By Dr. Sheikh , Sexology
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections that are propagated by sexual activity, primarily oral, anal and vaginal sex. A large variety of microorganisms such as bacteria, parasites and viruses can cause STDs. Most STDs are either curable or treatable. While certain diseases such as gonorrhoea, trichomoniasis, syphilis and chlamydia are curable, diseases such as Hepatitis B, HPV, herpes and HIV/AIDS, even though treatable, are not curable.
STDs are usually asymptomatic i.e. they do not exhibit symptoms or signs. This makes using protection during sex, such as a condom, very important. Regular consultation with you doctor for STD screening is important, so that identification and treatment of an infection can be done before it advances to its advanced stages.
Some of the sexually transmitted diseases, such as hepatitis, can be transmitted without sexual contact; coming into contact with the blood of an infected person can be one of the causes. Other diseases, such as gonorrhea, can be transmitted only via sexual contact.
Some suggestions that can be followed to avoid being infected with a STD include:
- Avoid multiple sexual partners; it i9s always healthy to be in and continue a monogamous relationship.
- Ensure that the partner has already been tested for any STD.
- Vaccinations are available for diseases such as HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), Hepatitis A and B.
- Utilize latex condoms while engaging in vaginal or anal intercourse and dental dams in case of oral sex.
- Being intoxicated can induce risky sexual behaviour i.e. indulging in sexual intercourse without using protection, thus increasing risks of STDs.
- Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin or the tissue covering the tip of the penis. It can be an option to lower the dangers of transmitting STDs, especially HPV and Herpes.