain in the legs, buttocks, or genital area; or vaginal discharge. Blisters or painful open sores may appear usually in the genital area, buttocks, anus, and thighs, although they can erupt anywhere. Sores will heal after several weeks but may reoccur. There is no known cure but an anti-viral drug is usually effective in reducing the frequency and duration of type 2 outbreaks. An infected person with sores with sores present has an increased risk that exposure to HIV will to infection because the sore provide an entry point for the AIDS virus. Women who develop a first episode of genital herpes curing pregnancy may be at higher risk for premature delivery. Outbreaks present during delivery usually indicate the need for a cesarean delivery because infection passed to the newborn during childbirth may result in possible death or serious brain damage. HIV/AIDS is a viral STD that can be contracted through vaginal, oral, and especially anal sex; infected blood or blood products, sharing needles with an infected person and from infected mother to infant in utero, during birth, and/or while breastfeeding. Some people experience no symptoms when first infected. Others have flu-like symptoms including fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, and enlarged lymph nodes. The symptoms usually disappear within a week to a month, and the virus can remain dormant for years. However, will continue to weaken the immune system, leaving the individual increasingly unable to fight opportunistic infections. There is no known cure but antiviral drugs are used to prolong the life and health of the infected person. Other treatments are used to combat opportunistic infections. Virtually everyone who becomes infected with HIV will eventually develop AIDS and will die of AIDS-related complications. 20-30% of infants born to infected mothers is HIV infected and develops symptoms of AIDS within one year after birth. Of these babies, 20% die by the time they are 18 months old. Antiviral drugs given during pregnancy can greatly reduce the risk to the fetus contracting HIV. HPV or genital warts (as it’s most commonly known) is a viral STD and can be contracted through vaginal, anal, or sex. The symptoms are painless fleshy, cauliflower-like warts that develop on and inside the genitals, anus, and throat. There is no known sure but chemicals, freezing, laser therapy and surgery can suppress the warts. Some strains of the virus are strongly associated with cervical cancer as well as cancers of the vulva, vagina, penis and anus. Infants exposed to the virus on the birth canal can develop warts in the throat, which can obstruct the airway and must be removed. Syphilis is a bacterial STD that can be contracted through vaginal, oral, and/ or anal sex, but can be spread by non-sexual contact if the sores, rashes, or mucous patches caused by syphilis come in contact with the broken skin of a non-infected individual. In the initial phase, the disease produces painless sores or “chancres” that usually appear on the genitals but can appear anywhere on the body. If untreated, the disease progresses on to other stages of infection, which include a rash, fever, sore throat, hair loss, and swollen glands throughout the body. The disease can be cured with penicillin; however damage done to the body organs cannot be reversed. If left untreated, syphilis may cause serious damage to the heart, brain, eyes, nervous system, bones, and joints and can lead to death. A person with active syphilis has an increased risk that exposure to HIV will lead to an infection because the sores provide an entry point for the AIDS virus. If left untreated, a pregnant woman will usually transmit the disease to the fetus. Still born and death within the neonatal period occur in 25% of these cases. 40-70% delivers an infant with active syphilis. If undetected damage may occur to the infants’ heart, brain, and eyes.

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Methods of protecting yourself from STDs are abstinence, practicing safer sexual behaviors, and enjoy sexual activities without actually have sexually intercourse. Abstinence is when you voluntarily refrain from engaging in sexual activity. For some people this may mean not having sexual intercourse but for others it may mean not having genital contact. You can also practice safer sex. You can do this by always using a latex condom and spermicide for anal and vaginal intercourse; always use a latex barrier (condom or dental dam) for oral-genital sex; limit your number of sexual partners; avoid sexual contact until you and your partner(s) have been tested for pre-existing STDs; do not rely upon your partner to know the sexual history of all his or her partners or to tell the truth about their sexual history; before you have sex, look closely for any signs of an STD; if you or a partner was ever infected with a viral STD avoid unprotected sex; if you are infected with an STD,, notify your partners; if you have an STD, refrain from sexual activity until you and your partner(s) have completed the entire treatment; and/or get checked for STDs every time you have an annual health maintenance exam. Some alternatives to having sex are on the attached sheets.


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