BV Bacterial Species in the Vaginal Flora Could Make African Women Vulnerable to HIV

BV Bacterial Species in the Vaginal Flora Could Make African Women Vulnerable to HIV Image

There are over 37.9 million people registered with HIV, and there are 1.7 million children, reports show. Over 68% of the affected are currently residing in the sub-Saharan African region. 

In poor income regions, such as Africa, it has become difficult to control the infection. But, the problem is that BV Bacterial Species could be making African women vulnerable to HIV, even if they don’t know it. We compiled all the statistical analyses on these bacteria and the way it works. 

How BV Bacterial Species Exposes African Women to HIV?

Many experts have discussed the connection between STDs and vaginal flora

Based on clinical studies, the vaginal flora is susceptible to bacteria, like the Bacterial vaginosis, which is a predictor of chlamydia and gonorrhea. It makes women susceptible to STDs that can later be transferred to a male partner. 

But, there are even more impactful bacteria that expose women to HIV. This is what experts refer to the BV-related bacteria. This bacteria is not a recent occurrence. In fact, it has been present in the air for a very long time. 

The clinical reports show that many African women are vulnerable to these bacteria. To be precise, 20% to 30% of the population of African women could be at risk of developing HIV. This includes sex workers, pregnant, post-partum women, and those in mixed-status relationships (where one of the partners is infected with HIV).  

What’s the Cause?

Scientists first debated what could be the cause of such a greater vulnerability. Why the African women would be at risk of the BV-bacterial species, could it have something to do with the presence of the bacteria, or is it linked to their protective lactobacilli?

It seems that many researchers agree that the susceptibility to HIV is due to the high presence of disruptive bacteria. Not because of the lack of protective ones. While there is only a limited amount of research, it’s critical for women to understand their vaginal flora and take the right precautions.  

How to Treat the Problem Before It Makes You Vulnerable to HIV?

The BV Bacterial species are often recognized by the bad vaginal odor. Particularly after sexual intercourse. The vaginal discharge tends to emit uncomfortable smells. Because of the symptoms, many women confuse it with a typical vaginal infection. 

But, this one requires proper antibiotic treatment with medications like metronidazole and clindamycin. If you notice the symptoms, it is best to book a gynecology appointment and reduce your vulnerability to HIV. Taking proper care of your vaginal health can go a long way.

References

https://sti.bmj.com/content/94/8/616

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

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/254342-overview

Vaginosis Treatment in Africa

Vaginosis Treatment in Africa Image

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is the most prevalent vaginal infection in women of reproductive age. It’s often associated with increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS and also pregnancy complications. 

BV is most common in parts of Africa, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, a region with the highest prenatal HIV primacy and a high rate of adverse pregnancy consequences, which range between 20% -50% in women in reproductive age.

Bacterial Vaginosis: Causes

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV) is a bacterial infection that results from an overgrowth of one of the several vaginal bacteria.

Usually, the number of good bacteria (lactobacillus) outnumber the bad bacteria (anaerobes). The lactobacillus maintains a slightly acidic state in your vagina so that anaerobes don’t grow in number.

When the number of anaerobic bacteria increases, they upset the natural balance of microbes in your vagina, and you get Bacterial Vaginosis.

Bacterial Vaginosis: Risk Factors

Although we’ve said that BV is prevalent in women of reproductive age, any woman can develop BV regardless of her age.

Here are some activities that increase your risk of getting BV:

  • Smoking
  • Having multiple sex partners, especially female partners (You catch BV from both oral and anal sex)
  • Using vaginal deodorant, scented soaps and perfumed bubble baths
  • Washing undergarments with strong detergents
  • Douching or using medicated solution to clean the vagina upsets the balance of the bacteria
  • Having an IUD birth control device in your uterus–it has been linked to the bacterial infection, particularly if you have irregular bleeding.

You won’t get Bacterial Vaginosis from bedding, touching objects, toilet seats, or swimming.

Bacterial Vaginosis: Symptoms

Most of the Women with BV don’t even know they have it because they experience no symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms are mild and you won’t notice and they often come and go.

But here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Thin Vaginal discharge that has a strong fishy smell and gets stronger after sex
  • Thin grey, white or greenish vaginal discharge
  • Itching and burning when you pee

Bacterial Vaginosis: Diagnosis

A gynecologist might diagnose BV by going through your medical history and conducting a physical examination.

The doctor will look for a thin white or gray discharge and unpleasant smell.  The doctor might also conduct a pelvic exam and do other simple tests like:

  • Checking the acidity level or PH of your vagina
  • Using swabs or plastic loop to collect a sample of your vaginal discharge or cells from your vaginal wall to look for the bacteria‘s sample

Bacterial Vaginosis:  Treatment

Bacteria Vaginosis often clears without treatment, but women with BV symptoms should consult their doctors to avoid further complications.

BV is often cured with antibiotic medication- either cream or gel that you can put in your vagina or pills that you can swallow.

There are a variety of antibiotic medications, but the most popular ones are metronidazole, clindamycin, and tinidazole. The antibiotics kill germs in the vagina.

Another treatment option includes using a capsule of suppositories containing living lactic bacteria. These treatments are tailored to protect the Vagina flora, and they correct the natural balance.

However, there is no sufficient evidence to back up the effectiveness of this method.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK459216/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5859802/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3176826/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4787044/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6019544/

https://www.uptodate.com/contents/bacterial-vaginosis-beyond-the-basics

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

How Can Sex Education in Africa Reduce the Spread of STDs?

How Can Sex Education in Africa Reduce the Spread of STDs? Image

Did you know that barely 34% of the younger population is familiar with HIV transmission and prevention? With over 68% of HIV cases living in the sub-Saharan African region, it’s important now more than ever to keep investing in sex education in African schools. 

Children have to be fully acquainted with the importance of avoiding STDs and AIDS-related diseases if they are to live a healthy life. 

The question is, why is sexual education such a crucial program for the younger generation in Africa? How is it going to change their lives? We’ve decided to analyze all the statistical research on sex education in Africa for reducing STDs. 

Sex Education in African Schools 

According to UNESCO, many girls in rural African communities have no idea why they are menstruating nor how they could lead safe and productive lives. 

When the Department of Basic Education in South Africa stated they would expand their Comprehensive Sexuality Education in 2019, plenty of young girls finally got the chance to learn about their bodies. They had the material and opportunities to get a glimpse of the grown-up world. 

However, there is more to this program than it meets the eye. Girls learned about the significance of consent, how their bodies belong to them, and a way to recognize inappropriate behavior that might endanger them sexually. 

Why Do Children in Africa Need Sex Education?

A huge number of children in this region, particularly in rural communities, receive little to no information about sex and relationship. Instead, they make a sudden transition from childhood to adulthood. 

Lack of education has left the younger population vulnerable to sexual exploitation and dangerous behaviors. 

As a result, they’ve been unable to cope with their sexuality or manage STDs, unintended pregnancies, and other health risks. Lack of information and inadequate knowledge has left a huge mark on the African population. 

In fact, over 3.5 million cases of syphilis, 15 million of chlamydia, 16 million gonorrhea, and 30 million of trichomoniasis are all registered in Africa, published the National Library of Medicine. 

How Can Sex Education Help?

The first STD management strategy always starts with knowledge. With the right skills, information, and coping mechanism, the younger population will learn to be fully responsible for their choices and help others live a healthier life. 

With programs such as these, children get to learn about consent, abuse, violence, how to respect values and human rights. Not only will this knowledge empower them, but it will also help them reduce the transmission of STDs and other diseases. 

It’s true that implementing such changes in African communities will be a difficult task. But, it is possible to change the cultural norms and create a healthier environment for the population to grow. 

References

https://en.unesco.org/news/why-comprehensive-sexuality-education-important

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

https://www.globalcitizen.org/en/content/sex-education-south-african-schools/

https://en.unesco.org/news/why-comprehensive-sexuality-education-important

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12348788/

Sexual Assault and Violence in Africa Is a Serious Problem for Women, Here Is Why

Sexual Assault and Violence in Africa Is a Serious Problem for Women, Here Is Why Image

Sexual assault and STIs are a serious public issue all across Africa. According to the National Library of Medicine, of all the women surveyed, 44% have been sexually assaulted. Some were abused by their relationship partner, while others by people they’ve never met before. 

However, this is not the first time women in Africa have been subjects to abuse. In 2005, 71% of women in Ethiopia and 50% in Tanzania reported being abused by their intimate partners. That’s a huge percentage of the female African population. 

The question is, how these experiences affect women? Does the abuse affect STI rates in the region? We’ve decided to analyze all the statistical research on sexual assaults and STIs and how it’s affecting women in Africa. 

The Impact of Sexual Assaults on Women in Africa

Sexual assaults in Africa goes by many forms, such as:

  • Forced marriage
  • Marital rape
  • Paid dowry for violence
  • Harassment
  • Forced abortion, pregnancy & sterilization
  • Human trafficking and prostitution

These kinds of traumatic experiences leave a lasting impact on women. In many cases, it exposes them to STIs and increases the risk of contracting HIV by 10%. Based on reports in Nigeria, 16% of young girls under 5 years old have contracted STIs after a sexual assault. 

The older women who’ve been assaulted multiple times have a tendency to switch numerous sex partners and are less interested in protecting themselves from STIs, explained the National Library of Medicine. They have a lower chance of using protection during intercourse and are at risk of developing ulcers and other STIs. 

The reason for that is fear. Women who’ve been abused by partners are more likely to be afraid to ask them to use contraception. This kind of behavior has affected STI and HIV rates in the region. As a results, the number of infected individuals has constantly been increasing. 

Why Is This Happening?

Experts believe it is rooted in the culture. Abusers usually perceive their act of violence as a method for solving family problems. They have either been exposed to violence or grew up in homes where violence was prevalent. 

Another reason is to establish dominance. Men demand respect and obedience, which is why they often result in violence as a means to establish control. 

In Africa, sexual violence is a highly widespread phenomenon. It’s embedded in their culture and is used as a method to intimidate the female population. Women in these kinds of societies tolerate a high amount of violence against them. 

The cultural norms put them in a submissive position where they feel inferior to their spouse or intimate partner. Simply put, women are undervalued, unappreciated, and disrespected. They are considered property. 

In a region that approves these crimes, and there is no responsibility taken for such actions, these crimes will only keep happening. 

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15370057/

https://www.un.org/africarenewal/magazine/july-2007/taking-violence-against-women-africa

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/47535023_Sexual_violence_and_conflict_in_Africa_Prevalence_and_potential_impact_on_HIV_incidence

How COVID-19 caused a shortage of AIDS Medicine especially to Africa

How COVID-19 caused a shortage of AIDS Medicine especially to Africa Image

COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in more ways than one. The mysterious virus has changed the way we work, interact with other people, spend our time, among other things. Yet another major consequence of COVID-19 is the impact on the treatment of AIDS across the globe, especially in Africa.

What’s going on?

The results of the WHO survey carried out ahead of the International AIDS Society’s biannual conference showed that 73 countries have warned they are facing stock-outs of antiretroviral (ARV) medicines. The shortages of AIDS medications are caused by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, 24 countries reported having disruptions in the supply of ARV or critically low stock.

The above-mentioned survey followed a modeling exercise that revealed that a six-month disruption in access to AIDS medicines could double AIDS-related deaths in sub-Saharan Africa. What’s even worse, this awful scenario could occur in 2020 alone. The true impact of the shortage of AIDS medicines could be far more devastating in the years to come.

How does COVID-19 cause a shortage of AIDS medicine?

As seen above, the novel coronavirus disease pandemic has caused shortages of AIDS medications worldwide, particularly in Africa. But it’s impossible not to wonder why. It would be difficult to pinpoint one specific reason, but the shortage could be down to the failure of suppliers to deliver ARVs on time. 

With the rapid spread of COVID-19 across the globe many nations decided to close their borders. Lockdown was imposed on local and national levels. This has led to shutting down both land and air transport services. The delivery of ARVs wasn’t the exception. Yet another reason behind this current situation is the limited access to health services within the countries.

Progress is stalling

The World Health Organization explains that progress in the reduction of AIDS and HIV and death cases associated with them is stalling. The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to affect the fight against AIDS. Many scientists agree that the pandemic should not be an excuse to divert investment from HIV. 

The right to health means one disease shouldn’t be fought at the expense of the other. In other words, the treatment of HIV and AIDS should not be sacrificed for the sake of fighting COVID-19. This is particularly the case in Africa where people have limited access to medications and without proper treatments, the hard-work to keep AIDS under control could be jeopardized.

Bottom line

A recent survey showed that the COVID-19 pandemic caused shortages in AIDS medications. The disruptions in delivery and administration of ARVs could have drastic consequences. Health organizations should strive to keep their focus on AIDS while continuing their fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

References 

https://www.who.int/news-room/detail/06-07-2020-who-access-to-hiv-medicines-severely-impacted-by-covid-19-as-aids-response-stalls

List of common STDs in Africa with numbers in 2019

List of common STDs in Africa with numbers in 2019 Image

STD, sexually transmitted disease, as the name suggests, is an infection that passes from one person to another through sexual intercourse. As of today, there are 20 types of STDs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis, HIV, and a few more. 

These are the acknowledged diseases & advancements, and vaccines are being developed for the same now and then. Usually, these diseases can be contracted by both men and women, but the health problems faced by women are more severe.

STDs happen mostly due to viruses, bacteria, and parasites. There is a cure for bacterial and parasitic transmission but no vaccine or drug for an STD caused by a virus. Although there are medicines to control the symptoms, there is no cure.

  • In Africa, the statistical data states that Gonorrhoea is the most transmitted STD, which cause some specific disease to women and men. 
  • The stats for syphilis are also high in Africa, considering the late recognition of symptoms makes it more dangerous. 
  • A survey conducted by UNAIDS states that in 2017 around 37 million people were diagnosed with HIV and that 66% of patients were from South Africa.
  • Apart from Gonorrhoea, AIDS is a serious health disease in South Africa. 
  • Considering the United Nations statistical data gathered in 2019, Africa has the highest rate of people diagnosed with the disease and globally, the country ranked 4 with an adult HIV prevalence rate.
  • There was a 2019 survey that stated a meta-analysis, wherein 14% of transgender women have HIV. And going by the race and creed factor, 44% of Africans suffers from the same.

It was WHO survey that estimated the data of:

  • 3.5 million = Syphilis
  • 15 million = Chlamydia 
  • 16 million = Gonorrhoea 
  • 30 million = Trichomoniasis

And it occurs every year. 

Are The Stats Going Up or Down In Africa?

These statistics are far worse when one compares it to other countries. One must take STDs very seriously considering their widespread prevalence. 

  • If we look at the growing diseases in Africa apart from the above mentioned then, Herpes simplex virus infection and human papillomavirus are rising in the sub-Saharan region of Africa. STDs have different treatments; usually, if the diseases portray one of the four syndromes, the treatment then preferred is syndromic.
  • The rising number of diseases in Africa suggests that the country should opt for a strategically found solution to slow down the spread of this disease. The control solution can include ways to prevent disease, screening, and the early diagnosis and treatment of the same.

STDs are one of the most dangerous diseases that can have long term effects, and it is better to get oneself checked before it’s too late.

References

pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12348788/#:~:text=Sub-Saharan%20Africa%20ranks%20first,30%20million%20cases%20of%20trichomoniasis

ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4000753/

https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/group/gender/transgender/index.html

Top Most Popular Plants for Treating STIs in Africa – Do They Work?

Top Most Popular Plants for Treating STIs in Africa – Do They Work? Image

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are a widespread problem and a serious global issue. But, for the African population, these treatable and easily avoidable infections pose an even bigger threat. 

Out of the 37 million people living with HIV, 66% are in the sub-Saharan African region. 

Since not many families have the funds to get treatment, more and more are getting infected. Some even transfer their infection to their unborn child. 

In recent years, however, rural communities, particularly in South Africa, have taken interest in medicinal plants to cope with the rise in STIs. We’ve compiled all the research on this alternate medicine, and whether or not it can be effective. 

Medicinal Plants for Treating STIs in Africa

According to the South African Journal of Botany, there are 33 plant species and 23 combinations of herbal medicine used for treating STIs and other similar infections. Roots are the most popular addition to a soothing concoction. 

The sheer number of these plants shows just how important medicinal plants are in rural African communities. The truth is, people prefer plants over conventional medicine. They believe in their therapeutic properties and potent compounds. 

In fact, medicinal plants are the go-to choice in Africa for treating all kinds of diseases. From skin conditions to flu-like symptoms. But, when it comes to treating STIs, only a couple of the plants stand out. Some of the more popular options are:

  • African potato (Hypoxis hemerocallidea) 
  • The Weeping wattle (Peltophorum africanum), 
  • Senecio (Senecio serratuloides)
  • Rosemary

How Effective Is Alternative Medicine for STI Treatment

People use these remedies for treating genital warts, syphilis, gonorrhea, external, and internal sores, including AIDS symptoms. Based on clinical studies, these plants do contain some therapeutic properties. 

They are packed with anti-oxidant and phenolic compounds, which can serve as an effective antiseptic. They have potent anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial benefits that can soothe the symptoms. In the case of a parasitic disease, like STIs, it makes sense to use such types of plants. 

However, the full extent of their properties, effects, and mechanisms remain unknown. The anti-fungal compounds can reduce the activity of infectious diseases, but there is not much research on how well will their compounds work. 

While the bioactive properties in these plants can come in handy in complementary medicine, they might not be enough to treat these diseases completely. Especially if the infection has already built up a resistance. That’s why proper, more powerful antibiotics will come in handy. 

Final Thoughts

For a long time, people have been relying on medicinal plants to treat a range of different illnesses. But as the environment changes, so do these infections, eventually becoming more difficult to treat. Medicinal plants can be useful, but there is a limit to what they can do. Sometimes it’s best to rely on both natural and conventional sources to treat more serious infections. 

References: 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6742237/

https://knepublishing.com/index.php/SJMS/article/view/4691/9300

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/236010860_MEDICINAL_PLANTS_FOR_THE_TREATMENT_OF_SEXUAL_TRANSMITTED_DISEASES

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0254629911000512

Molluscum Contagiosum in Africa

Molluscum Contagiosum Image

Africa has a warm tropical climate. Researchers have observed that molluscum contagiosum is more prevalent in warm climates with lightly dressed children. In Mali, the disease is among the common dermatoses in children.

According to Medscape,  child molluscum is prevalent in some regions of Africa like Papua New Guinea. More than 52% of children over two years and 17% of an entire village population in the East Africa region suffered from lesions that resulted from a molluscum contagiosum outbreak. Scientists attributed the outbreak to the warm climate and poor hygiene conditions.

What is molluscum contagiosum?

Molluscum contagiosum is a viral skin infection caused by a poxvirus (of the Molluscipox Virus genus).  The infection results in the formation of round, smooth pearly lesions that occur anywhere on the body. 

The lesions appear mostly on the neck, face, genitals, legs, and abdomen either in groups or alone. It can last for six to twelve months and as long as four years. In children, it’s a minor problem but unsightly. It’s serious about adults and immunocompromised people like those with HIV

Symptoms of molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum contagiosum appear as pink, white, fresh-colored lesions with a pit in the center. They’re also pearly, painless, with a size ranging from 2 to 5 millimeters. They cluster, or appear alone anywhere it affects the body. May appear on hands, armpits, face, and any other place that can facilitate skin to a skin infection. Sexually transmitted Molluscum contagiosum appears on genitals, upper thighs, and lower abdomen.

Transmission of molluscum contagiosum

As the name suggests, molluscum contagiosum gets spread highly by skin contact with an infected person. Lesions in the genital area occur because of sexual contact. Swimming in a pool contaminated with the virus can facilitate transmission. The more exposure to the virus, the more chances of developing Mollusca. 

Effect of molluscum contagiosum in people with HIV/Aids?

Immunocompromised people like those with HIV/AIDS are extremely at risk of contracting an infection from molluscum contagiosum. The lesions are more in number and larger and take significantly longer to heal in people with HIV/AIDS. 

Diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum

Diagnosis of molluscum contagiosum can either be done by conducting a biopsy of the cells from lesions or by observing characteristics of the nodules as the molluscum contagiosum has identifiable specific characteristics. 

Molluscum contagiosum treatment 

Treatment of contagious molluscum infection is usually unnecessary because it can go away in immunocompetent people. However, treatment is highly recommended when its larger, numerous, and appears in an awkward place and especially for immunocompromised people.

Treatment involves:

Immunocompromised therapy

Those people with HIV/AIDS and other conditions that are immunosuppressant are prescribed with immune-boosting therapies and Antiretroviral drugs. Intralesional interferon has been used despite its undesirable side effects but has been observed to work well in healthy people. 

Topical treatment

Iodine, podophyllotoxin cream, salicylic acid, cantharidin, and tretinoin. Podophyllotoxin is recommended for men, rather than pregnant women, because of its toxic effects on the fetus.

Oral treatment

Oral treatment usually applies to pediatric patients who are afraid of the pain associated with pricking or squeezing the lesions. Oral cimetidine is painless, safe, and can be administered by parents at home.

Physical removal

This technique is painful and mostly done on adults. It’s inadvisable to do it by yourself because you may infect other parts of the body or risk spreading to others. 

Curettage (removal by piercing and scrapping off the cheesy part), cryotherapy (freezing the nodules by using nitrogen), and use of laser therapy are among the physical methods of molluscum contagiosum lesions.

Prognosis of Molluscum contagiosum

Molluscum lesions are more persistent in people with immunocompromised systems, while in healthy people, they disappear after 6-12 months on their own.  If the lesions aren’t treated earlier,  it might take up to 5 years to get rid of it. Early treatment helps in getting it under control and by stopping its spread.  About 35% of healed patients got re-infected with the virus. Reasons for recurrence are yet unknown.

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8641888/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12639455/

https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/910570-overview#a3

https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/guide/molluscum-contagium

https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/molluscum-contagiosum/treatment.html

https://www.aad.org/public/diseases/a-z/molluscum-contagiosum-treatment

https://dermnetnz.org/topics/molluscum-contagiosum/

Chlamydia in Africa

Chlamydia in Africa Image

STD is short for the sexually transmitted disease. There are many kinds of STDs. Chlamydia is a kind of sexually transmitted infection (STI) that is caused by the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. It is among the common ones and is transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse.

Chlamydia is curable; however, due to the lack of information about the said infection, many are untreated and are only detected when it’s at its worst. Hence, the rise in deaths related to it. In Africa, there are about 92.6 million new cases of STIs. This includes Chlamydia trachomatis, Neisseria gonorrhoeae, Treponema pallidum, and Trichomonas vaginalis. Among these STIs, according to WHO, Chlamydia has about 5.1 million or 2.6% prevalence rate in Africa.        

Symptoms

Chlamydia affects both men and women. However, the symptoms and severity differ. Most men with chlamydia experience pain when urinating, feeling of tenderness and swelling of the testicle, and penile discharge. A study focusing on STIs in Ghana has found that out of 186 people who have been tested, 167 had Chlamydia; 24% of them were men, and 76% were women. 

There are a lot more symptoms in women. Women who are diagnosed with Chlamydia usually experience an urgency to urinate, discomfort when urinating, yellow vaginal discharge that usually has a foul odor, low-grade fever, bleeding between periods, pain when having sexual intercourse, and the swelling of the vagina or around the anus. Also, it complicates pregnancy, and it also puts risks on the child. One study found that chlamydia trachomatis antibodies were found in 33.3% of mothers with stillbirths. It may also damage the eyes, lungs, and skin of the child.  

Contraction & Diagnosis

Contrary to what many believe, Chlamydia cannot be spread by kissing, toilet seats, or hot tubs. It can be spread from person-to-person through vaginal, anal, and oral sex. The bacteria can also enter one’s body when a body part moistened with infected secretion come in contact with the eyes. Chlamydia is diagnosed by testing samples from a urine sample, throat, vagina, or cervix. 

Treatment  

study in 2008 found that about 9.1% of adults in Africa are being infected by Chlamydia. It mostly infects young adults from age 15 to 25, since this age is the most active in sexual activities. Once diagnosed, patients will be prescribed with antibiotics. Aside from this, it is suggested to abstain from any sexually related activities to avoid the spreading of the infection; the abstinence should last for about a week or until the prescribed antibiotics are finished. Azithromycin and doxycycline are two antibiotics that are often prescribed to treat the infection. With early detection and proper treatment, the infection might be gone in just about a week or two. 

References:

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

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

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

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

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