As implied, sexually treated infections are essentially maladies which are predominantly transmitted via sexual contact. Most people have basic knowledge on this category of infections, but the lack of real understanding has led to a significant rise in the number of people affected annually. Therefore, consider this brief description of the critical aspects that every individual needs to understand with regard to STIs.

   Causes of STIs

   There are over thirty microorganisms associated with STIs, and these include bacteria, viruses and even parasites. The common bacterial diseases are chlamydia, syphilis and gonorrhea, while the viral counterparts are HIV, herpes and genital warts.sexually-transmitted-infections-380 Protozoal infections are less common, but incidences of trichomoniasis, for example, are fairly widespread. In addition, parasites such as crab lice (commonly known as pubic lice or crabs) and scabies are also a significant concern.

   Transmission

   As mentioned, STIs are transmitted primarily through sexual contact, although transfer of infected blood and tissues also result in infection. The probability of spread will depend on the form of unprotected sex and the type of disease. The known infection risks for unprotected oral sex include herpes, syphilis, HPV, gonorrhea and chlamydia. Vaginal sex presents a high risk for most types of infections for both the male and female. These include HIV, gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, hepatitis B and parasitic infections. Anal sex, whether insertive or receptive, presents a high risk for HIV infection and many other sexually transmitted diseases.

   Symptoms

   STIs are not always associated with symptoms, and this often allows the disease to develop and become complicated. It is prudent to submit to regular testing for any ‘silent’ infection. When there are signs of an infection, the nature of the infection is fairly obvious. Discharge of various hues from sexual organs, including the anus is a common symptom. Rash and blisters in the genitals and the mouth can also appear. It is also important to watch out for itching, burning, swelling and redness around the anus and genitals. Additionally, painful sex, uncomfortable urination and unusual bleeding should be taken as a symptom of an infection.

   Treatment and prevention

   Most of the common STIs are curable using pharmaceuticals. These include gonorrhea, chlamydia, trichomoniasis and syphilis. However, those of viral nature like HIV, herpes, hepatitis B and even HPVs can only be treated to control symptoms and severity.

   Fortunately, STIs can be avoided by taking precautionary steps. If abstinence is not a viable option, condoms should be used and periodic screening should be performed for early infection detection. Furthermore, if you are sexually active and tend to have sex with different partners, getting a vaccination for viral STIs such as HPV and hepatitis might be a reasonable preventive measure for you.