Syphilis: A short guide on treatment

Syphilis information

Syphilis has been a blight on human populations for centuries now. It still is a significant cause of disease in some parts of the world and, more importantly, of newborn and infant (perinatal) mortality. Sub-saharan Africa is one of the most affected places, with 20% of all perinatal mortality being caused by this illness and the prevalence among pregnant women being 2.9%. Luckily the disease, caused by a bacteria called Treponema pallidum, is fairly straightforward to treat in its early forms. Here we discuss the established methods of treating syphilis.

Different medicines to treat Syphilis

The treatment prescribed varies by whether we are facing early, non-disseminated, syphilis, or a later, more severe form. Early forms of syphilis in adults and adolescents are treated with either:

  • A single dose of benzathine penicillin G given as an intramuscular injection. This is a long-acting form of penicillin which works to fight the bacterium over the span of a week.
  • In the cases where benzathine penicillin G is not available (expense, buy-outs, low supply and etc.), procaine penicillin G may be used. The drawback of procaine penicillin G is its short duration of action, so a patient needs daily injections over 10-14 days.

About 8-12% of all patients are allergic to penicillin. The treatment for these patients includes one of the following:

  • Doxycycline 100 mg orally twice daily for 14 days
  • Ceftriaxone 1 g via intramuscular injections for 10-14 days
  • A single dose of 2 g oral azithromycin
  • Erythromycin 500 mg orally four times daily for 14 days (Used in pregnancy)

Pregnant women

There are caveats to these treatments as well. Namely, doxycycline may not be used in pregnant women as it may cause bone abnormalities in newborns, ceftriaxone is expensive and out of reach for poorer populations, and some strains of Treponema pallidum are resistant to azithromycin. It is imperative to note that azithromycin and erythromycin only partially pass the placenta and thus do not treat the fetus, a newborn born to a mother treated with these must be treated separately after birth with either aqueous benzylpenicillin or procaine penicillin for 10-15 days.

Read More: Syphilis Symptoms

Treatment of later forms of syphilis is essentially the same as that of the earlier forms. The main important distinguishing factor is duration, which is often doubled or tripled compared to the earlier forms:

  • Benzathine penicillin G is given weekly over three consecutive weeks.
  • Procaine penicillin is administered daily for over 20 days.
  • Doxycycline, erythromycin, and azithromycin are given orally over 30 days.

The World Health Organization (WHO) also strongly recommends that stock-outs of benzathine penicillin in antenatal care should be avoided at all costs as the risks of congenital and disseminated disease are substantial.

Read More: Why Syphilis Tests for Home Use

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The main challenges of syphilis treatment continue to be access to proper healthcare and the availability of medications in poorer regions such as south-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, requiring greater efforts from the international community.

Read More: Syphilis in Ghana

Read More: STD’s in Ghana

References:

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2019/4562385/

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/229461-guidelines

https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/publications/rtis/syphilis-treatment-guidelines/en/

HIV Symptoms

HIV information

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is a sexually transmitted infection that attacks your immune system, thus compromising your body’s ability to fight disease. It’s quite prevalent in African countries such as Ghana, where the national prevalence of HIV is at 2.4%.  Luckily, with medication, most of the effects of HIV are subdued, and patients can live a long and healthy life.

However, medication is only effective if HIV treatment begins early. To ensure that you can catch HIV early, you should always be on the lookout for any symptoms of the virus. There are different stages of the virus, with different symptoms at each stage. Though symptoms may vary from person to person, here are a few common ones to keep in mind.

Read More: HIV and AIDS Overview

Read More: Signs and Symptoms of HIV and AIDS

Acute HIV Infection

This is the first stage, beginning two to four weeks after the virus enters your body. Most symptoms at this stage are flu-like and can last anywhere from a few days to a few weeks:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Aching Muscles
  • Sore Throat
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes
  • Fatigue

Not everyone will experience symptoms at this stage. Roughly 70% of HIV infected people will feel experience symptoms in stage 1.

Clinical Latent Infection

At this stage, the virus begins to spread slowly. At this stage, patients are likely to experience:

  • Fever
  • Tiredness
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight Loss
  • Thrush
  • Shingles

However, eventually, the flu-like symptoms go away, and most HIV infected people do not show any signs of carrying the disease. Yet they can still transmit it to other people. If the virus remains untreated, this stage can last for up to 15 years. However, it can also progress onto the next stage quicker than this.

AIDS

This is the last stage of the virus. It’s the point where the virus completely weakens your body’s immune system and progress to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS).

Symptoms of this stage include:

  • Weight Loss
  • Extreme Tiredness
  • Prolonged Swelling Of Lymph Glands
  • Persistent Diarrhoea
  • Pneumonia
  • Memory Loss
  • Depression
  • Night Sweats
  • White Spots On Your Tongue

Importance of detecting symptoms

The latency period of HIV makes it extremely important to spot the symptoms in stage 1. During stage 2, more often than not, no symptoms appear, and if you wait till stage 3 to get treatment, you may be too late.

The safest option is to take precautionary measures. Make sure to take part in awareness campaigns that your local government or NGOs may be organizing. These are great ways to make yourself more aware of how you can protect yourself.

A recent report found that rates of HIV in pregnant women in Ghana declined after they attended an antenatal clinic. It’s important to keep yourself aware in order to protect yourself from any possible way of transmission and get tested for HIV regularly.

Read More: HIV Treatment

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hiv-aids/symptoms-causes/syc-20373524

https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/overview/about-hiv-and-aids/symptoms-of-hiv

https://www.webmd.com/hiv-aids/understanding-aids-hiv-symptoms#1

https://www.ghanaweb.com/GhanaHomePage/NewsArchive/Greater-Accra-Ashanti-Regions-lead-in-HIV-prevalence-rate-651459#

Gonorrhea Symptoms

Gonorrhea information

Gonorrhea is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) caused by an infection with the bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. This infection, as the term implies, is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, including oral, vaginal, and anal sexual intercourse. Gonorrhea tends to infect warm, moist areas of the body such as the urethra, vagina, the female reproductive system, eyes, etc. Approximately 800,000 Gonorrhea cases have been estimated to occur each year in the United States alone. Luckily, most countries offer a free-of-charge diagnosis and treatment. In the following, we will explain the major signs and symptoms of Gonorrhea to help you learn how to recognize them and ask for help as soon as possible.

Read More: Gonorrhea Overview

The characteristic symptoms of Gonorrhea

The first signs and symptoms of Gonorrhea are expected to occur within two to fourteen days after the exposure. The biggest problem with Gonorrhea is that many individuals never develop any noticeable symptoms, thus exposing themselves to the great risks that come with leaving the infection untreated. In fact, research from 1974 has revealed that approximately 43% of the participants had no noticeable symptoms at all. These individuals also pose a risk of spreading the infection even further, since they are unaware of being the so-called nonsymptomatic carriers.

  • Symptoms in men

In men, the first symptom usually develops within the first week after exposure. In most cases, the first symptom is painful urination. As the infection progresses, other symptoms follow as well, including:

  • Frequent urination;
    • Urgency of urination;
    • A pus-like discharge of the penis, with a characteristic green, white, or yellowish color;
    • Swelling at the opening of the penis;
    • Swelling and pain in one testicle;
    • Persistent sore throat etc.
  • Symptoms in women

It is common for most women to not experience any symptoms at all. And when they do, the symptoms variate from mild to more severe and commonly mimic the symptoms of other health problems, making it a real challenge to make an accurate diagnosis. In women, the most characteristic symptoms are:

  • Painful urination;
    • Frequent urination;
    • Heavier menstrual periods;
    • Vaginal bleeding in-between menstrual periods;
    • Painful sexual intercourse;
    • Vulvar swelling;
    • Vaginal discharge, usually being watery or creamy, slightly greenish colored;
    • Fever;
    • Sharp abdominal pain;
    • Persistent sore throat, etc.

If any of these symptoms are present, do consult a doctor as soon as possible. Gonorrhea is diagnosed by taking a swab and a blood sample that is later analyzed. Antibiotics will help relieve the present symptoms and improve your health. Because of the potential complications, Gonorrhea represents a health issue that needs to be treated as soon as possible.

Read More: Gonorrhea in the eye

Read More: Gonorrhea in the Anus and Rectum

Read More: Gonorrhea Testing and Diagnosis

Gonorrhea, which is a common STD, threatens to cause difficult complications, including ectopic pregnancy, infertility, and even damage to your brain and spinal cord, among others, if left untreated. It is of vital importance for anyone who practices unprotected sex to remember the symptoms of Gonorrhea and get regularly tested for this, and all of the other common STDs as a way to protect their health.

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References

https://www.cdc.gov/std/gonorrhea/stdfact-gonorrhea.htm

http://www.intheknowzone.com/sexual-health-topics/gonorrhea/statistics.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1947122/

https://www.webmd.com/sexual-conditions/do-i-have-gonorrhea

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/gonorrhea/what-are-symptoms-gonorrhea

Syphilis Symptoms

Syphilis information

Caused by the bacteria called Treponema pallidum, Syphilis represents one of the many common sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Like the other common STIs, Syphilis as well is being transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse – oral, vaginal, and anal, and any direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

Read More: Signs and Symptoms of Syphilis

In 2016, there have been discovered over 88,000 cases of Syphilis in the United States alone. Further investigation has also shown that although the Syphilis rates among women have been declining, these very same rates have been increasing at the same time among men, especially men who are having unprotected sexual intercourse with other men.

Read More: Syphilis in Ghana

The common Syphilis symptoms

The Syphilis infection goes through four stages – primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary, with it being most infectious in the first and second stage. Let’s look into a bit more deeply in each of the four stages and the symptoms that are characteristic for them.

Primary stage

The primary stage begins within the first three to four weeks after the infection has been transmitted. The first symptom is a small, painless, yet highly infectious sore called chancre. The sore can occur anywhere on the body, such as on or inside the mouth, lips, genitalia, or the rectum. The present chancre heals itself within three to six weeks.

Secondary stage

The secondary stage begins within a few weeks after the first chancre has healed itself. In this stage, a characteristic rash that covers the whole body, including the palms of the hands and the soles of the feet, develops. In most cases, the rash is painless and may be accompanied by wartlike sores in the mouth or the genitalia. In this stage, other symptoms such as hair loss, muscle aches, fever, weight loss, and a sore throat may develop as well. It is characteristic for these symptoms to come and go away within a few weeks, for as long as one year.

Latent stage

If you have not received proper treatment in the first two stages of the infection, the infection will go into a latent stage. This is a stage in which the symptoms are hidden; however, the bacteria remain in the body. That way, the bacteria can be present in the body for a few years, before it progresses to the last stage – tertiary syphilis.

Tertiary stage

It has been suggested that 15-30% of the patients enter the tertiary stage because they have failed to receive proper treatment before. This stage poses the biggest threats to a person’s health, causing health issues such as:

  • Blindness;
    • Deafness;
    • Mental illnesses;
    • Stroke and meningitis;
    • An infection to the brain and/or spinal cord;
    • Paralysis;
    • Heart disease;
    • Memory loss, etc.

Knowing how easily treatable Syphilis is, thanks to the existence of Penicillin, no patient should risk his life, leaving this infection untreated. Although the symptoms might not sound scary enough, the complications of leaving Syphilis untreated sure do. If you notice any of the previously mentioned symptoms, do not hesitate to ask for help and save your life.

Read More: Syphilis Treatment

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1779891/

https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis-detailed.htm

https://www.cdc.gov/std/syphilis/stdfact-syphilis.htm

https://www.avert.org/sex-stis/sexually-transmitted-infections/syphilis

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/syphilis

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/syphilis/symptoms-causes/syc-20351756

HIV Treatment

HIV information

Though HIV cannot be cured completely, advances in modern medicine have made sure that patients of the disease can live long and healthy lives. Treatment for HIV can also bring the viral load of HIV down to undetectable levels, which means that those infected are not even at risk of transmitting the disease.

Antiretroviral Therapy (ART)

ART refers to using a combination of medicines to tackle HIV and manage the virus. ART includes taking different drugs from different classes, each tackling the virus in different ways. Currently, countries like Ghana use a triple combination of antiretrovirals.

What makes ART so effective is that it reduces the chances of the infection becoming drug-resistant. By combining different kinds of drugs, ART tackles the virus much more effectively. Currently, approximately 67% of adults with HIV in South Africa are using ART.

When Is the Right Time to Start Treatment?

ART was previously recommended to only those patients whose CD4 T cell count was below 350, depicting an alarming case of HIV. However, now medical practitioners recommend ART to anyone with detectable HIV, regardless of CD4 T cell count.

If your HIV test comes back positive, it’s essential that you begin treatment right away. Otherwise, the infection can spread to more cells, and It can become increasingly difficult to control it.

A report in Ghana showed that the later you chose to get treatment, the more expensive the initial cost was. In addition, while ART is slightly expensive at the beginning, the cost of the treatment steadily declines over time.

Read More: HIV Symptoms

Does Treatment Have Any Side Effects?

HIV treatment is no easy task. Patients of the infection become dependent on medication for the rest of their lives. They have to be particularly cautious of taking each medicine at the prescribed time because missing a dosage can be detrimental.

The treatment also comes with a few side effects. However, because ART entails a customized treatment plan for each patient, the side effects also differ from individual to individual.

Some common side effects that you’re likely to experience are:

  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Feelings of Weakness
  • Abnormal Levels of Cholesterol
  • High Blood Sugar

How Do You Know If the Treatment Is Working?

Your level of the viral load will effectively depict if the medication is working. Your doctor will monitor both your viral load and CD4 T cell count once you begin treatment. Your viral load should be tested every 3-4 months, and your CD4 T cell count should be checked every 3-6 months.

Once your viral load reached undetectable levels, you can rest assured that the treatment has worked. However, it’s important to remember than an undetectable level of the virus does not mean you are cured. You still have the virus, and if you stop taking the medication, the virus will soon become detectable again.

Read More: HIV and AIDS Overview

References:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/hiv-aids/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20373531

https://aidsinfo.nih.gov/understanding-hiv-aids/fact-sheets/21/51/hiv-treatment–the-basics#:~:targetText=Antiretroviral%20therapy%20(ART)%20is%20the%20use%20of%20HIV%20medicines%20to,HIV%20live%20longer%2C%20healthier%20lives.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5642329/

https://aidsfree.usaid.gov/sites/default/files/gh_guidelines_arv_therapy.pdf

Genital Herpes Symptoms

Herpes Information

Genital herpes is recognized as a sexually transmitted disease that is caused by the Herpes simplex virus.

Herpes simplex virus, however, is of two types, namely: Type I and II. While type II is the main cause of genital herpes, Type I, although not prevalent, can also cause it.

It is transferred from one person to another person during sexual intercourse. As a matter of fact, even if the symptoms of the virus have not begun to manifest on the carrier, it can, and will still be communicated, as long as there is sexual contact.

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An interesting point of note, however, is, using protection like condoms or being ‘careful’ does not guarantee protection from the transmission of this infection. The reason being that while condom protects a major part of the sexual organ of the uninfected partner (mostly the man), the uncovered skin could still provide enough room for the transmission of this virus.

The disadvantage of relying on the appearance of symptoms before checking your status is that for genital herpes, the symptoms may not manifest until months or even years, after contracting the disease. Unfortunately, just like earlier mentioned, you can still transmit the infection to your subsequent sexual partners.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

What then are the Symptoms of Genital herpes?

With the alarming rate of these viral infections, it is highly important to project the symptoms to reduce its spread in Africa. Africa is still well behind the western world in the control of viral infections like these.

In almost all cases of genital herpes, all or some of the following symptoms have always presented themselves, depending on the type of the Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) involved, and the duration of contracting the infection before treatment begins.

The skin around the genital areas of an infected person is, mostly, cracked and dry and/or the evidence of reddened areas around the genitals that present, initially, without itching, pain, or any tingling sensation.

Read More: Genital Herpes Overview

Genital Herpes – if left untreated

If still left untreated, small blisters begin to crack up into painful sores. It is usually noticed around the sexual organ or anal region – including the butt. Also, it could be discovered on the inner thighs close to the perineum, even the lower or rectal area.

Occasionally, the blisters could present inside the urinary tube called the urethra – a tube enclosed within the body of the female and the penis of the male that serves as a conduit for carrying urine outside the body.

Subsequently, there is painful urination, especially seen in females. This occurs as a result of the open sores around and on the urinary opening.

Conclusively, below, is a list of profound symptoms common to both genders:

  • Cracked, raw, or red areas around the genitalia without pain, itching, or tingling;
  • Tingling sensation or itching around the genitalia or anus;
  • Infected persons also suffer headaches as a result of this infection;
  • Backaches can be very frequent with infected persons;
  • Flu-like symptoms also occur in infected persons. These symptoms are fever, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. 
  • Headaches;
  • Fever, incessant fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes are also symptoms that manifest from this condition.

There is no cure for general herpes, but the symptoms can be lessened and prevented with treatment.

Read More: Gonorrhea Treatment

Chlamydia symptoms

Chlamydia Information

Despite the numerous campaigns for raising awareness of the dangers of unprotected sex, many sexually transmitted infections, like chlamydia, are still a serious burden for people in developing countries, especially in Ghana.  With women considered to be at the highest risk of developing this infection compared to men, research shows.

Based on studies targeted towards the frequency of STIs (sexually transmitted infections) in Ghana, out of 186 people tested 167 had chlamydia, 24% being men, and 76% women.

According to statistics, 131 million people across the world are infected with chlamydia. This makes Chlamydia 50 times more common than any other STIs, including gonorrhea and syphilis. This serious infection can cause permanent damage resulting in infertility if left untreated.

Identifying the symptoms of this infection on time can help stop it from spreading. The symptoms can be treated and managed with the proper antibiotics only if caught on time. However, there is one problem – chlamydia is a sneaky infection. Based on records, 70% of women don’t even know they are infected with chlamydia and often mistake the symptoms for something else.

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Symptoms of Chlamydia

Most of the symptoms will need weeks to show, but they do appear in both women and men. Here is a list of some of the most common symptoms people can experience.

  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Painful intercourse
  • Fever
  • Extreme need to urinate too often
  • Burning or painful urinating
  • Bleeding when not on period
  • Soft or swollen testicles
  • Milky discharge from the penis

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Symptoms of Chlamydia in the Eyes and Anus

Chlamydia doesn’t only affect the reproductive organs; it also infects other parts of the body, including the eyes and anus. If these parts of the body come in contact with infected vaginal fluid or semen, the infection can pass onto the areas and cause numerous problems. Here are some of the most common ways to recognize this infection.

  • Pain/bleeding/discharge from the anus
  • Pain/redness/discharge from the eyes

Since most of the symptoms are difficult to point out or won’t even show, it’s crucial to get tested. This is the only sure way to make sure if a person is infected. The ideal way to do it is to go to youth centers, colleges, or pharmacies where they offer to test.

Read More: Chlamydia in the Eye

Read More: Why get Tested for Chlamydia

Proper Diagnosis

If you suspect you have any STIs, you may have to go for a physical exam to check if any of the symptoms you are experiencing have to do with chlamydia. At the end of the exam, a swab sample from the affected area can be taken; this includes the reproductive organs, rectum, throat, or a sample from the urine. This can help conclude if there is a need for treatment or any need for antibiotics. That’s why it’s crucial to get tested.

Read More: Chlamydia Treatment

References

https://www.who.int/reproductivehealth/topics/rtis/stis-new-treatment-guidelines/en/

https://www.plannedparenthood.org/learn/stds-hiv-safer-sex/chlamydia/chlamydia-symptoms

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/chlamydia/symptoms/

http://www.ijstr.org/final-print/jan2014/Chlamydia-Trachomatis-Prevalence-In-Ghana-A-Study-At-A-Municipal-District-In-Western-Ghana.pdf

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/8181.php

Why Is It Important to Get Tested for STDs?

Online STI Test Kits For Home Use

STDs stand for sexually transmitted diseases, among which the most common are Gonorrhea, Syphilis, genital herpes, Chlamydia, AIDS, and many others. As the term suggests, STDs are diseases caused by viruses or bacteria that are transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse, including oral, vaginal, and anal sexual intercourse.

Sex is still a taboo in many countries, including Ghana, which only contributes to the widespread of the many possible STDs. Back in 2017, it has been revealed that Gonorrhea has affected approximately 6.6% of the women and 3.5% of the men in Ghana.  The prevalence of the HSV-1 and HSV-2 (Herpes Simplex Virus) was also high in the female population in Ghana. And syphilis has been found to be present within 2.7% of the women in Ghana as well. The prevalence of HIV in the adult population in Ghana was reported to be around 2.4%, being especially high in the Volta Region.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Read More: Syphilis in Ghana

Read More: Genital Herpes in Ghana

5 Reasons why it is important to get tested for STDs

Here you get 5 reasons to get tested for STDS

It is an easy and quick procedure

For most STDs, the diagnosis includes taking a blood sample, a urine sample, or a simple swap. This is a process that can take anywhere from a few minutes to a couple of hours. It is simple, easy, and quick, and not to mention that in most countries, testing for any STD is free of charge.

Early diagnosis is the key

Early diagnosis is the key to most health problems, including STDs. By detecting an existing STD in its early stages, you are increasing the success of treating and even curing it. Although learning that you are struggling with an STD can be scary, it should not hold you back from doing what is best for your health.

There is the proper treatment for most STDs available

Science has offered us proper treatment methods for most STDs, making it even possible for them to be cured. Even the hardest STDs can be properly treated and maintained so that the patient enjoys a good lifestyle and health quality as much as possible. The first step is getting diagnosed.

Read More: All you need to know about STD’s in Africa

Often STD symptoms are not visible

Unfortunately, many STDs are not causing any symptoms or are causing only mild symptoms until they enter a late stage. Once they enter a late stage, the damage is greater, and the treatment is harder and longer. If you suspect that you might have an STD, you should definitely get tested. For most STDs, their symptoms are not visible by the human eye, and testing is the only way to find out if they are present or not.

Testing helps protect your health

STDs threaten to reduce the quality of your health, introducing various health risks into your life. Infertility, cervical cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, damage to the internal organs, are only some of the potential health risks due to undiagnosed and untreated STD.

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Any STD should be reported to a health professional as soon as its first symptoms occur. However, that is often not the case. While feeling ashamed is probably the most common reason to not report a present STD, people, especially in Ghana and Africa in general, often fail to find a proper health professional that can diagnose and properly treat their health issue. It is of high importance to consult a doctor about any present health issue, including a present STD. And here are five reasons why you would consider talking to a doctor about it.

References

https://www.iamat.org/country/ghana/risk/sexually-transmitted-infections

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0205863

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6081947/

https://tradingeconomics.com/ghana/prevalence-of-syphilis-percent-of-women-attending-antenatal-care-wb-data.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5998162/

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/sexually-transmitted-diseases-stds/diagnosis-treatment/drc-20351246

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/8261726

https://www.parkview.com/community/dashboard/the-risks-of-untreated-stds

Chlamydia in Ghana

Like in many of the sub-Saharan countries, Ghana struggles with the scourge of sexually transmitted diseases. Chlamydia is most common in the recent emerging studies. It is due to a combination of factors and ignorance. Though the disease can be fatal, the population is still adamant about coming forth for testing. With retrogressive traditional beliefs, most men are suffering in silence.

Demographic Prevalence of Chlamydia

The hindrance of having precise statistics is the laying back of men to come for testing. However, with the scanty tests that are available, it proves that men are more prevalent in getting chlamydia than women. Despite the statistics, there is a low drive in civic education in combating the spread of venereal disease. Most young men are engaging in multiple sexual activities without any meaningful protection.

In the geographical distribution, fewer women in big cities like Accra and Kumasi show fewer numbers in findings than in the countryside. However, it does not indicate that the cities are clean of the disease. Nonetheless, it could mean that most women in big urban centers are more aware of their role in using protection during sexual encounters.

Repercussions of Untreated Chlamydia in Women

The statistics of the infections in women are rising. This is because women undergo several screening tests during their pregnancy periods. Still, most of them discover they have the disease when the damage to the pregnancy is done. The typical outcomes of untreated infections in pregnant women are many.

They range from tubal infections, stillbirth, congenital deformations, and pre-term labor. Other manifestations include giving birth to low weight babies, and babies with traces of the disease. The most significant setback is the delivery of most women in the countryside through traditional midwives. Likewise, there is a culture of overdependence on conventional herbs.

Mitigation Measures on Chlamydia in Ghana

The fight against chlamydia and other related diseases is poorly gaining ground due to several factors. Most of the men do not come forward for testing and subsequent treatment. For those who do, they do not come back after three months for confirmation of cure.

There is a culture of multiple sexual partners in most young people. This aids in the spread of the disease, mostly in institutions of higher learning. It is an epidemic that is coupled with diverse catalysts. Similarly, there are many instances where victims of the disease opt for over the counter medication rather than proper consultation. When the symptoms cease, one leaves the drug.

With a combination of all the above and other traditional beliefs of witchcraft, the fight against chlamydia will be slow in Ghana. Most people who keep suffering are women and unborn children. Indeed, the relevant authorities need to gain momentum.

References

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-4035-y

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2956315/

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/bmri/2016/9315757/

http://ugspace.ug.edu.gh/bitstream/handle/123456789/23459/Multiple%20Sexual%20Partnerships%20and%20Sexually%20Transmitted%20Infections.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Syphilis in Ghana

Like many of the other sexually transmitted diseases, Syphilis seems to be following the same trend in Ghana. The women are more proactive in seeking medication for this disease than men. Syphilis is a crippling disease for many people. If you do not seek immediate medical attention, your genitalia and reproductive system may suffer irreparable damage.

Most of the statistics in Ghana are dependent on the few who come forward. The biggest fight should be against stigmatization and ignorance. Many people reach out for self-medication when they notice specific changes in the genitals. This creates a long term resistance to the disease.

Syphilis Statistics in Ghana

It is a tricky affair to have a real picture of Syphilis infections in the country. Most of the people who come forward are pregnant women. In some campaign drives, the pattern still comes out in the predicted forecast. The men are more susceptible to the disease than women. Despite the glaring facts, there is a shortfall of zeal in managing ignorance in most people. Thus, the government must address the position of men in leading the testing and treatment campaigns.

In the women population, the prevalence is high in rural married women. That poses a great danger in society. If the infections are within married couples, it shows the high rates of extramarital affairs. In comparison to the urban women, the prevailing rates are lower than their rural counterparts. The question comes, what are the urban women doing, right? Ignorance might be the difference. In the urban setup, women understand better the options of safe sex. Again, they have better resources and living standards of bargaining for safer sex.

Poverty is a significant indicator of the spread of the disease. From the numbers of positive testing coming from the rural and urban poor, it must be clear that prostitution may be a contributing factor. But more civic research needs to be there for any confirmation of the same.

Mitigating the Spread of Syphilis

Since the statistics coming in are less than adequate, it will take hard work for the relevant agencies to plan for any meaningful campaign. With more stakeholders joining in, the general feeling is, the numbers derived from pregnant women may not be sufficient. So there is a need for more sensitization and testing.

Even without the requisite statistics in place, the government should engage the people for a mitigating policy. The apparent indicators point to women and poverty. Rural women should be empowered to bargain for safe sex. The poor should be given a chance to have dignity and a decent living. If that can be the start, there can be a decisive long term policy for a more significant recovery.

References

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-3967-6

https://sti.bmj.com/content/87/Suppl_1/A119.1

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/276484782_Seroprevalence_of_Syphilis_Infection_in_Individuals_at_Cape_Coast_Metropolis_Ghana

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5998162/