*Disclaimer: These statistics came from the Centres for Disease Control which is an American Medical Institution and the statistics are American, but analysed against World Health Organisation stats, which show similar global trends. The list is ranked from mortality then to infectivity.
This might seem like an entirely random article, and to a point it is. But, as I am a young 17 year old boy, I’m beginning to discover the reality of sexually transmitted diseases (not personally!!!). Yet even more concerning to me is the attitude of young gents towards it. A lot of boys neglect examining their sexual health and refuse to even get a check-up. A lot of this denial comes from shame or embarrassment and at the end of the day it’s their personal business. So, this article is attempting to give a little insight on an issue that doesn’t get a lot of light. Also, the importance of regular check-ups cannot be understated, so boys (and girls) don’t be embarrassed and keep yourself safe.
Human papillomavirus is a viral infection, which can occurs in both men and women. It affects the genitals predominantly, but there are many variations of HPV. Most infected people have no symptoms and the infection clears after 1-2 years. Others experience genital warts or even some cancers. It is most common right after sexual activity starts. There is a vaccine though and in Australia, school children are able to have the vaccine administered.
9. Bacterial Vaginosis
This one only applies to the ladies. Bacterial vaginosis is an imbalance of the bacteria that’s natural in the vagina, and replaced by other bacteria’s. The cause is unknown because it is a variety of different bacteria that cause it. It is not even definitively proven that it is caused by sex, but it is more common in sexually active women. It can be treated however with anti-biotics. For more information relating to symptoms, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/bacterial-vaginosis
Trichomoniasis is safely one of the two STI’s that I had no idea about beforehand. But, it is still prevalent in Australia. Like the other infections on this list, symptoms often go unnoticed and undetected. In women, this can lead during pregnancy, to prematurity and low-weight babies. For more information relating to symptoms, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/trichomoniasis
7. Pubic Lice
Pubic lice is more commonly known as crabs. Put simply, they are just lice but in your pubic hair. The infection is really just a bunch of parasitic bugs that are down in the genital region and suck on blood for nourishment. They aren’t dangerous just annoying, but can be dealt with special creams and lotions. They are an indication though that a check-up should happen because often they can mean there are other STI’s present in yourself. For more information relating to symptoms, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/pubic-lice-crabs
Herpes is a common virus which has two strands, which can affect either the mouth or the genital region. Herpes is so common that one in eight people have it and around 80% of people are unaware that they have it at all, due the symptoms for months or even years. Alarmingly, there is no cure for herpes but there is medication which can reduce the severity. The actual effects are only relatively minor, and only occur around the skin, for short periods of time. For more information relating to symptoms, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/genital-herpes
Chlamydia is a very very common STI. It is one of the most common STI. Caused by bacteria, it can be treated by a single dose of anti-biotics. Called the silent infection, the majority of people do not realise they have it. Chlamydia is more severe for girls as it can affect their fertility. For more information relating to symptoms, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/chlamydia
There many strains of hepatitis, but Hep D & B are the most prevalent in sexually transmitted infections. Hep B can become long-term and stay in the body for life. Hep D is quite uncommon in Australia. Hepatitis as a whole inflames the liver, which is essential for regulation and maintenance of homeostasis in the body. For more information relating to symptoms, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hepatitis
Gonorrhoea is a disease caused by bacteria, that primarily affects the genital region. When it’s left untreated, which is a possibly, because symptoms often go undetected or simply don’t occur. Generally, it is detected by pain in the genital area or discharge involuntarily. In women it can develop into Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, which leads to infertility. For more information relating to symptoms, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/gonorrhoea
Syphilis is a potentially serious condition, caused by bacteria. When untreated leads to serious conditions and can be possibly fatal. It is spread through close skin-to-skin contact, and initially affects the skin in forms of rashes and ulcers, but the third stage (the untreated stage) of syphilis affects organs and can lead to heart and brain complications. Syphilis is alarming because not only is it a serious condition but it is also rising and has been since 2002, and it is particularly prominent in young homosexual males. It can be easily detected by a blood test. For more information relating to symptoms, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/syphilis
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is the most dangerous STI. This is the virus that leads to Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS). The virus weakens the immune system, that leaves the person susceptible to other viruses and cancers. As the immune system is compromised, it can’t fight these infections as efficiently as a non-infected person. Initially, it would be considered a death sentence, however through modern medicine, people with HIV or AIDS can live quite comfortably through regular doses. For more information relating to symptoms, see https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/conditionsandtreatments/hiv-and-aids