Sexually Transmitted Diseases to Babies

Sexually Transmitted Diseases to Babies Image

Sexually transmitted diseases as the name suggests, are transmitted through sexual contact. In sub-Saharan Africa, Statistics show that sexually transmitted diseases are among the main reasons why most people seek medical care. 

However, this statistics largely refer to men, and reveals that women in these regions are slow to seek medical attention in regard to sexual diseases. 

This puts these children and many in other African regions at risk because there is an incredible number of sexually transmitted infections that can be transmitted through a mother during pregnancy or, during childbirth. 

Among these infections include HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, Chlamydia, hepatitis B, and HPV. 

Reports from centers for disease and control, CDC reveal risk factors that are predominant in Africa and predispose infants to maternal sexually transmitted infections; this includes the relationship status of the mother and her sex partner, including his fidelity to her as a sex partner and the consistency of the relationship.  

Poverty, homelessness and her inability to access timely STD screening and treatment services has also been reported to increase her risk of STI infections 

Prevalence of Sexually Transmitted Diseases among Babies in Africa

Evidence shows that of the listed STI’s that are transmitted to babies in Africa, HIV is given quite an emphasis due to the numerous debilitating effects that come with the disease, not to mention the stigma, high probability of death, and suffering to both mother and child. These efforts have seen a tremendous decline in mother to child transmission from 30% to 1%.

However, although syphilis is known to have equally severe consequences on pregnancies and newborns in these regions, it has not received an equal measure of mobilization towards eradication. The prevalence of syphilis infection among pregnant women in sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be 2.7%, which represents nearly 1 million pregnancies to be at risk annually.

More than 50% of children born with congenital syphilis in Africa are initially asymptomatic, making a prenatal diagnosis of maternal infection vital to improving mother-child pregnancy outcomes.

Gonorrhoeae, Chlamydia trachomatis, or Trichomonas vaginalis in pregnant women can be as high as 25% of sexual infections among newborns in Africa.

Globally neonatal herpes maternal transmissions although rare, accounts are estimated to be 14,000 annually, with majority of this numbers originating from Africa.

Effect of the STI Diseases on Babies in Africa

Mother to child transmissions during pregnancy and childbirth in Africa can result in neonatal deaths, stillbirth, sepsis, conjunctivitis, congenital deformities, low birth weight, and premature newborns. 

Extreme effects of STIs may include blindness, physical disability, mental retardation, and even death. 

Treatment

Viral STI’s are not treatable; however, all the bacterial infection causing STIs are curable, including syphilis. However, adverse effects of syphilis in Africa in both the mother and child are preventable. 

In Tanzania, this was done with effective screening and then treating with a single intramuscular dose of benzathine penicillin. 

Conclusion – STI’s Among Babies In Africa

Sexually transmitted diseases among babies remains a serious threat, however, treatment is available for most of the curable infections when presented timely in hospitals. 

HIV screening for pregnant women in Africa to prevent maternal infection is effective and is duly carried out among women attending antenatal care.

Although it has received challenges in some resource-poor settings, screening of syphilis among pregnant women attending antenatal care is also done routinely in this region. 

Senate Passes Sexual Harassment Bill In Nigeria

Nigerian Senate Passes Sexual Harassment Bill Image

One of the most significant and most traumatic factors that affect girls and young women disproportionally is undoubtedly sexual assault. But considering the environment and social impact of Nigeria, there is minimal information and facts regarding the subject. 

Statistics about Sexual Harassment in Nigeria


The Pan African Medical Journal study shows the following patterns and stats about the sexual assault in Nigeria.

  • 6.1 percent of males were recorded with the sexual assault cases
  • 93.9 percent of females are usually the victims of sexual assault which is clearly a majority
  • Most of the recorded cases occurred in the day
  • Most of the cases were recorded in the people with the age of fewer than 20 years and unmarried
  • 52 percent of the assailants were found to be known to victims
  • 48.5 percent of the cases happened at assailants’ office or house
  • The physical force was recorded in 29.6 percent of the cases and 31.1 percent of cases recorded with violence 

All of these stats and patterns are acquired by studying the 75 percent of the total cases.

Most Common Sexual Diseases in Nigeria


According to the scientific studies and researches, there are many STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) in Nigeria, but the most common of them all are listed below:

  • Gonorrhea
  • Chlamydia
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Syphilis
  • HIV
  • Herpes

Nigerian Senate Passes Sexual Harassment Bill


Due to the above figure and facts and the increasing rate of STDs in Nigeria, the Nigerian senate has passed the sexual harassment bill to uphold the basic ethical structures, specifically in high schools and universities, because there were many lecturers found in the universities committing sexual harassment.
Now because of the newly passed bill, any person committing sexual harassment crime will be sent to jail for at least two years.
Ahmad Lawan, the senate president, said that the sexual harassment bill is landmark legislation because we want to protect and save the daughters of our nation from the predators. He added that our tertiary institutions must be safe and sound to provide the students with a protective environment, and this bill will ensure it.

There is also the other side of the picture where the students were found accusing teachers of sexual harassment: essentially blackmailing to get better grades. The bill also deals with such students by making sure that in such cases, the students will be suspended.

The bill was first introduced in 2016, but the lawmakers revisited it due to the increasing cases of sexual misconduct in 2018.

After the success of the sexual harassment legislation, the education authorities and universities announced that they would work and cooperate with the government. They said that to ensure the implementation of the law, they will deal with every case by a thorough investigation.

Nigerian students, especially girls, feel very hopeful because it will make things very easy to pursue their careers and to reach their goals.

References:

https://www.kake.com/story/42346538/nigerian-senate-passes-sexual-harassment-bill

https://edition.cnn.com/2018/06/01/africa/nigeria-senate-investigates-harassment/index.html

https://www.wral.com/nigerian-senate-passes-sexual-harassment-bill/19179900/

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/nigerian-senate-passes-sexual-harassment-bill/ar-BB16uKH7?li=BBnbcA1

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

Hygiene And STD

Hygiene And STD Image

STD for the sexually transmitted disease is very common nowadays, in the states, there are 20 million STD cases each year. The majority of the cases belong to the Teenage group. 

The major questions that arise over here are as follows:

Do we get STD from having sex? Do pills protect against STD’s?

We need to understand a point over here, that if you have sexual contact with multiple partners and you don’t use any protection, this leads you to severe damage. Unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex can lead you to STD’s or STI’s. It can even happen with the sharing of sex toys. 

Does Being Hygienic Have Any Role In The Prevention of STD’s?

You need to understand that being hygienic can help you in tackling any such situation. From being hygienic, we are referring to a situation where you are fully aware of being neat and clean before or during having any sexual contacts or sex. 

  • You should use properly clean sex toys and use a new packet of condoms every time you are having sex. 
  • Reusability of any such thing can lead you to two sexually transmitted infections.

Some prevalent STDs include chlamydia, gonorrhoea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis

  • STI’s like herpes and syphilis can increase the risk of HIV acquisition.
  • HPV infections are the major causes of cervical cancer and deaths every year.

There are several kinds of antimicrobial resistance drugs that are available in the market for the prevention of STD’s and STI’s.

It Is Important To Educate The Youth About The Relationship Between Hygiene And STD’s

There is a global reformation by WHO for the treatment of STD’s, which includes educating the youth on the consequences they might have to face if they don’t follow hygiene during sexual intercourse.

Some of the preventive measures are:

  • Pre-exposure vaccination: HPV vaccination is recommended for boys and girls in the teenage so that they don’t face any consequences of STD’S.
  • Reduction in the number of sex partners: One of the major things is to know your sex partner and his or her health. Getting yourself checked and sharing the result with your partner serves as the best medium of making sure that you are going to have no problems.
  • Using condoms: it is one of the most effective ways, latex condoms are highly effective in the prevention of HIV infection or any kind of sexually transmitted disease. It even helps you in reducing the risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, herpes, hepatitis b, or syphilis.

Final Words

Hence, we can see that STD’s are one of the major health issues that are growing every year. There should be sex education in school with WHO guidelines, and there should also be proper education for the teenagers in regards to any sexually transmitted disease. 

If you are aware of the consequences, you will take precautions.

References:

https://www.cdc.gov/std/tg2015/clinical.htm

https://helloclue.com/articles/sex/stis-common-questions-and-misconceptions

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

Mental Health and STD

Mental Health and STD Image

Mental health refers to behavioral patterns that affect the way you think, feel, and act.  Mental health relates to STDs in a complex way and the stigma results in unifying thread that causes harm in many ways, as research shows.

Even though STIs pose a real threat to public health, the World Health Organization says that over 300 million cases of STIs occur globally such as chlamydia, trichomoniasis, gonorrhea, and syphilis, can be easily treated and prevent.

But the funny thing is that we understand more about the physical effects of STIs more than its emotional and mental implications. Sure, STIs are treatable but most people who contract it suffer from stigma and shame.

As they try to confront the shame and guilt some of them end up developing stress and other mental problems. In fact, most people dealing with STIs go through severe depression, stress, anxiety, sadness, and other conditions without knowing.  Sometimes these conditions can be so traumatic.

Common conditions of mental health problems

Depression

This is one of the most common mental health conditions and can range from mild to acute. The symptoms of depression can affect your daily life activities.  Both treatment and the guilt of having STIs can lead to depression.

Common symptoms include: 

  • Feeling sad and anxious all the time.
  • Not enjoying the activities that used to be fun.
  • Feeling restless, frustrated, or irritated all the time.
  • Lack of sleep or waking up in the middle of the night.
  • Concentration trouble.
  • Suicidal thoughts.

Worry

Being worried all the time means you’re concerned about something. It’s quite normal to feel worried, especially if you contract STI.

You might be worried about how STI will affect your relationship or sex life, or if you have passed the STI to your sexual partner.  You may also be worried about how people will perceive you once they know you have an STD.

Being worried and anxious all the time might have a huge impact on how you carry out your daily activities.

Anxiety

 Anxiety usually describes the nature of worry and its effect on your daily activities. The longer you keep on thinking about something, the more anxious you become. This is common when your STI result is negative, but you still feel uneasy.  You might find yourself retaking the test or going to the internet to find more information.

Common symptoms of anxiety include:

  • Uncertainty, poor memory, poor concentration, intrusive thoughts.
  • Withdrawal, difficulty sleeping, appetite, drug abuse, change in social activities
  • Rapid heart rate, chills, nausea, fatigue, headaches.

Here is what you can do when you’re worried, anxious, or depressed:

Talk to a counselor: Talking to someone who has experience in helping people who worry a lot or have anxiety issues can help you. 

Talk to your partner: If you’re in a relationship, it’s wise to inform your partners about your condition so he/ she can go for testing and receive medication. 

Only use reliable sources to find information: The internet is full of information, some are outdated, others are misleading. So when searching for information for STDs, make sure it’s from a reliable source. If you can help it! Don’t search for any information because it can increase your anxiety or worry.

Practice safe sex:  If you really can’t abstain from sex then practice safe sex by using dental dams, condoms, and getting vaccinated.

Seek treatment:  Always go for regular checkups with your partner. This is also crucial because some STDs are asymptomatic. Make testing a regular part of your routine.

Even though it’s important to focus on your physical health during treatment and recovery; remember to take care of mental health because it’s just as important.

References

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15617367/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4000753/

https://journals.lww.com/stdjournal/fulltext/2004/01000/mental_health__a_powerful_predictor_of_sexual.4.aspx

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24324756/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/14695951/

https://www.ajmc.com/journals/issue/2004/2004-12-vol10-n12/dec04-1965p917-924

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/8113895_Mental_health_disorders_and_sexually_transmitted_diseases_in_a_privately_insured_population

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796823/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2796823/

The Benefits of Self-Testing for HIV and Other Common STDs

STD Home Testing Offers An Affordable Way To Reduce The Incidence Of STDs

Thinking how big of a role have shame and fear in the continuous rise of STDs prevalence, researchers have found a way to make testing for the common STDs a bit easier and comfortable. With the invention of self-testing kits for HIV and other common STDs such as gonorrhea, syphilis, and herpes, people are now free to test themselves at the privacy of their own homes. 

How does self-testing for HIV and other common STDs work?

Self-testing is a process that allows the individual to get tested and later interpret the results at the privacy of their own home or whatever safe and private place that they choose. Currently, there are various brands of self-testing kits; however, they are all offering a somewhat similar form of self-testing kits. 

These kits usually come with instructions and all of the needed material to collect the required sample, which is most often a blood sample or a mouth swab. Today, we have self-testing kits that can detect the presence of gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HIV, and other common STDs. While using a self-testing kit to detect gonorrhea or syphilis requires the sample to be sent out to a laboratory that the manufacturer is collaborating with, HIV self-testing kits usually provide somewhat of accurate results in a few minutes.

There is the second, third, and fourth generation of HIV self-testing kits, with the fourth generation tests being able to detect a presence of recent infections, which is suggested to be the best option for a self-test. The HIV self-tests are detecting the presence of IgG and IgM antibodies, and with that, they are detecting the presence of HIV. 

All non-reactive self-test results are considered to be negative for the presence of HIV. However, all reactive (positive) results need to be confirmed later by visiting a healthcare professional and doing proper treatment. Despite that, self-tests are highly valuable in the detection of HIV.

The benefits of self-testing

The benefits of self-testing are clear. Having the option to get tested, not only for HIV but for other common STDs as well, while enjoying complete anonymity surely increases the number of individuals that decide to get tested and ask for help in the cases of a positive result. 

The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) has conducted an evaluation of HIV self-testing among men who have sexual intercourse with other men. The international controlled trial has shown that men who have sex with other men and decide to get self-tested are more likely to get tested more frequently as compared to those who choose to visit the local healthcare facilities instead. 

The trial also showed that despite the fact that many have thought that having the ability to self-test at home can make individuals feel more comfortable to engage in risky sexual behaviors, self-testing did not increase this risk. Self-testing has helped many individuals to identify their HIV status and become aware of their HIV infection. 

Self-testing kits for the common STDs have been especially popular in Africa, where there is a high STDs prevalence, and sex and reproductive health are still stigmatized topics, often linked to feeling fear and shame of getting a positive result which only contributes to the rise of the STDs prevalence. The possibility to get tested and stay anonymous in the process plays a big role, encouraging more and more individuals to get tested and determine the state of their current reproductive health. With that, the rates of the common STDs, including HIV, are expected to decline over time.

Conclusion

Self-testing has played a big role in enhancing the quality of life and life-span in general of the many individuals that otherwise engage in risky sexual behaviors. With the ability to get tested for STDs at home and get the results in a matter of minutes, people are more likely to pay better attention to their reproductive health, especially in high burden countries such as Africa where talking about sex and reproductive health often causes feelings of shame and fear.

References

https://www.aidsmap.com/about-hiv/how-accurate-self-testing-hiv

https://hivstar.lshtm.ac.uk/publications/

https://www.cdc.gov/hiv/testing/self-testing.html

https://journals.plos.org/plosmedicine/article?id=10.1371/journal.pmed.1002512

What Groups Of People Are Exposed To The Highest Risk Of STDs?

What Groups Of People Are Exposed To The Highest Risk Of STDs? Image

The term STDs stands for sexually transmitted diseases with the term being self-explanatory referring to diseases that are transmitted through unprotected sexual intercourse including oral, anal, and vaginal sex. There are many STDs and even more complications than they could potentially lead to if left untreated, however, the following STDs are marked as the most common ones – HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea, and herpes. 

The number of new STD cases is increasing, despite the hardest efforts of doctors and researchers to raise awareness among the people. However, it is countries like Africa that are marked as high-burden countries in the fight against STDs. For example, 9.1 African adults have been affected by chlamydia back in 2008, whereas genital herpes has affected around 118 million adults (HSV-1) and 19.2 million adults (HSV-2), and with that Africa has been marked as the country with the highest prevalence of genital herpes.

The risk groups that are more likely to get infected with an STD

Over the years we have been able to understand that there are simply some groups of people that have an increased risk of getting infected with an STD as compared to the general population. In the following we will share the potentially high-risk groups of people:

  • Women – African women are more likely to get infected with an STD as compared to be, as research has shown back in 1992;
  • Children – Unfortunately, in Africa, both adults and children are affected, with children and adult women being the most common victims of the different STDs. 91% of the HIV-infected children worldwide are living in Africa;
  • People who have more than one sexual partner – Being in a monogamous relationship is considered to be an effective prevention method for STDs;
  • People who engage in unprotective sex – Practicing unsafe sex is the number one risk factor for STDs;
  • People who live in rural areas – Rural areas have been marked as high-burden, with most of the STD-infected people living there;
  • People who engage in the fish-for-sex phenomenon – In the shores of Lake Victoria in Kenya, mostly women, but also men, engage in sexual intercourse, most commonly unprotected sex, in exchange for fish that they later use as food or sell for money. This phenomenon has led to a continuous increase in new STD cases;
  • Married people – A study has shown that married people in Swaziland have a higher risk of getting infected with an STD as compared to single people. Researchers suggest that engaging in unprotected sex with a regular partner, or the spouse, in this case, may explain this risk factor.
  • People with a history of STD – A 2009 study has demonstrated how having a medical history that includes one or multiple STDs increases the risk of the infection reoccurring. The focus of the study were women with a past HIV infection who had an increased risk of chlamydial infection.

References

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

https://www.redelve.com/backend/images/article/1553841134.pdf

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1633656

https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-hiv-africa#fnref2

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/idog/2010/609315/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28108929

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5445272/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19265734

What Are the Most Common Complications of Untreated STDs?

What Are the Most Common Complications of Untreated STDs? Image

The task of motivating others to get properly tested and treated for existing STDs has proven to be quite the difficult one, over the past couple of years. This has proven to be an even greater problem when there are feelings of fear and shame involved, as it is the case with most individuals living in Africa. 

Lack of proper testing and treatment leads to a continuous increase in new STD cases. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), each year in Africa, there are around 3.5 million syphilis cases, 15 million chlamydia cases, and 16 million gonorrhea cases, among other common STDs. It is Sub-Saharan Africa that ranks first with the highest STI incidence compared to the rest of the world.

But it is not only the high number of cases that are worrying us. It is the high number of deaths that are causing by these very same STDs because of the lack of proper testing and treatment. That is why we thought about using something else as the number one motivational method today. Today, we will guide you through the potential complications of leaving an STD untreated – from the mildest ones to the most severe ones that will seriously harm you and the people around you.

The potential complications of leaving an STD untreated 

For you to better understand these complications, we will list the most common STDs and the complications that they could potentially lead to.

  • Chlamydia
    • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – In women, untreated chlamydia can cause PID by spreading to the fallopian tubes and/or uterus. 10-15% of women with untreated chlamydia are diagnosed with PID;
    • Problems linked to pregnancy and birth – In pregnant women, untreated chlamydia has caused pre-term delivery, low birth weight, and pneumonia in the newborn;
    • Infertility – Infertility can occur in both men and women due to untreated chlamydia;
    • Infections – Untreated chlamydia can lead to infection of the testicles, urethra, and/or prostate gland.
  • HIV
    • AIDS – Without treatment, HIV can quickly progress to AIDS which is a life-threatening and deadly disease.
  • Syphilis
    • Damage to the internal organs – Leaving syphilis untreated can lead to damage to multiple body organs including the heart, blood vessels, eyes, bones, joints, liver, etc.;
    • Stroke;
    • Dementia;
    • Death.
  • Gonorrhea
    • Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) – Like chlamydia, gonorrhea as well, if left untreated, can lead to PID;
    • Infertility;
    • Infections of the testicles, urethra, and/or prostate gland.
  • HPV (human papillomavirus)
    • Cancer – While not all strains of HPV lead to cancer, certain strains such as HPV 16 and HPV 18 have been identified as the cause of 70% of all cases of cervical cancer.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6808548/

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

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20470050

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21538042

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3138448/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK534780/

https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/infectious-agents/hpv-fact-sheet

Children as Victims of STDs in Africa

Children as Victims of STDs in Africa Image

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have caused us troubles for centuries now. From the time when they were first identified as a threat until now, we have seen STDs affecting millions of people around the world, causing some troubling symptoms and even more troubling and potentially life-threatening complications. 

But it seems that some groups of people living in certain parts of the world have it worse than others. A good example, as researchers suggest, are children living in Africa. It should not come as a surprise since we are very well aware of the majority of the STD-infected population living in Africa with that being most commonly women and children, including newborns that have been infected with a dangerous STD either during pregnancy or during birth due to the lack of proper testing and treatment did.

STD-infected children living in Africa

If you are wondering how many STD-infected children there are currently living in Africa, know that the majority of HIV-infected children, with that being 91%, are African children. In Africa, AIDS, caused by HIV, remains the leading cause of death in adolescents. AIDS is also the reason why there are so many orphaned children, such as Zimbabwe where approximately 74% and South Africa where 63% of the orphaned children have lost both of their parents due to HIV/AIDS.

Other commonly diagnosed STDs among children are herpes and chlamydia which, unlike HIV and syphilis can be passed during pregnancy, are transmitted during birth. Many children also lose their lives at birth because of these dangerous STDs. Stillbirth and miscarriage are two complications that we often see happening during pregnancy and birth because of untreated STDs.

Researchers working on a study published back in 2014 tried to identify the causes of the high STD prevalence in children and women living in Africa. The study listed the following reasons as to why there are so many STD-infected children, especially female children, that is, living in Africa.

  • Poverty;
  • Neglect;
  • Inequality.

Living in rural areas of Africa is one of the common risk factors. Practicing in unsafe sex is the main risk factor and method of transmission for STDs in both adults and children. Engaging in sex, unprotected sex, that is, from an early age also increases the risk for children to get infected with one, or often multiple STDs at a time. 

Children being forced to engage in sexual intercourse is not uncommon for these parts of the world as well, thus explaining the high number of STD cases. For children and adolescents, it is harder to identify the present symptoms and ask for help in time, which would also explain the continuous rise of new STD cases in Africa. 

The fact is that we have to do whatever we can to raise awareness and protect those who are unable to protect themselves. Regular screenings and proper treatment is the key for protecting the youngest that are not spared from the vicious symptoms and complications caused by STDs.

References

https://www.unicef.org/publications/files/UNICEF_Annual_Report_2015_En.pdf

https://www.who.int/woman_child_accountability/ierg/news/ierg_statement_AIDS_1_december_2014/en/

https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jstd/2014/671085/

Can You Get STD Without Sexual Intercourse?

STD

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), as the term suggests, are diseases that are transmitted through having unprotected sexual intercourse. However, that is certainly not the only way of transmission that researchers have described over the years. In the following article, we will share the different transmission ways through which an STD could be transmitted that do not involve sexual intercourse – vaginal or anal.

5 Ways through which you can get an STD without sexual intercourse

  • Oral sex

Although oral sex is often not considered to be “actual” sex since it does not involve any penetration, it does represent a common way of transmission for many dangerous STDs since there is still an exchange of infected secretions. Oral sex can help spread STDs such as herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and others. If there is a suspicion that you or your partner has an STD, do use a condom for any sexual contact – oral, anal, and vaginal as a primary way of protecting against unwanted pregnancy and STDs.

  • Kissing 

If you think of kissing as an innocent action, think again. We bet that you did not think of kissing as being one of the common transmission ways for many STDs such as herpes for example. When you come in contact with sores and you have even the slightest breaks in your skin on the lips through which infected secretions will be exchanged, the risk of getting herpes is quite high.

  • Sharing sheets and/or clothes

Sheets, towels, and clothes can be the place where viral infections are hiding, waiting to spread in yet another body. Such examples as pubic lice and the parasite that causes trichomoniasis. We highly recommend changing your sheets often and avoid sharing towels and clothes with people whose reproductive health you are not aware of. 

  • Pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding

Unfortunately, many STDs can be transmitted through pregnancy and childbirth from the infected mother to her little one. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, and cytomegalovirus can spread through delivery whereas syphilis and HIV can infect the fetus during pregnancy. Studies show that these types of transmissions are not uncommon at all with the prevalence being as high as 15% among pregnant women who are often affected by STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Breastfeeding is yet another common transmission path for most HIV. This is why proper STD screening is done as a part of the prenatal visits, but it is very important that the mother-to-be is aware of the dangers of STDs and take proper care of her reproductive health throughout the pregnancy and breastfeeding period.

  • Sharing a razor

Sharing razors, and any sharp objects that cut or pierce the skin and lead to an exchange of infected blood can lead to an STD transmission. This is one of the most common ways that HIV and hepatitis A, B, C, and D, happens without sexual intercourse. 

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9634339

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6715946/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5967814/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5885289/