Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)
Sexually transmitted diseases are infections caused by a variety of infectious organisms that are spread through sexual activity by contact with blood, semen, vaginal and oral fluids and open sores of an infected person; through infected mother to baby during pregnancy or delivery process; or by sharing contaminated needles, syringes, or drug equipment of an infected person.
You can have an STD and not even know it.
Since most STDs may present with no or mild symptoms, it is often not diagnosed and not appropriately treated. There is no cure yet for some STDS such as herpes, genital warts, or HIV but there are medications you can take to help you manage the symptoms. There are STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis where medications are readily available. If these STDs are left undiagnosed and untreated, the infection may lead to serious health problems such as pelvic inflammatory disease, sterility, cancer, arthritis, ectopic pregnancy, and prostatitis to name a few.
Pregnant women infected with STD may pass the infection on to their baby. The baby may become infected with pneumonia, conjunctivitis, and sometimes congenital malformation as in congenital syphilis or even death.
Persons infected with STDs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and/or syphilis may increase their risk of acquiring HIV infection. A person infected with HIV/AIDS and syphilis may result in increase viral load and decrease CD4 which may further overwhelm the immune system.
If you think you or your partner is exposed to an STD, then immediately contact your health care provider for testing and treatment.
If your symptoms persist after treatment, immediately contact your health care provider.