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/

Facts About Having Sex with Someone with HPV

Sexually Transmitted Human Papillomavirus (HPV) In Africa Image

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is very common, especially to sexually active people. In fact, around 80 percent of sexually active people will have such a virus at some point in their lives. But, the sad thing is that people who are infected with HPV don’t know that they have such a virus because it does not manifest any illnesses or symptoms.  

In fact, one out of four people in the US has HPV, which makes it become one of the most common types of Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD). Yes, HPV is prevalent, and it can eventually lead to various kinds of cancer, that’s why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention prescribes that children ages 11 to 12 years old should be given HPV vaccine. 

Usually, HPV does not cause any health issues, and it just goes away on its own. But, if it doesn’t, then you may be at risk of various health problems such as cancer and genital warts. So even if a person has no signs of having an HPV, the virus will spread through vaginal, anal, or even oral sex. 

Here are the facts about having sex with someone with HPV

  • Using a condom can’t completely protect you from HPV

The risk of transmission of STD cannot be eliminated, but it can be reduced by using male latex condoms consistently and correctly.  But, the virus is possibly living in the hair-bearing areas of the genitals and in the scrotum. It means that the virus can be transmitted by skin-to-skin genital contact, as well as anal and oral sex. 

So, even if condoms are worn correctly, it is still not a guarantee that you can be protected against Human Papillomavirus. The virus can still infect the areas which are uncovered, which means that you are still at risk of getting HPV. 

It is suggested that aside from using condoms while having sexual intercourse, you can reduce your risk of Human Papillomavirus by limiting your partner. It is said that the more sexual partners you have, the greater the risk of having Human Papillomavirus. 

  • Having an HPV vaccine can’t treat the virus itself

Take note that the vaccine available for HPV is not to treat the virus, but to prevent the same. The sad news is that HPV infection has no treatment if there are no signs or symptoms. Doctors do not treat the virus; instead, it treats the health issues caused by Human Papillomavirus. 

For instance, a certain treatment can be used if genital warts appear. The doctor may recommend the patient to take medicine and apply medical creams to cure genital warts. Sometimes, doctors don’t want early treatment of warts because they usually go away on their own.  

Since one of the signs of Human Papillomavirus is anal cancer, you may be advised to undergo surgery, radiation, or chemotherapy. The kind of treatment for anal cancer depends on its stage according to the measurement of the tumor and the coverage of cancer. 

  • No cure for HPV infection

There is no way you can cure an HPV infection using antibiotics. Since HPV is a viral infection, you cannot treat the virus using anti-bacterial medications. As of now, there are no antiviral medicines that are scientifically proven to treat the virus. 

But then, there is a possibility that Human Papillomavirus can be cured once you have it with the help of your own immune system. And the signs and symptoms of the said virus can actually be treated using available medications. The safest thing to do is to be protected from the said virus by having a Human Papillomavirus. As they say, “Prevention is better than cure.” 

  • Not all HPV infections can lead to cancer

There are around 150 different types of HPV, and they are commonly considered as sexually transmitted infection in the US. Sometimes, HPV can cause warts on the different parts of the body. There are other types of Human Papillomavirus that cause cancer. 

Cervical cancer and oral cancer are two types of cancers which are linked to HPV. We already discussed that not all HPV could lead to cancer. Instead, Human Papillomavirus, which are considered as high-risk, will most likely lead to cancer. 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), out of 100 kinds of Human Papillomavirus, around 14 of which are considered as high risks, which means that these are cancer-causing HPV. Believe it or not, cervical cancer is caused by a certain type of Human Papillomavirus, and it is one of the most common cancers suffered by women in less developed countries.  And around 311,000 women died because of cervical cancer. 

Is Your Penis Healthy? These Tips Will Help You Make Sure It is!

Is Your Penis Healthy? These Tips Will Help You Make Sure It is! Image

Today, we want to focus on the male body and talk about some penis health tips that will help any man concerned about the wellbeing of his penis keep it in top shape, while also ensuring he is able to perform like a “real man” during sex. 

1. Focus On Regular Physical Exercise

For any man looking for the answer to how to grow your penis size naturally, frequently participating in physical activity should be amongst the top solutions. Exercise is good for the human body – this is a fact that everyone should know by now. A sedentary lifestyle has many risks that it impairs on a man’s life, but regular exercise can beat these risks and even provide the man with several health benefits. Healthline explains that regular exercise helps you lose weight, building muscle, boost energy levels and even improve mental wellbeing. Additionally, physical exercise is also good for heart health and blood circulation. These elements are important for maintaining a working penis that is able to become erect, as well as for ensuring you are able to last long during sex without becoming too tired to go on. 

2. Eat A Healthy, Balanced Diet

To get a healthy penis that works well during sex, exercise should be a top priority, but so should a healthy and balanced diet be. What you eat on a daily basis has a significant impact on the wellbeing of your entire body – and not only does an unhealthy diet cause you to gain weight and feel sickly all the time, but it can also have detrimental effects on your penis. Ultimately, you should craft a diet that includes a combination of different foods to ensure you gain all the essential nutrients, and avoid consuming too much sugar, sodium and refined products, such as refined oils. Health.com reports that strawberries, avocados, almonds, sweet potatoes, sesame seeds, and watermelon as especially good for maintaining a healthy sex life. 

3. Do Your Daily Kegel Routine

Kegel exercises might, at first gland, seem like one of those unrealistic words that get picked up and suddenly explodes on the internet, but there is actually scientific evidence behind the effectiveness of these exercises for men. If you are looking for the answer to the age-old question how to make your penis strong and hard, then Kegels might be perfect for you. While originally created for women, Kegels have become very popular amongst men, especially for their effectiveness in improving the angle of an erection and, in some men, improving erectile strength. Medicine Net explains that these exercises also help men who experience the symptoms of certain sexual dysfunctions, such as premature ejaculation.

4. Have Sex, It’s Good For You!

To keep the penis healthy, a man should keep his penis happy. One of the primary uses for the penis is sex – and sex is actually really good for you. Apart from boosting your libido and helping you improve your abilities in the bedroom, WebMD explains that regular sex also counts as a form of exercise, assists with alleviating pain, maintains a strong immune system and also helps to reduce the risk of prostate cancer. Sex also helps to stimulate libido, which makes a man more likely to participate in more sex – yes, sex equals more sex. 

5. Watch Your Weight

Obesity is a growing concern for the entire world’s population. Currently, over a third of the adult population in just the United States are obese, as reported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Obesity is known to greatly contribute to a number of deadly diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, gastrointestinal disorders, and even mental illnesses. Additionally, obesity also plays a big part in a man’s sexual health – both directly and indirectly through this serious health condition causes a man to experience. 

Can STD Cause a Man Not to Get Erection?

Can STD Cause a Man Not to Get Erection? Image

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

What is an erection?

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

Sexually transmitted diseases

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

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

Erectile dysfunction

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

Sexually transmitted diseases and the prostate

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

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

Remedies for sexually transmitted disease erectile dysfunction

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

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

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

References

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

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


Sexually Transmitted Disease-Causing PID

Sexually Transmitted Disease-Causing PID “Pelvic Inflammatory Disease” Image

Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is a common issue for many women around the world. While many different causes can lead to the occurrence of this health issue, one of the most common cause is the presence of a sexually transmitted disease, specifically the presence of gonorrhea and chlamydia. In today’s article, we will share information on the topic of pelvic inflammatory disease caused by STDs and why it is important to get tested and treated in time.

What is a pelvic inflammatory disease?

Pelvic inflammatory disease is the term that refers to a condition that characterizes itself with infection of the female reproductive system. In 2013, around 88,000 women ages 15-44 had been diagnosed with PID in the United States alone. Each year, an estimated one million women struggle with this condition. It has also been suggested that 10-15% of all women experience PID at least once in their lifetime.

The common symptoms of the pelvic inflammatory disease include:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen, which is the most common symptoms caused by PID;
  • Mild to more severe pelvic pain;
  • Painful sexual intercourse;
  • Painful and frequent urination;
  • Fever;
  • Vomiting;
  • Fainting;
  • Increased vaginal discharge with a strong smell;
  • Irregular menstrual bleeding;
  • Fatigue, etc.

If left untreated, PID can lead to some serious complications. A tubo-ovarian abscess often develops as well as chronic pelvic pain. If PID develops in pregnant women, it can lead to an ectopic pregnancy, compromising the life of the fetus. There is also a high risk of infertility as well. All of these dangerous complications point out the importance of proper treatment and prevention. 

Sexually transmitted diseases as causes for PID in women

Some of the risk factors for developing the pelvic inflammatory disease are:

  • Having sexual intercourse before the age of 25;
  • Having multiple sexual partners;
  • Having unprotected sexual intercourse;
  • Having a history of PID;
  • Having recently inserted an intrauterine device (IUD);
  • Douching, etc.

However, the greatest risk factors for developing PID is the presence of gonorrhea and chlamydia or having had a medical history that includes these or any other sexually transmitted diseases. It is very common for the infection, that is later causing the characteristic symptoms of PID, to develop after certain bacteria, such as Neisseria gonorrhoeae and Chlamydia trachomatis which are causing these two common STDs with that being gonorrhea and chlamydia, move upward from the vagina or cervix into the reproductive organs. PID is one of the most common health complications that happen due to an untreated STD.

PID can easily spread through unprotected sexual contact, affecting more and more people. This is why it is very important to get tested in time and recommend your partner to do the same. Getting tested in time is especially important for male partners that you have engaged in unprotected sexual contact since men can be silent carriers of the bacteria that then causes the symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease. 

Is it possible to treat PID?

PID is highly treatable if diagnosed early. But one thing that you should know is that although proper treatment can and will eliminate the symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease, it is not possible to undo the damage that has been done, meaning that any complication or complications that have happened cannot be reversed. This is why it is very important to get treated as soon as you notice any signs and symptoms of either STD or PID to help preserve your reproductive, but also general health. 

Since it is a bacterial infection that is causing pelvic inflammatory disease, you will be prescribed antibiotics to treat the existing infection. If there is an abscess forming as a complication of the existing PID, surgery may be required to be done as well. 

How to prevent PID and STDs in general?

Everyone can act to lower their risk of contracting STDs and PID. There are a few simple steps that need to be followed to do that:

  • Always practice safe, protected sex;
  • Get tested in time if you notice any signs and symptoms of either an STD or a PID;
  • Avoid douches;
  • Inform your partner/partners to get tested if you have tested positive for the presence of either an STD or a PID;
  • Get informed about the perks of practicing safe sex;
  • Limit the number of your sexual partners.

References

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499959/

https://www.womenshealth.gov/a-z-topics/pelvic-inflammatory-disease

https://healthengine.com.au/info/pelvic-inflammatory-disease-pid#:~:text=10%E2%80%9315%25%20of%20women%20experience,tubes%20resulting%20from%20untreated%20PID.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4998032/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3249632/

STDs Symptoms in Men

STDs Symptoms in Men Image

Various symptoms are expected to develop due to STDs, and it is important for every man to keep these symptoms in mind. That is why in the following article we will briefly discuss the most common STDs and their symptoms in men. 

The most common STDs and their symptoms in men

Chlamydia

Chlamydia is a bacterial infection of the genital tract that can be transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral unprotected sex. Chlamydia usually goes unnoticed there are very few to no symptoms showing. In fact, it has been estimated that around 25-50% of the male patients with Chlamydia experience no symptoms whatsoever. And the ones that do, usually struggle with:

  • Swollen testicles
  • Painful urination
  • Penile discharge

The good news is that Chlamydia is easily treated with the use of antibiotics. However, repetitive infections are possible and quite common, which is why past patients are advised towards protected sex and regular testing for Chlamydia. 

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)

HPV is one of the most common STDs known to men and women all around the world. The most obvious reason to get infected with this difficult virus is of course, through unprotected sexual contact. Men who get infected with HPV usually do not develop any symptoms right away. Some of them might develop some symptoms months or years after the initial infection. The most characteristic symptom of HPV is genital warts which develop when oral or anal sex is listed as the main reason. Otherwise, oral warts are expected to develop.

When it comes to HPV, it is better to prevent it than to treat it. That is why there is a vaccine that anybody can get as a way to protect themselves against HPV. Of course, protected sex is another valid prevention method not only for HPV but for all STDs in general. HPV, if it does not show any symptoms, can resolve on its own without any treatment. However, if there are symptoms present, then you definitely need to visit your doctor.

Gonorrhea

Gonorrhea is another bacterial infection that can be transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, thus affecting the urethra, anus, and throat. Gonorrhea in men rarely causes any symptoms to develop. However, when they do, the following symptoms are expected to develop:

  • Painful urination
  • White, yellow, or green penile discharge that usually occurs one to fourteen days after the individual has been infected with the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae
  • Pain that is felt in the testicles
  • Itching and soreness in the area of the anus
  • Bloody discharge from the anus
  • Skin rash
  • Painful, swollen glands in the throat

Gonorrhea is also treated with the use of antibiotics. Once again, past patients are advised towards safe, protected sex and regular testing. They also need to be explained the increasing rise of antibiotic-resistant gonorrhea, which will make treatment more difficult in the future.

Genital herpes

Herpes is an infection due to the hepatitis simplex virus (HSV). There are two types of hepatitis, of which type 2 is always transmitted through unprotected sex and leads to the development of genital hepatitis. The symptoms of genital herpes in men include:

  • Painful blisters in the genital area
  • Burning and tingling sensations around the blisters
  • Loss of appetite 
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes

When it comes to herpes, there are some general methods that can be used to treat the momentary outbreak; however, future outbreaks are expected to happen. Unfortunately, there is no way to prevent any future outbreaks. 

AIDS 

AIDS is a life-threatening disease that is caused by an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus. HIV can be transmitted through a variety of ways, including unprotected sexual contact with a person infected with HIV or who is a carrier of HIV, contaminated needles, from mother to child during pregnancy, etc. This virus attacks your immune system, causing mild to more severe infections to develop in your body. Other than that, upon getting infected, there are some general symptoms that can be experienced including a sore throat, headaches, skin rash, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. It can take up to 10 years for the infection and disease themselves to be diagnosed. Prevention is key when it comes to AIDS and HIV.