How Aware are Africans of STDs? Take a Look At This Recent Survey

How Aware are Africans of STDs? Take a Look At This Recent Survey Image

STDs are a massive health burden, particularly in low-income regions like the African continent. They’ve also had massive economic and social consequences. 

Recently, however, more countries and organizations have organized courses, centers, and volunteers to educate the African population on STDs’ importance, like syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, etc. In some areas, the infection rates have been dropping. But, there is still a huge number of people infected.

The question is, have these efforts paid off? How many Africans are actually aware of STDs? We’ve decided to take a closer look at rural communities and poorer African regions. Here is what a recent statistical survey has to say. 

HIV Awareness in Africa

Over 68% of people infected with HIV live in Africa. In 2018, 800,000 new infections were registered in the southern and eastern parts of this continent. Does that mean not many people are aware of the infection?

Researchers asked over 1 million Africans from 35 countries, whether they think condoms will reduce the chance of contracting HIV. 66.8% of the participants answered “yes.” But, when they were asked whether sex will expose them to HBV, just 42.5% answered “yes.” 

In South Africa, researchers asked a different question. They gathered over 11,000 participants between the ages of 15 to 25. They were asked whether they understand the risk of HIV. Only 42.5% answered, “yes.” 

Another topic covered in the survey was mosquito bites. When asked whether they think a mosquito bite can get them infected with HIV, 16.8% of the 95,856 Nigerian citizens answered “yes.”

Based on reports, when a mosquito bites, only the saliva is injected into the human blood. Not the HIV positive cells. Compared to other mosquito-borne diseases, HIV is not one of them. The insect’s gut can’t replicate the HIV cells, which means it gets broken down before it can actually get transmitted. 

STDs Awareness in Africa

The African population is still not fully aware of the impact of HIV, let alone STIs. 

It seems there is still a place to implement the need to share knowledge. When asked if they are familiar with gonorrhea, only 22.8% of the 1,123 people evaluated in Madagascar and Nigeria answered “yes.” 

Their main sources of information came from friends or colleagues. But, in regions such as these, awareness should be enforced, experts recommend. By highlighting the impact of infections like STIs and HIV, we can reduce the gap of weakness and lack of knowledge and increase the quality of life.

References:

https://www.avert.org/global-hiv-and-aids-statistics

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0213224

https://www.nature.com/scitable/blog/viruses101/why_cant_mosquitos_transmit_hiv/

Risks Factors for Coerced Sex Among Female Youth in Ghana

Risks Factors for Coerced Sex Among Female Youth in Ghana Image

High rates of coerced sex among female youth in Ghana remains a huge public health concern. 

Sexual victimization is recognized as a human right violation and also as the main threat to the wellness of females.

It’s experiences have adverse mental, physical, and behavioral consequences that have been reported by studies across the world.

The most common and well-recorded consequences of sexual victimization are the effects on adolescent female reproductive and sexual health, including  STIs and HIV infection, unwanted pregnancies, and pregnancy complications (miscarriage, stillbirth, and low birth weight).

Identifying the risk factors that contribute to coerced sex among female youth will help us prevent the consequences and long-lasting negative impact of sexual victimization.

The common risk factors include:

Relationship Status

An intimate relationship is one of the primary sexual coercion risk factors. According to research, coerced sex is perpetuated with known victims, particularly those partners in intimate relationships and not strangers. 

Various studies have linked characteristics like age, power, and socioeconomic differentials between partners as the factors increasing the risks of coerced sex in intimate relationships. However, there is no evidence suggesting that a romantic relationship can increase the risk of coerced sex.

 The prevalence of sexual victimization in women with a history of sexual activity or multiple partners is high. Though most research excludes inexperienced females, yet they’re also at risk of coerced sex.

But this is understandable because this exclusion might be attributed to school status. Many in-school females are at a lower risk of being coerced into sex than those out-of-school.

School enrolment, act as a powerful impediment to the formation of intimate relationships. Even though schools provide a suitable environment to meet males and form relationships.

Multiple studies show that enrolled females are less likely to get involved in sex or be in romantic relationships.

Family Structure and Process

Family structure and process may increase or decrease the female risk against coerced sex. This depends directly on the family relationship experience.

Many studies have focused on one aspect of the family process and that’s behavioral control. This aspect includes monitoring of female youths by parents or other adult family members.

Also, it includes house rules and how consistently the rules are being enforced. Research suggests that behavioral control and parental monitoring prevents sexual activity among U.S. adolescents.

In Ghana and other parts of sub-Saharan Africa, studies have found that monitoring by both parents and other family members has resulted in reduced risk of sexual activities among the youth.

Therefore, closely monitored female youths are less likely to get involved in romantic activities. Besides, if they do get involved, behavioral control might limit the opportunities of male partners to coerce them into having sex.

Societal Factors

Social factors such as male dominance promote gender inequalities, which consistently reinforces the male perception of violence against females.  This increases the risk of sexual victimization.

Tradition norms involving gender roles, the existence of a philosophy of male sexual entitlement, the social norm that supports sexual assault,  and weak legal sanction against sexual assault in African countries need to be addressed to prevent victimization.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4493860/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15590381/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16566848/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11389258/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17027732/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4493860/#R28

Sex Workers in Africa Lack Food for Taking HIV Drugs During Coronavirus Outbreak

Sex Workers in Africa Lack Food for Taking HIV Drugs During Coronavirus Outbreak Image

Due to the outbreak of coronavirus, people of all the occupations and professions from across the world are affected. The pandemic has now become a global crisis and threatens in various ways. But specifically, the people of Africa are in the flames who work on the streets to earn their living. Many sex workers from Africa have reported that lockdown due to COIVID-19 has kept almost all of their customers away. So, they have less or even no money to buy the necessary food for their families. 

Mignonne Story


For example, 25 years old Mignonne says that when she doesn’t have food to eat, her HIV antiviral drugs cause weakness, pain, and even nausea. She added that, at times, she even passes out. Mignonne added in her interview that if I don’t take the drugs, I can quickly die.


The same is the case with all the other places in Africa. Unfortunately, Africa has the highest HIV rate as compared to the rest of the world. According to LSHTM research (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine), many African countries have excluded sex workers from there social protection programs due to the global pandemic crisis. It makes sex workers as the most marginalized and compromised group.

Even Rwanda is in Danger


Only Rwanda still stands out even in these conditions. The progress in controlling HIV in Rwanda is very praisable. Because it offers antiretroviral therapy to everyone totally free. The records show that the HIV prevalence in Rwanda has been kept at three percent for over a decade. As a result, new cases of HIV infected people are dropping.
But due to the current situation, the health experts have shown their concerns that this progress can drop drastically. Moreover, UNAID has also announced, there is a strong possibility of an HIV drug shortage for the next couple of months.

Official Concerns


A Kenyan coordinator, “Grace Kamau,” said in the webinar regarding sex workers that they are engaging in unsafe sex practices. Now we are not able to access and get the prevention tools and medication that we used to.


The National Association (Supports HIV infected people) coordinator Deborah Mukasekuru said that it is one of the most difficult times. She added the national association is trying to mobilize as much food as it can for the sex workers. But there are too many of them, and it is not possible to reach them all. At this crucial time, the government is not to be blamed because COVID-19 caught everyone unaware.

Conclusion


It is one of the most crucial and challenging times for all sex workers in the world. But Africa, due to its poverty, is at the red line. Critics say that if they do not die of the coronavirus, the hunger will kill them.

References:

https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-07-04/sex-workers-lack-food-for-taking-hiv-drugs-during-covid-19

What The US Can Learn from Rwanda on Dealing with Cervical Cancer

What The US Can Learn from Rwanda on Dealing with Cervical Cancer Image

It’s hard to believe that there is something a small nation like Rwanda can teach the US (a first world country).  But surprisingly there is- Rwanda made history by becoming the first African nation to launch a countrywide cervical cancer prevention program.

In 2010 that country entered an agreement with Merck pharmaceuticals to vaccinate Rwanda girls against Human Papilloma Virus(HPV).  In 2013, the country started immunizing girls aged 11 to 12 against HPV, the primary cause of cervical cancer.  

So, it’s no surprise that today they have a 93%  vaccination rate among adolescent girls. The approach that Rwanda took to reduce the rate of cervical cancer in the country proves that we can eliminate cancer across the world if we achieve high vaccination coverage.

So how did a country that was once ranked the poorest in the word eliminate cervical cancer, when high-income like the US and France couldn’t achieve high vaccine coverage?

The truth is it wasn’t easy! There were lots of cultural barriers against the vaccine program, and talking about sex was taboo in the country.  Also, there were rumors that the vaccine could make Rwanda women infertile, so some parents were hesitant to allow their daughters to be part of the program.

However, Rwanda enlisted the help of an army of educators- teachers, community health workers, church leaders and nurses to educate its people on the importance of the vaccination. Now even the US cannot compete with Rwanda in HPV vaccination coverage.

Over 8 million American teens are currently suffering from some kind of HPV virus. The country reports over 4,000 women die of cervical cancer and over 13,000 are diagnosed with it every year.  But still, its only 49% of the adolescent teen between the age of 13 to 17 who have received HPV vaccines.

The low rates of immunization against HPV in the US are contributed by the myth that the vaccine increases promiscuity and its dangerous.  These kinds of bogus claims hinder the efforts of the Government and Big Pharmaceuticals in combating cervical cancer prevalence in the County.

Luckily, there is still hope. In May 2019,  the VACCINES Act was introduced to the House. If the bill passes, it will allow funding for the CDC to carry out research on the vaccine averseness and increase public awareness on the benefits of the HPV immunization.

States are also taking action- Virginia, District of Columbia, and Rhode Island require students to get vaccinated for HPV before they join secondary school. Other states have passed laws to permit minors to undergo HPV vaccination even when the parent is against it.

The cost of Cervical cancer is high, and it involves a painful surgery, therefore prevention is the best solution. Australia and Scotland have already made plans to follow in the footsteps of Rwanda. 

It’s therefore prime time for the US to participate by increasing immunization rates through HPV vaccination for both boys and girls and the house passing the VACCINES Act.

References

http://www.moh.gov.rw/index.php

https://thehill.com/opinion/healthcare/456933-the-us-can-learn-from-rwanda-on-stamping-out-cervical-cancer

https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/91/9/12-116087/en/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4662515/

https://dash.harvard.edu/bitstream/handle/1/27662069/4877733.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3790215/

Three African Skeletons from Early Colonial Mexico Reveals the Tale of First-Generation Slaves

Three African Skeletons from Early Colonial Mexico Reveals the Tale of First-Generation Slaves Image

In 1518, Charles 1 of Spain issued an authorization to transport African Slaves to Mexico. The slaves were forcefully abducted into the transatlantic slave trade and taken to Mexico. Centuries later, the heritage of the slaves has become an important aspect of the cultural and genetic heritage carried by the larger population of Mexicans.

Study Reveals a lot of Things About Slaves

The findings published by Current Biology offers insights into the lives and health status of the first generation African Slaves before and after they were forced into a life of slavery. The study is based on the analysis of the remains of three Africans who were buried in the 16th Century mass grave discovered at the San José de Los Naturales Royal hospital in Mexico. 

Researchers discovered that the front teeth of the three individual had decorative modifications which are consistent with the ritual practices observed in African slaves in Portugal. The practice is still practiced today by sub-Saharan people living in West Africa.  When the genetic information of the individual’s teeth was extracted, it confirmed they were indeed Africans, perhaps among the earliest to be forcefully brought to America.

Genetic analysis also indicated that the partial linage of all the individuals carried a Y -Chromosome, which is highly predominant in West African and also a common amongst African Americans.  The genetic signature obtained from the molars showed that the three men originated from parts of Western or Sothern Africa. The isotopic and genetic data extracted from the teeth of the three Africans indicate that they were both born and raised outside Mexico.

According to Lourdes Marquez, Muffin, an archeologist, the trauma etched on their skeletons showed that they were slaves. Osteological analysis of their bone revealed a life of hardship, conflict, and trauma once they arrived in Mexico. Anthropologists discovered large muscle attachments on the upper body of one of the skeletons, which point to continuous physical labor.  One of the individuals was found with healing needles (used in traditional medicines) in the thoracic cavity as well as a gunshot wound. The second individual showed thinning of the skull bones, mainly associated with anemia and malnutrition. The third guy’s skeleton indicated the signature of stress from demanding physical labor, as well as a poorly healed broken leg.  

Study Revealed Slaves Were Infected With Several Viruses and Bacteria

From the remains, researchers also uncovered the genetic material of two pathogens that infected the two individuals when they were still alive. One individual suffered from the hepatitis B virus, which is usually found in West Africa. While the other one was infected with a bacterium (Treponema pallidum), a causative agent of yawsa disease that shares similarity with syphilis, both microbes were closely related to African strains, meaning that they contracted the infections in Africa before they were forced into slavery and bought to Mexico. 

Osteobiographies of these men showed they suffered a tremendous ordeal, but they survived.  Their tale is one of hardship but also strength. They endured and adapted to the changes inflicted on them.  Scientists are yet to find a link between the deaths of these individuals and the hardship they experienced; scientists are not sure what killed them. 

Even though they were buried in a mass grave in the colonial hospital cemetery that can be linked to an epidemic like measles or smallpox, scientists didn’t find any sign of infectious disease in their remains. 

These findings paint a clear picture of the cruelty of the transatlantic slave trade and its biological impact on the people living in this new world. Also, it shows us that it’s not always about the Native (American) or European experiences; the Africans are part of the story too.

References

https://www.cell.com/current-biology/pdf/S0960-9822(20)30482-6.pdf

https://ecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=3408&context=luc_theses

https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Dental-Modifications-in-a-Skeletal-Sample-of-Found-Wasterlain-Neves/e3eefcca22a6268590c3a555366105108f649223

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/08/14/magazine/1619-america-slavery.html

https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-319-22330-8_9

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6013024/

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2018/07/remote-pacific-island-doctor-has-revived-60-year-quest-eradicate-disfiguring-disease

Human T- cell Leukemia Virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and type -2 (HTLV-2) in Africa

HTLV (Type 1 and 2) in Africa Image

Human T- cell Leukemia Virus type 1 (HTLV-1) and type -2 (HTLV-2) are closely related, but distinct retroviruses endemic in Africa.  They are highly transmissible and casually linked to different severe diseases.

An epidemiological study carried out in Gabon revealed that the prevalence of HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 is 7.3% and 0.1%, respectively.  The prevalence of these retroviruses has escalated over the years from North to South African, varying from 0.6% in Morocco, to 5% in several sub-Saharan countries like Cameroon, Benin, DRC Congo, and Guinea Bissau.  HTLV-2 is mostly observed in people in Western Africa.

What is (HTLV-1) and (HTLV-2)?

HTLV is a retrovirus that infects the white blood cells called T-lymphocyte/T-cell. These cells play an important role in the body’s immunity. HTLV (also known as the Human T-cell lymphotropic virus )  falls in the same family as HIV (Human immunodeficiency virus), the only difference is that it doesn’t cause AIDS (Immune Deficiency Syndrome), but they’re transmitted in the same way. 

Transmission

HTLV type-1 and type- 2 require cell-to-cell contact for efficient transmission. Transmission occurs through:

  • Sexual intercourse
  • Mother-to-child transmission during pregnancy
  • Sharing of needles and syringes
  • Transfusion of cellular blood components
  • Breastfeeding

Signs and Symptoms of (HTLV-1) and (HTLV-2)

HTLV-1 and HTLV-2 generally cause no signs and symptoms, although people infected with HTLV-1 might develop HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/ tropical spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP), adult T-cell leukemia (ATL), and other diseases. 

About 2% of People infected with HTLV-1 will develop HAM/TSP.  This is a chronic and progressive nervous system disease. Its signs and symptoms include:

  • Unexplained fall
  • Constipation
  • Urinary inconsistency
  • Numbness and pain in the lower limb
  • Low back pains 

In the later years, patients will experience progressive leg weakness, followed by the exasperation of the urinary and sensory symptoms.  While patients might still walk after one or two decades, others might be confident in wheelchairs for months after the onset of the disease. 

Those who will develop ATL – a type of cancer caused by the abnormal multiplication of white blood cell might experience symptoms like:

  • Fatigue
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Skin rash
  • Fever and sweats
  • Frequent infections

HTLV-1 might also cause arthritis, uveitis, myositis, alveoli is and dermatitis. HTLV-2 isn’t linked to any specific disease, but researcher speculates that it might later result in neurological conditions like:

  • Gait Abnormalities
  • Sensory neuropathies
  • Mild cognitive impairment
  • Erectile dysfunction 
  • Motor abnormalities

 Diagnosis

Human T-cell leukemia virus, type 1 and type 2 are often diagnosed based on blood tests to identify antibodies to the virus.  

However, most people in Africa suffering from both HTLV-1 and 2 are rarely diagnosed because they never develop any signs or symptoms related to the infection. 

They only to discover they have the virus after undergoing screening for blood donation or blood testing for adult T-cell leukemia (ATL) or HTLV-1 associated myelopathy/ tropical spastic Paraparesis (HAM/TSP).

Treatment                                                     

There are no specific drugs or vaccine to date for HTLV-1 and HTLV-2.  They can only be managed if detected early and prevented from spreading to uninfected persons. People with T-cell lymphoma/leukemia can access various treatments, options like chemotherapy, stem cell transplants, and antiviral drugs.

Promoting safe sex, discouraging the sharing of needles, and screening can lower the number of infections. Mother to child transmission can be managed and reduced by the screening of a pregnant mother, so they can avoid breastfeeding their babies.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00021234.htm

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2901658/

https://jvi.asm.org/content/72/9/7664

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/13550289709015802

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/2879950/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC164244/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4678997/

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/hodgkin-lymphoma/treating/high-dose-chemo-and-stem-cell.html

http://htlvaware.com/uploads/2/1/5/5/21557664/htlv_inflam_2014.pdf

Current COVID-19 Pandemic as A Trauma Trigger for Gay Men Around the World

Coronavirus Lockdown May Help Reduce The Spread of STDs Image

A recent article was written by Alex Bitterman, a professor, and chairperson in the Department of Architecture and Digest at SUNY Alfred State seems to be what everyone is talking about. In his article, Alex Bitterman is comparing the effects that two pandemics have had on the global population, especially on gay men. He is comparing the current COVID-19 pandemic with the AIDS/HIV pandemic that happened in the early 80s. 

As he explains, the current pandemic is similar to the one that had happened when AIDS/HIV first occurred. Much like then, we are now practicing self-isolation and social distancing as a way to protect ourselves during these rather uncertain times. Although not many may remember, this is exactly how gay men have been feeling when HIV/AIDS first struck the Earth. 

Knowing nothing about the new disease, having no vaccine, or treatment available that they could rely on is similar to how the entire world is feeling now whenever they think about COVID-19. Alex Bitterman explained his current situation as one filled with panic – a situation that serves a trauma trigger for anyone who has been living through the HIV/AIDS pandemic since it has first started. 

To make things even worse, COVID-19 has spread even quicker than HIV/AIDS, affecting every continent and almost every country in a matter of a few months. But there is one difference that he reminds us of and that is – COVID-19, unlike HIV/AIDS does not focus on impacting the gay and bi men in the world, but rather does not choose whether it will be children, men, or women of any age that will be affected by it, potentially even putting an end to their lives if they shift their focus for only a minute away from following the provided prevention guidelines. 

For COVID-19 it does not matter whether you are rich, poor, black, white, young, or old as we have seen so far. Any gay/bi man who has been affected by HIV/AIDS could confirm that HIV/AIDS comes more than just the characteristic symptoms, it also comes with shame, guilt, and discrimination that these men are feeling because of the disease that has entered their body and live. 

Alex Bitterman also talks about how important it is not to let that happen to anyone who has been affected by COVID-19. He alerts that now is the time to focus on finding a solution, a treatment, that will stop this pandemic from spreading even further. And we could not agree with him more. Faced with such a horrible situation, we need to work together on finding a cure and a vaccine that can help us protect the most fragile ones. And maybe we can use this experience that we have now to make a better effort at finding a solution for anyone who has been affected by HIV/AIDS in the future.

References

https://www.advocate.com/commentary/2020/5/11/many-gay-men-current-pandemic-triggering-hivaids-trauma

Can STD Cause a Man Not to Get Erection?

Can STD Cause a Man Not to Get Erection? Image

Getting an erection can mean life and death to a man. When you cannot get your penile functions in order, other triggers set in your life, you may suffer low self-esteem and get a severe erectile dysfunction. Out of the several things that may cause erectile dysfunction, today, we will look at the effect of sexually transmitted diseases. Can a sexually transmitted disease cause a man not to get hard? We will endeavor to get to the bottom of it.

What is an erection?

It is the hardening of the penis when a man gets arousal ready for sex. It is sometimes known as getting hard. When a man gets arousal, the body pumps blood into the penile arteries. The blood inflates the penis and expands its size. In the process, the penile tissues become harder than usual to effect good penetration during intercourse. Apart from the blood, the prostate gland also aids in the sexual functions of a man. It helps control the ejaculation and control of the bladder during sex.

Sexually transmitted diseases

These are diseases that pass over from one person to another through sexual intercourse. They first manifest in and around the genitals. Later they may affect the other body organs depending on the type of bacteria or virus. The most common sexually transmitted diseases are viral and bacterial. They include human papillomavirus, HIV, herpes, and hepatitis. The bacterial infections are syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea. Whereas the viral infections attack the other body parts, the bacterial infections stay in the genitals. They tend to attack organs that aid the reproductive system of a man.

It is difficult to know if you have an infection until the clinical manifestations occur. The symptoms of most bacterial infections appear around the genitals. They include rashes, penile discharge, painful urinating, and blockage of the scrotum passages. It usually takes about four days for the initial signs to appear. By this time, the damage of the organs is already ongoing. With a proper diagnosis, the infections can be reversed completely.

Erectile dysfunction

If you do not get a quick diagnosis and treatment, the damage can be severe. Since the symptoms become evident after days, the organs usually suffer damage without your knowledge. Thus get proper treatment from a doctor. After the treatment, go back for checkups to confirm that all the organs are in order. If the confirmation comes early enough, the reproductive organs will be safe from damage. 

Sexually transmitted diseases and the prostate

The prostate gland is responsible for some functions of the penis during the process of sexual arousal. When you get a sexually transmitted bacterial disease, the infection can get to the prostate. In fact, the bacteria gain access to the prostate through the bloodstream. As the prostate gland becomes weaker, so does your reproductive system. The prevalent sexual infections that damage the prostate are chlamydia and gonorrhea.

With a defective prostate, you will gradually decrease your erection strength. Infections in the urinary tract and blockages in the scrotum may lead to painful erections. It, in turn, inhibits your urge for sex. Physically, you will be getting less and less stronger erections until the body loses its sex drive. It is good that once you get a sexually transmitted disease infection, see a doctor immediately. Discuss with your doctor the implications of the secondary infections to other body organs. If possible, get the medication of the secondary infections. 

Remedies for sexually transmitted disease erectile dysfunction

When you do not get an erection due to a sexually transmitted disease, you need to see a doctor. The apparent concern should be secondary damage affecting your penile functions. The doctor should be able to diagnose if the damage is curable through simple medication or surgery. Whichever the case, discuss all the repercussions with your doctor. When the urologist discovers the root cause, the treatment should start immediately. The longer you stay with your problem, the more damage happens to your sexual organs.

Another avenue to address the lack of getting hard after a sexual infection is talking to your partner. Most likely, your partner harbors a concern about your condition. Since men do not like to talk about it, women also tend not to hurt the masculine ego. Initiating a dialogue will help you get better psychologically. 

It is almost a taboo to talk about having a sexually transmitted infection. The silence gives room for the victim to continue suffering without medication. People opt for over the counter self-medication. That may treat the symptoms but leave any other underlying secondary infections. Indeed, a sexually transmitted disease can cause you not to get Erection. But with proper medical attention, you can get out of the erectile dysfunction.

References

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/322048

https://www.healthline.com/health/erectile-dysfunction/can-chlamydia-cause-erectile-dysfunction


New Study Identifies What Gives Nigerian Students Confidence to Use Condoms

New Study Identifies What Gives Nigerian Students Confidence to Use Condoms Image

The center of efforts to decrease the incidence and prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases accounts for raising awareness of condom use. In Nigeria and neighboring countries, this has been a tricky endeavor as public stigma often prevents men and women from being open about their sex life. Purchasing a box of condoms isn’t such an easy task for many, but things are changing. The latest study explored and identified different reasons that gave confidence to Nigerian students to adopt healthier sex practices and use condoms. Below, you can learn more.

Attitudes about condom use

Condoms are widely promoted to encourage sexually active men and women to practice safe sex. This has become incredibly important for students i.e. people who have started with sexual activity and need to be safe and cautious to avoid potentially negative scenarios (STDs and unwanted pregnancy) down the road. That being said, there were no studies that aimed to inspect the efficacy of those efforts to promote condom use and determine whether they had any impact. 

A study whose findings were published in the journal PLoS One aimed to change that. The main objective of the study was to assess the predictors of self-efficacy for condom use among university students in Nigeria. For the study, researchers enrolled 755 students in Nigeria who were interviewed in a period between February and April 2018. The results of the study are interesting and contribute to knowledge about the sexual behavior and health of healthy young adults in sub-Saharan Africa.

Over 70% of students were between 20 and 34 years old and 80% of subjects were sexually experienced. Moreover, 78% of students stated that religion was a significant part of their lives. Interestingly, 53% of students have never discussed sex-related subjects with their mother and 84% confessed they never talked about this topic with their father.

The study revealed that sexually experienced students were most confident about buying and using condoms. This finding clearly shows that confidence in condom use stems from sexual experience. Scientists confirmed that self-belief is developed through personal experience, but other important factors played a role. Age, sex, and parental factors also contributed to a person’s confidence in condom use.

Importance of the study

Findings from the study can serve health agencies and regulatory bodies to update their campaigns and target high-risk groups such as sexually inexperienced people who are less confident about condom use. These results also show there is a lot that has to be done to encourage young people in sub-Saharan Africa to use condoms and practice safe sex, be open about their sexual experiences, and thereby protecting themselves and others.

Conclusion

Sexually experienced students are more confident in condom use than their inexperienced counterparts. Other factors such as age also play a role. These findings could shape up efforts to promote safe sex practices by targeting those who are at the least likely to use condoms.

References 

https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0221804

https://theconversation.com/what-gives-nigerian-students-the-confidence-to-use-condoms-130331

New Discovered Origin of the Herpes Simplex Virus from Africa

New Discovered Origin of the Herpes Simplex Virus from Africa Image Promising Results of Herpes Vaccine HSV529 in Phase Trial 1

Recent research has shown that more recent events, which include the eighteenth-century slave trade led to the viral dispersal of the herpes simplex virus. The herpes virus is an infection that exists in two strains: HSV virus type 1 and type 2. The former is commonly transmitted by oral contact and infect its victims around the mouth. But the type 2 HSV is transmitted sexually. 

Until now, there have been lots of misconceptions and assumptions about the origin of this virus in humans. But recently, an Italian team conducted a study on the herpes virus and discovered some surprising facts about its origin and history. 

Type 1 of the herpes virus primarily affects the skin and causes orofacial lesions. While the type 2 herpes virus, which is best described as a sexually transmitted disease is the primary cause of genital herpes experience by many people. 

In recent years, the virus has spread out its tentacles and affected more than 3.7 billion people globally. In the long run, the infection can lead to fatal consequences for anyone. 

During pregnancy, a pregnant woman who is carrying the virus can infect an unborn child upon delivery, and the consequences can be fatal for the newborn.

The Origin of The Herpes Virus

A lot of factors are involved to guarantee a better understanding of the virus. To start with, one needs to grasp some information about its origin and history. To this effect, a research team conducted a study on the virus recently. And the results indicated that the virus might be from a more complex origin than expected. 

It was discovered that the two virus strains (HPV 1 and 2) have firm roots in Africa. It was, therefore, necessary to determine the time in history when the strains left the African continent.

Type 1 and type 2 herpes simplex virus had high similarity with the ones that infected apes in Africa many centuries ago. It is believed that the virus later evolved to infect humans.

The University of Milan and the IRCCS Medea collaborated for the study to become a success. You will find the published version in Molecular Biology and Evolution. Since the virus evolved with their hosts to infect humans, it was apparent that Africa was where the herpes virus type 1 and 2 originated. 

How The Slave Trade Promoted The Spread of The Virus

The mass migration of millions of Africans from the continent into the United States and other countries in Europe made the viral strains that infect many today to leave the continent centuries ago and spread to other parts of the world, including Asia and Europe.

With the aid of technology and archaeological discoveries, scientists have been able to estimate the pace at which these viral strains evolved and gradually infected millions of people worldwide. To date, the herpes simplex virus is among the topmost deadly viral diseases fast ravaging the human population and threatening to wipe it out of extinction if ignored.

Manuela Sironi, who is the study co-author of the research project, opined that the team leveraged some statistically precise methods that permit the dating of most viral origins and how they dispersed. He also said that from the conclusions derived in the study, it was discovered that the strains of the herpes simplex virus type 1 migrated from Africa about 5000 years ago. And the migration of the viral strains of the herpes type 2 didn’t occur until recently during the eighteenth century. 

From the data derived in the study, it was obvious that the existence of the slave trade and mass migration of many African citizens led to the widespread of the viral strains. That is why the prevalence of these viral strains is now higher in the Americas, followed by Africa and less dispersed in other regions of the world.

The fact remains that before the colonization of many African countries, these viral infections existed as minor strains and mostly affected animals and just a few humans. But the emergence of the slave trade into the Americas generated lots of unhealthy habits, unsafe practices, and the mass sexual exploitation that took place led to the aversion of these viral strains from animals to humans. They spread quickly due to unhygienic living conditions too, a condition that was predominant during the slave trade era and pre-colonization.

As these migrants landed in other countries, they were mostly exploited as slave workers and worked for their masters in factories, mills, and farmlands. Subject to an inadequate system of living and untold hardship, this further boosted the longevity of the virus and made it spread easier than before. During this time, humans were unaware of the existence of this deadly disease and its mode of operation. 

Not until many years later, during the era of great discoveries in technology and medicine, did scientists and medical experts conducted research that led to the development of these viral strains.

Although various studies have been conducted on viral existence in humans, lack of adequate archaeological information, history data, made it almost impossible to reach valid conclusions. But, it was not until recently when these group of Italian researchers embarked on this study, that a shocking revelation was made public. 

What Does This All Mean?

It is now a known fact that the slave trade introduced several pathogens into the American continent, of which the herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 are just a few of them. Another pathogen worthy of mention is the Yellow Fever virus. But the majority of these pathogens remained confined to tropical areas for many centuries and only began to spread among humans when they perceived a fertile ground among the populace.

It is believed that further studies will help researchers to gain insight into the resistant nature of the herpes simplex virus type 1 and 2.

References: 

https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/7606/20151101/who-more-3-7-billion-people-world-herpes.htm

https://academic.oup.com/mbe/advance-article-abstract/doi/10.1093/molbev/msaa001/5698714?redirectedFrom=fulltext

http://slaveryandremembrance.org/articles/article/?id=A0002