How long it takes for STD symptoms to appear or show up on a Test?

STD Testing

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a common occurrence across the globe, particularly in developing countries such as Ghana. The public stigma associated with getting tested leaves sexually active people at high risk of developing some STD or unknowingly transmitting it to someone else. Sexually active men and women should get tested at least once a year and even frequently, so if they have multiple partners. Most people wonder how long it takes for symptoms of STD to show up or when they get detected through testing, and we are about to provide the answers. Read on to learn more.

How long it takes for STD to show up?

At first glance, it may seem logical that as soon as STD-causing bacteria (or virus) enter the body, you can get a test that would detect it. However, the processing route is more complicated than that. Generally speaking, we get infected when bacteria or other pathogens enter our bodies. Every infection has its own timeframe for susceptibility or incubation time, and STDs are not the exception.

For some STDs, the body starts producing antibodies to counteract infection and develops symptoms in a matter of a few days, but for others, it may take up to several months for the first signs to appear. Below, you can see the incubation period for various STDs:

  • Chlamydia – 7-21 days
  • Genital herpes – 2-12 days
  • Gonorrhea – 1-14 days
  • Syphilis – 3 weeks – 20 years depending on the type
  • Oral herpes – 2-12 days
  • Trichomoniasis – 5-28 days

During the incubation period, a person may not experience symptoms at all. Bear in mind that some people don’t develop any symptoms at all. So, if you’re in a high-risk group of developing some STD, it’s a good idea to get tested, but not too early as you may test negative i.e., the STD might not be detected. Wait for the incubation period to end or consult a doctor who will advise you regarding the right time to get tested.

When to get retested?

People with some STDs may need to get retested after a while to make sure their infection has been cured completely. Some patients don’t need to get retested, though. Here are a few examples:

  • Chlamydia – 3 months
  • Genital and oral herpes – no retesting necessary (lifelong infections)
  • Gonorrhea – 3 months
  • Syphilis – 4 weeks
  • Trichomoniasis – 2 weeks

Why get tested?

Most people underestimate the importance of getting tested. The danger of STDs is that they don’t always induce symptoms, and it’s easy to spread them to sex partners. When left untreated, they can cause a number of complications. Therefore, make sure to get tested and protect your health, general wellbeing, and partner. Nowadays, it’s easy to learn whether you have STD because it’s possible to get tests online and do the whole thing in the comfort of your home.

Every type of STD has its own incubation time during which people usually don’t notice any symptoms. Testing too early could yield negative results even if the person has STD, so test at an appropriate time if you suspect to have some sexually-transmitted disease. Or even better, get tested for STD once a year and even more frequently if you have multiple sex partners.

References

https://www.healthtestingcenters.com/how-long-should-i-wait-test-std/

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/sexual-health/how-soon-do-sti-symptoms-appear/

https://www.healthline.com/health/how-long-does-it-take-for-std-to-show-up

The Benefits of an Early Diagnosis for STIs

The Benefits of an Early Diagnosis for STIs in Africa

More than 448 million people around the globe are infected with STIs. 110 million of those infected live in the sub-Saharan African region. That’s is almost a quarter of the entire population carrying these infections.

For many years now, sub-Saharan Africa has been dealing with a high prevalence of STIs. Syphilis, chlamydia, trich, herpes, and gonorrhea are a serious issue for Africa, with Gonorrhea having the highest prevalence in the southern region registered at 4.6%.

This infection, like all the others, is extremely common among the young population between the ages of 15 to 24. If these infections are left untreated, they will have a significant impact on the quality of life, reproductive system, and a child’s health.

So, why is early diagnosis important for treating these infections? Let’s take a look at why early detection and treatment are vital for those infected.

The Importance of an Early Diagnosis for STIs

Early diagnosis for STIs is the key to a successful prognosis for these infections. The sooner people get diagnosed, the better the chances of receiving medications for successful and quick treatment effects.

This, in fact, allows people to have a better opportunity in treating these infections rather than transmitting them. An early diagnosis helps people live longer and reduces their chances of developing these infections later in life.

Detecting the STIs early on plays a crucial role in stopping the transmission of these infections to the unborn child or sexual partner. In certain cases, it might even save someone’s life.

By treating these infections on time, people can avoid:

  • Infertility
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Cervical cancer
  • Birth defects or pregnancy risks
  • Dementia
  • Organ damage
  • Stillbirth

If people do test positive for any STIs, no matter if it’s a parasitic, viral, or bacterial infection, it’s important that they seek treatment to avoid these health complications and live a healthy life.

Most STIs can be treated with simple medications, but if left untreated, they can result in HIV or AIDS. However, AIDS/HIV will require different drugs to suppress the virus rather than to eliminate it.

Why Do People in Africa Have the Highest Prevalence in STIs?

Even though many developing countries, particularly in the African region, do have access to screening equipment for STIs, these infections still remain a major problem for the entire population.

Africa has inadequate treatment and prevention gaps for controlling these infections. Because of the limited access to such treatments, many STIs remain undetected and untreated.

Also, due to the cultural stigma surrounding STIs, many infections remain undiagnosed, and people often don’t get adequate treatment.

If these STIs are not managed on-time, people are prone to developing an HIV infection and transmitting that infection.

Early diagnosis and treatment for STIs are vital

Early diagnosis and treatment for STIs are vital, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. To control the constant transmission, people need access to early screenings and proper antibiotics to treat these infections.

While Africa still remains the most infected region with sexually transmitted infections, it’s without a doubt, the most important area to address and increase awareness of this problem and to make screening options, diagnosis, and treatment available for the entire population.

References

https://sti.bmj.com/content/87/Suppl_2/ii10

https://sti.bmj.com/content/87/Suppl_2/ii19

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002511

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00054174.htm

https://www.washtenaw.org/1348/Benefits-of-HIV-STI-Testing

http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?script=sci_arttext&pid=S1415-790X2011000300011&lng=en&nrm=iso&tlng=en

Common STDs and How to Recognize Them

Online STI Test Kits For Home Use

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are conditions passed from one person to another through sexual contact. Millions of people around the globe have STDs, especially in developing countries, including Ghana and other African nations. Prevention of STDs is entirely possible, but to make it happen, we need to get informed and learn as much as we can about them. The main purpose of this post is to highlight common STDs and show you how to recognize their symptoms.

Genital herpes

Genital herpes is a common STD caused by the herpes simplex virus. The virus is categorized into two types: HSV-1, which is mainly transmitted through oral-to-oral contact, usually causing cold sores, but can also induce genital herpes and HSV-2, which is an STD.

How common is genital herpes?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 3.7 billion people under the age of 50, or 67% of the world population, have HSV-1 infection. About 417 million people aged 15-49, or 11% of the world population, have HSV-2 infection. Estimates show that 350 million women (87%) and 355 million men (87%) in Africa have HSV-1 virus. On the other hand, the HSV-2 virus affects 17 million women in 18 million men in Africa.

Evidence confirms that the prevalence of genital herpes in Ghana is high, and it could be attributed to high endemicity and inadequate intervention, especially in women.

Read More: Genital Herpes in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing genital herpes?

Generally speaking, every sexually active man or woman can develop genital herpes. That being said, some people are at a higher risk than others. Common risk factors associated with genital herpes include:

  • Having unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex
  • Having multiple sex partners
  • Having a sexual partner who tested positive for genital herpes
  • Being a woman

Symptoms of genital herpes

The ability to recognize the signs and symptoms of some STD helps an affected man or woman to get much-needed treatment. That’s why it’s important to learn how to recognize symptoms of genital herpes, particularly because most people are not even aware they have it. In most cases, symptoms are mild, and patients think they will go away on their own without realizing they have an STD, which they can transmit to other people.

Symptoms tend to develop two to 12 days after exposure to HSV. People usually experience:

  • Pain and tenderness in the genital area
  • Itching in the genital area
  • Small red bumps or tiny white blisters
  • Ulcers which can rapture, bleed, ooze, and make it difficult to urinate
  • Scabs on the sites where ulcers rapture

An affected person experiences flu-like symptoms during the initial outbreak. They may also experience headache, muscle ache, fever, and swollen lymph nodes in the groin. Sores associated with genital herpes develop on buttocks, thighs, anus, mouth, and even urethra. Women can also develop sores on the cervix and external genitals while men can notice them on scrotum and penis.

Men and women with recurrent herpes develop symptoms about 48 hours before the outbreak. They may notice tingling, pain, and itching at the site of infection. The pain may, in some cases, extend down to buttocks and knees.

Read More: Genital Herpes Symptoms

Why get treated?

Unfortunately, many men and women don’t go to see their doctor get this STD treated. When left unmanaged, genital herpes can lead to many complications such as increased risk to other STDs, meningitis, proctitis (rectal inflammation), bladder problems, and infection of the newborn.

How is genital herpes treated?

The cure which could eliminate genital herpes entirely doesn’t exist, but it is still possible to get the necessary treatment. The main objective of the treatment is to lower the chances of transmitting genital herpes to other people, reduce the frequency of occurrence, lower severity of symptoms, and help sores heal. For this purpose, doctors prescribe antiviral medications such as Acyclovir (Zovirax) and Valacyclovir (Valtrex).

Getting tested regularly is important, and luckily, today, you can order a test online and do it in the comfort of your home rather than scheduling an appointment at the doctor’s office.

Read More: Genital Herpes Treatment

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is an STD caused by infection with the bacterium called Neisseria gonorrhoeae, which tends to infect moist and warm areas of the body such as urethra, eyes, throat, vagina, anus, and female reproductive tract.

How common is gonorrhea?

Sometimes referred to as “the clap,” gonorrhea is one of the most prevalent STDs. On a global level, 87 million new cases of gonorrhea are diagnosed each year. Like many other STDs, gonorrhea is also more prevalent in developing countries. For example, one study showed that out of 950 subjects from Ghana, 28% of them had gonorrhea, and men were more likely to develop it than women.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing gonorrhea?

Just like with other sexually transmitted diseases, every man or woman who engages in sexual intercourse can develop gonorrhea. But, the risk is higher in some groups. Factors that increase your odds of developing gonorrhea include:

  • Younger age
  • Having a new sex partner
  • History of other sexually transmitted diseases
  • History of gonorrhea
  • Having a sex partner who also has concurrent partners

Symptoms of gonorrhea

Some people have no symptoms at all, but it doesn’t mean there is no infection. The absence of symptoms can still mean you are infected and also able to transmit this STD to other people. Generally speaking, signs and symptoms of gonorrhea develop one to 14 days after the infection. Men and women experience gonorrhea differently, and below you can see how they feel when they develop this STD.

Men tend to experience:

  • Painful, red, warm and swollen joints
  • White, yellow, or green urethral discharge that looks like pus
  • Pain in the eyes, sensitivity to the light, pus-like discharge from the eyes
  • Pain in scrotum or testicles
  • Itching
  • Difficulty swallowing or swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Frequent or painful urination
  • Anal discharge, itching, and pain in the anal area bleeding when passing stool

On the flip side, women with gonorrhea may notice:

  • Fever
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Swollen, red, warm, and painful joints
  • Vaginal discharge yellow or green in color
  • Swelling of the vulva
  • Frequent and painful urination
  • Sore throat, itching, difficulty swallowing, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck
  • Bleeding in between periods
  • Heavier periods
  • Abdominal or pelvic pain and vomiting
  • Bleeding after sexual intercourse
  • Itching and pain in the anal area

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms

Why get treated?

As seen above, some men and women may not notice any symptoms at all, but they are still infected. That is why it is crucial to get tested regularly, and home tests could be incredibly practical in this case. Being proactive about sexual health and symptoms of gonorrhea allows you to get the necessary treatment in a timely manner. When left ignored, gonorrhea can cause multiple complications such as infertility, an infection that spreads to other areas and joints in the body, a higher risk of HIV/AIDS, and complications in babies born to infected mothers.

How is gonorrhea treated

The primary route of treatment of gonorrhea is through antibiotics. Partners of infected men and women are also encouraged to get tested in order to prevent transmitting the STD back and forth or to other people.

Read More: Gonorrhea Treatment

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a common, sexually transmitted disease that affects men and women alike. Just like other STDs, Chlamydia is caused by bacteria, and in this case, that is Chlamydia trachomatis. The STD can be spread through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, but it is also possible for pregnant women to spread Chlamydia to their babies during delivery.

How common is Chlamydia?

According to the WHO, about 127 million cases of Chlamydia are diagnosed each year. That is a staggering number. One of the most common reasons behind the ever-growing incidence of Chlamydia, especially in developing nations such as Ghana, is the lack of public awareness. In fact, the prevalence of STDs in Ghana is expected to grow as stigmatization continues. And, as you are already aware, stigmatization occurs due to the absence of the above-mentioned public awareness.

Read More: Chlamydia in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing Chlamydia?

Factors that increase a person’s risk of developing this sexually transmitted disease include:

  • History of some STD
  • Having sex without a condom
  • Changing multiple sex partners in a year
  • Being sexually active before the age of 25

Getting tested regularly can help decrease your risk of developing Chlamydia. Regular tests also raise awareness of this STD, fight stigmatization, and prevent spreading Chlamydia to other people. Besides “traditional” testing at clinics or hospitals, people can also get at-home tests for Chlamydia, which may be practical for those who want more privacy throughout the whole process.

Symptoms of Chlamydia

Chlamydia is often considered as “silent” infection because many people have it although they don’t experience any symptoms. But, just like with other STDs, the absence of symptoms can still mean you are infected, and you can transmit it to someone else. Bear in mind that even if Chlamydia doesn’t cause any symptoms, it can still damage the reproductive system. First signs and symptoms tend to occur one to two weeks after the exposure to the bacterium. Men and women tend to experience this STD differently. Below, you can see the signs and symptoms of Chlamydia in men and women.

Men may notice the following:

  • Pain in the testicles
  • Burning sensation while urinating
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Green or yellow discharge from the penis

It’s also possible to get the infection in anus. In this case, a man may notice pain, bleeding, and discharge from this area.

On the other hand, women may experience these symptoms:

  • Bleeding between periods
  • Painful sexual intercourse
  • Cervicitis (inflammation of the cervix)
  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Vaginal discharge
  • Burning sensation while urinating

In some cases, the STD can spread to the fallopian tubes.

Read More: Chlamydia Symptoms

Why get treated?

Reasons to be proactive about the prevention and treatment of Chlamydia (as well as other STDs) are numerous. Besides lowering the risk of transmitting Chlamydia to someone else, you can also decrease the likelihood of experiencing various complications. When left ignored or unmanaged, Chlamydia can harm your health in more ways than one. Some of the most common complications include increased risk of other STDs, pelvic inflammatory disease, infection near the testicles, infections in newborns, infection of prostate, reactive arthritis, and infertility.

Read More: Chlamydia Treatment

How is Chlamydia treated?

Just like other STDs, Chlamydia is treated with antibiotics. A patient may receive a one-time dose, or he or she may need to take the drugs a few times a day for five to 10 days, depending on the severity of symptoms. Generally speaking, the infection goes away in one to two weeks. It goes without saying you need to abstain from sex during this time.

Syphilis

Syphilis is a sexually transmitted disease caused by bacterium Treponema pallidum, and it develops in four stages: primary, secondary, latent, and tertiary. The bacteria can spread from one person to another through direct contact with a syphilitic sore. Just like other STDs, this one also spreads through sexual contact i.e., vaginal, anal, and oral sex.

How common is syphilis?

The World Health Organization reports that 6.3 million cases of syphilis are recorded each year around the globe. In 2016, the last year for which data is available on a global level, 1 million pregnant women had active syphilis, which led to 350,000 adverse birth outcomes. Of these, 200,000 accounted for stillbirths and neonatal death. In Africa, the prevalence of syphilis is high, especially in males in rural areas. One study of pregnant women showed that the cumulative prevalence of syphilis among 4181 blood donors over a five-year period was 2.58% in Ghana.

Population-based studies show greater prevalence, and scientists point out that the lack of precise information can be correct with further research on this topic. More precise information allows scientists and healthcare professionals to create programs to raise awareness and prevent this STD from spreading.

Read More: Syphilis in Ghana

Who is at risk of developing syphilis?

You may have a higher risk of developing syphilis if these factors apply to you:

  • HIV infection
  • Regularly engaging in unprotected and risky sex
  • Man who has sexual intercourse with other men
  • Changing multiple sexual partners

Symptoms of syphilis

Symptoms of syphilis vary from stage to stage.

The primary syphilis is usually indicated by chancre (small sore), which appears on the site where bacteria entered the body. The chancre develops about three weeks after exposure to bacteria. It may be hidden in rectum or vagina, so many people don’t notice it. Chancre tends to go away on its own in one to three weeks. Some people can have one chancre only, but others may have several, and it tends to be painless.

Secondary syphilis occurs within a few weeks after the chancre has healed. A person may notice:

  • Rash starting on the trunk and spreading across the body
  • Sores in mouth or genitals
  • Hair loss
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen lymph nodes

The above-mentioned symptoms may go away in a few weeks, but in some cases, they come and go throughout the year.

Latent syphilis occurs when a person isn’t treated in the first two stages. This phase has no noticeable symptoms, but it may last for years before it progresses to the tertiary stage. The last stage of syphilis involves the spreading of the STD to other organs such as the brain, blood vessels, heart, bones, liver, and joints.

Read More: Syphilis Symptoms

Why get treated?

Without proper treatment, syphilis can progress from one stage to another and cause a number of complications such as the formation of small bumps or tumors on the skin, bones, and other organs, cardiovascular problems, neurological problems, higher risk of HIV, and complications in pregnancy and with childbirth.

How is syphilis treated?

Syphilis is easy to treat when diagnosed in early stages when doctors usually prescribe penicillin. In most cases, one injection is necessary. In later stages, syphilis can be difficult to treat, which is why it’s crucial to see the doctor as soon as you notice sore on your genital area.

Read More: Syphilis Treatment

Conclusion

Sexually transmitted diseases are common but are preventable. Practice safe sex, get tested regularly, and learn how to recognize signs and symptoms. The more you know, the safer you are.

Read More: STD’s in Ghana

References

https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/herpes-simplex-virus

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/28-10-2015-globally-an-estimated-two-thirds-of-the-population-under-50-are-infected-with-herpes-simplex-virus-type-1

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

https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis)

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-4035-y#Sec5

https://www.ghanahealthservice.org/ghs-item-details.php?scid=22&iid=78

https://bmcinfectdis.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12879-019-3967-6#Sec11

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

Testing and Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea information

Many people are at risk of gonococcal infections without their knowledge. Likewise, many carry the bacterium in their bodies without realizing it. Women are more resilient in tolerating the disease in their bodies than men. It is not clear why the disease can incubate in the host for a certain period without showing any signs of sickness. The risk is you may still be active and infecting others during this period. That is why it is highly necessary to have a culture of regular screening and testing.

Product: Right Sign Gonorrhea Test

Product: One Step Gonorrhea test

Vulnerable Groups

Though everyone is in danger of the infections, some persons are highly exposed to the disease. These include

  • Persons who have unsafe sex
  • Gay community
  • Lesbians
  • Persons with multiple sexual partners
  • Drug addicts sharing needles
  • Caregivers
  • If you suspect any risk exposure to the bacteria

Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Testing for the disease can be in two areas. If you have any indication of gonorrhea symptoms, you can visit the hospital for checking. At the clinic, the doctor will start by inquiring about your sexual data. Then, why you think you should have a test. After the formalities, the doctor will proceed for a physical examination for any indications.

Gonorrhea testing depends on suspicion. There are four types of tests that you may have. These are testing for gonorrhea in the genitals, rectum, throat, and eye. Mostly, genital and anal testing is standard. The medical practitioner will collect samples from the affected area using a clinical swab. Some doctors will prefer a blood or urine sample. The laboratory test will single out any presence of the gonococcal bacteria. Depending on the outcome, the prescription will follow or not.

Some people prefer a home test kit for testing at their homes. This is available in most chemists and online platforms. The testing instructions are simple, and the results precise. If your results come back positive, then you can opt for a clinical confirmation.

Read More: Gonorreha Symptoms

Effects of Late Diagnosis

The late diagnosis of gonorrhea can cause severe damage to other body organs. Since it can take some time before it manifests in your body, you can quickly treat symptoms thinking of other ailments. Then the bacteria find a way into the bloodstream. This opportunistic disease goes into your liver, eyes, stomach, heart, and other vital organs.

Besides that, your reproductive organs will suffer irreparable damage. For women, you may experience loss of your fallopian tubes and uterus. In the case of pregnancy, you may have bouts of ectopic pregnancies or even pass the bacteria to the child. In men, your urethra may damage and end up with prostate malfunction. Other severe cases include loss of your testicles, erectile dysfunction, and getting HIV.

References

sahralth.sa.gov.au

Syphilis

Syphilis information

This sexually contagious disease spreads by the bacteria scientifically known as Treponema pallidum. It is a disease that is making a comeback in many regions where the prevalence was down. Due to its nature, it is the women that inhibit the bacteria for longer before they show any signs. Nonetheless, there is a need for men to have some screening campaigns. Women have mandatory testing during their antenatal visits. The problem with men is it may take years to feel any signs. In the meantime, they are still active in sexual matters. Eventually, they end up infecting several people before finding out their status.

Clinical Stages of Syphilis

There are four medical stages of syphilis

  • Primary
  • Secondary
  • Latent
  • Tertiary

The first two stages are more visible than the latter two, as you will find out. Generally, the first manifestation is usually a painless sore around the infected area. This may be in your genitals, rectum, or mouth. The sore or chancre in medical terms disappears after a while. Since it does not cause any discomfort, many people may not raise the alarm.

Primary

It commences about two weeks after exposure to the bacteria. Some people may stay for a longer period without the initial sore.

Secondary

It is the time when sever discomfort starts to come in. In other people, the rashes and sores may include

  • Headaches
  • Swelling of lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Fatigue

If you do not receive the right diagnosis and treatment, the disease goes to the next stage. If you manage the symptoms, they may go away and continue suffering from the disease.

Latent

It is commonly known as the hiding stage of syphilis. During this time, the disease remains passive in its manifestation. Sadly, the latent stage may take years to enter the last stage.

Tertiary

Few people reach this devastating stage. At this stage, most of your organs are damaged. Symptoms like blindness, heart failure, mental illness, stroke, and defective spinal cord are common.

Read More: Syphilis symptoms

Diagnosis

You may go for a clinical test or opt for the home test kit. It is preferable to visit a specialist, but due to stigma, many go for the self-test kit. Samples of your blood and affected areas go for lab testing. At the clinic, the doctor may request you to have extra venereal disease tests to ascertain the extent of your exposure. In all the two scenarios, you will have authentic results.

Get tested: Right Sign Syphilis Test

Get tested: One Step Syphilis Test

Treatment

Depending on the results, the doctor will discuss with you the next course of action. In most cases, the prescription is a combination of antibiotics. If the damage is severe, the medication will not reverse the situation. But will help clear the bacteria from the system and prevent further health risks.

Read More: Modern treatment of syphilis

References

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

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160511154209.htm

Signs and Symptoms of HIV and AIDS

HIV information

People can feel completely healthy for years before they even realize they are infected with HIV. Sometimes it may take ten years before the symptoms show up. Which is why regular testing is important for anyone who suspects they have been exposed to the dangerous virus.

This includes individuals who have had unprotected intercourse or anyone who has shared needles or syringes when taking drugs. Adequate treatment is crucial for managing the symptoms.

Since the symptoms of the virus can vary from person to person, it is very hard to generalize it. That’s why the virus has been divided into three stages, each with its own symptoms and characteristics.

  1. Stage 1 – Acute HIV
  2. Stage 2 – HIV Dormancy
  3. Stage 3 – AIDS

Read More: HIV and AIDS

The Symptoms of HIV Typical for the First Stage (Acute HIV)

Based on statistics, 80% of the people with HIV during the first couple of weeks, experience symptoms that feel very much like the flu. This stage will begin 4 or 6 weeks after the individual has been infected. At this stage, the body will mobilize the entire immune system to fight the virus. As a result, the symptoms can be the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Exhaustion
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Pain in the muscles and joints
  • Sore throat
  • Swollen and tender lymph nodes
  • Upper body rash
  • Vomiting
  • Weak muscles

For many, these are not significant symptoms, which is why many people ignore them. If you believe in having been in contact with someone carrying the virus, it’s best to get tested.

The Symptoms of HIV Typical for the Second Stage (HIV Dormancy)

According to statistics, the second stage of HIV can last more than ten years. But, the biggest issue for this particular stage is that most people don’t even have any symptoms. As a result, they can unknowingly pass the virus to someone else.

As the virus progresses, it will deteriorate the immune system affecting all the white blood cells that help the body fend of viruses. In the end, the system will be more susceptible to various diseases, infections, and bacteria.

To monitor the second stage, blood samples are important. They can help analyze the T-helper and white blood cells count in the system. Once the number of these cells falls to a certain level, the third stage begins.

The Symptoms of HIV Typical for the Third Stage (AIDS)

Based on recent statistics, 17,803 people in the U.S. were diagnosed with stage 3 HIV, known as AIDS. Thirty-three of them were children not older than 13, while 4,308 were females, both adolescents, and adults; the rest were males.

This stage begins when the immune system of the infected individual has been destroyed. Even the slightest and insignificant infections can be fatal. Some of the symptoms may include:

  • Bleeding
  • Bruising
  • Constant exhaustion
  • Extreme and unexpected weight loss
  • Fungal infections (vagina, throat, mouth)
  • Lengthy periods of fever (more than ten days)
  • Prolonged and severe diarrhea
  • Soft and swollen and lymph nodes on the groin and neck
  • Sweating during the night
  • Wheezing

Read More: HIV Modern Treatment

References

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

https://www.healthline.com/health/hiv-aids/symptoms-men

https://www.avert.org/about-hiv-aids/symptoms-stages

https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/statistics/overview/index.html

Information about the Rapid Test for Syphilis

Syphilis information

The drive to contain the spread of syphilis is gearing for momentum in Africa. Globally, the rise of infections is alarming to the relevant departments. Syphilis is a branch of the many sexually transmitted diseases. It is transmitted through a bacterium known as Treponema pallidum. The four stages in which the disease manifests have different approaches in treatment.

  • Primary Stage
  • Secondary Stage
  • Latent Stage
  • Tertiary Stage

While the primary and secondary are quick to treat, the latent and tertiary are not. If there is a delay in treatment, the disease can spread and cripple other body organs. In extreme cases, there can be fatalities.

Read More: Syphilis Symptoms

Detecting Syphilis

It is difficult to know that you have syphilis. The clinical signs can delay for up to three months. In between, you can be active in sexual encounters, thus spreading it further. The common manifestations can include painless sores in and around the genitals and rectum. Also, the wounds can break on your lips and inside the mouth.

Product: One Step Syphilis test

This is the time to seek medical attention. But since many do not even notice the sore, the lump clears by itself. Then as the disease progresses, more damage occurs in the body organs. In the tertiary stage, your mental and nervous faculties will be on the gradual decline. Regular screening is, therefore, advisable at all times.

The vulnerable groups like the youth, commercial sex workers, gays, and people in multiple sexual relations should take extra care. There are many self-test devices in the market. These test kits are easy to use and accurate in their results. It will pain you a little since you need a few drops of blood.

  • Open up the test kit
  • Put a few drops of blood on the kit
  • A single pink line denotes a negative result
  • While a double line reports positive results

The operating area should be clean. Equally, the room should be of optimum temperature. If you have a periodic interval on your testing, you can detect the early stages of the disease. Since pregnant mothers are at the highest risk of passing it to the infant, screening needs to be regularly.

Read More: Signs and Symptoms of Syphilis

Treatment

When you have a clinical visit early, the disease is curable with little antibiotics. The later stages will take longer to deal with. This will mean a combination of drugs to cure the other organs that may be ailing also. Besides the long period under medication, the disease will be pacified.

However, if the extended period has damaged your body organs, the medication will not repair the damage. But the good news is the bacteria will clear from the body, forestalling any further damage. Self-medication is common after the home test kit results. Unless you are a medical practitioner, it is not advisable to treat yourself without a prescription.

Read More: Modern Treatment of Syphilis

Information about Home Test for Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea information

Gonorrhea can be fatal if you do not contain it early enough. The bacterium that causes the disease finds its way into the blood and attacks other vital body organs. This leaves you with a multiple of different conditions to deal with. Thus there is a need for early screening and treatment of the bacteria.

The available data show that most of the clinical records have few precise accounts. This is due to the stigma that follows people with the disease. Mostly in Africa, people shy away from the clinical testing for fear of being singled out. This is the reason why we should encourage more home test kits for individuals. Again, there should be available drugs just in case people come forward for treatment.

Home Testing of Gonorrhea

The available home testing kits are easy to follow with simple instructions. While the laboratory tests take about one or two days, the home test procedure takes a mere 15 minutes. If you follow the instructions in maintain good hygiene and take good samples, you will have precise results.

Product: Gonorrhea Test

Women and men have different biological anatomies. This makes the difference in the taking of samples. Sometimes, you may take urine samples instead of the genital tissues. The kit comes with a swab, test tube, two solutions, and a diagnosis cartridge.

Women Specimen Sampling

Take the swab and insert it into the vagina. Genital sampling seems to favor better results than urine. Once in the vagina, rotate and rub the swab on the vaginal lining walls for the collection of tissues. Once you do it for about ten seconds, pull the swab out. Put the first solution A into the test tube. After putting the swab samples into the test tube, add drops of the other solution B. Close the test tube and shake it for about ten seconds.

Men Specimen Sampling

Take the swab and insert it into the urethra opening. Gently rotate it around the inner lining. This ensures the cell tissues come out with swabs. After introducing the first solution into the test tube, add the sample from the swab. Similarly, after the specimen, drop in the second solution and close the test tube. Shake it for about ten seconds.

Final Diagnosis

The last part of the procedure is basic to both men and women. After shaking the test tube, introduce the mixture into the diagnosing cartridge. This will screen the sample for about twenty minutes. Then the results will be out. Double lines mean that you are positive. On the other hand, a single line shows that you are negative. This is an easy way of beating the stigmatization in most clinics and society.

Read More: Testing and Diagnosis Gonorrhea

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms

Information about home test for chlamydia

Chlamydia Information

Chlamydia is a venereal disease that comes from the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. This bacterium attacks and embeds on the lining of the genital cells in the body. Unlike most bacteria, trachomatis needs a host to reproduce. Though it is defective on the human cells, the embedding makes it easy for detection in a test.

Read More: The Chlamydia Bacterium

Thus, a simple self-test at home can precisely give correct exposures. The advantage of having a home test is it takes a few minutes to relay the results. Early detection of the disease helps you in dealing with any rapid development of the pelvic inflammation damages.

Product: Right Sign Chlamydia Test

Product: One Step Chlamydia Test

Sampling of tissues

Men and women have different anatomies in their bodies. This means the procedures for collecting samples vary. The testing procedure may take about fifteen minutes to relay back the results. It is smooth and precise if you do it under safe and sterile conditions. Besides the sampling methods, the other testing procedure is the same.

Women Chlamydia home Test Sampling

The self-test home kit comes with a test tube, a swab, and two solutions, A and B. the commonplace of infection is usually the vagina. Then, take a swab and rub it in the vagina to collect tissue cells. If you can, using your urine can also produce the same results. In the test tube, pour in the solution A to sterilize it before putting in the sample. Put in the sample after the first procedure with solution A.

Men Chlamydia Home Test Sampling

For the men, the procedure is almost the same, but slightly different. Gently take the swab and insert it slightly into your urethra opening. Rub vigorously in round rotations inside the urine opening. Though it may hurt slightly, it is the only way to produce results. After the unpleasant procedure, you can put the swab with the tissues in the test tube with the solution A. you may also use your urine, but the swab tissue is more precise.

Read More: Chlamydia Symptoms

Results Analysis

This is the last stage before finding out the status of your condition. You have to put in some drops of solution B into the test tube. Close the test tube and shake vigorously for about 20 seconds. After the solution mixes with the sample, you can now introduce it in the testing cartridge. This is the most anxious of all the stages. It takes about 20 minutes to wait. When it is ready, you will see one line for a negative result and two lines for a positive outcome.

The home test kit is a quick way of knowing your status if you do not feel like opening up to any clinic. It is faster than the clinical tests that may take about a day or two in most cases.

Read More: What is Chlamydia? and why get tested

Gonorrhea in the Eye

Gonorrhea information

The terminology Gonorrhea is widely known to be a venereal disease. Few people know that is can affect other parts of the body. Ideally, it is a sexual disease that passes from one person to another through sexual interaction. It may be through oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Adults are more at risk of the disease through their sexual activities.

Read More: Gonorrhea in Ghana

However, it is also common for women to pass the Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria to the baby during pregnancy or at childbirth. The emergence of gonorrhea in parts of the eye is an alarming case. Failure to detect it leads to blindness, through the gradual damaging of the cornea and optical nerves.

Read More: Gonorrhea Symptoms 

Analysis

The spread of the gonorrhea bacteria can cause defects in other body parts. But the optical gonorrhea is hardly through the bloodstream. The eye gets infected through contact with bacterial fluids. Mostly, it comes from touching your eyes with hands contaminated with the bacteria. 

The clinical manifestations vary from one person to the other. But when you are most likely to have gonorrhea of the eye if you exhibit signs of conjunctivitis like

  • Constant itching of the eyes and pain
  • Stinging inflammation and redness 
  • The sticky yellowish liquid that tends to bind the eyelids
  • Poor vision due to soreness

If the infection comes from your system, then you will have the conventional clinical signs of genital gonorrhea like

  • The swelling of lymph nodes next to the ears
  • Genital discharge in both men and women
  • Pain, itching, and inflammation of the genitals
  • Discomfort while passing urine

Testing and Treatment

The doctor will take clinical samples for laboratory analysis from the affected eyes. Other tests include fluid samples from the throat, genitals, and rectum. This is to ascertain if it is indeed gonorrhea. If the results come in affirmative, the doctor will recommend antibiotics and eye gels for a specified period. Though home testing kits are available, it is highly advisable to go for expert medical practitioners.

Read More: Gonorrhea Treatment

Read More: Testing and Diagnosis of Gonorrhea

Product: Gonorrhea Test 

Prevention

The best way to avoid gonorrhea is to abstain from sex and STDs. Nevertheless, you may still contract it through body contact with unclean hands. If you shake hands containing the gonococcal bacteria and touch your eye, the bacteria will infect your eye. As far as you are concerned, practice safe sex and observe a high standard of hygiene afterward.

Few women show any signs of the disease during the window period. Regular screening helps in addressing the infection before spreading to other parts. Equally, men should have periodical screening to be safe. This is for those who have regular unprotected sex. 

The last group is pregnant women. Many newborn babies contract the disease at the delivery time. It is suitable for expectant mothers to abstain from sex or have regular screening to deter the mother to infant transmission.

Read More: Gonorrhea Overview 

References

https://www.msdmanuals.com/home/eye-disorders/conjunctival-and-scleral-disorders/infectious-conjunctivitis

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002511