A sexually transmitted infection (STI) refers to an illness that is spread from one individual to another via sexual contact. Unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse with individuals with an STI may lead to infection. This argument is not to say that sex is the sole means of spreading STIs. Sharing needles and nursing may potentially spread diseases based on the chosen STI. These illnesses can be spread nonsexually, like during pregnancy or delivery when mothers pass them on to their babies via blood transfusions or sharing of needles. In other cases, STIs may not manifest any symptoms at all. Even healthy-looking individuals may spread sexually transmitted diseases since they are not often aware of their status as carriers of the disease. Additionally, people of all sexual orientations and hygiene standards are at risk of contracting the infectious disease, with women being more susceptible than their male counterparts (Tsevat et al., 2017). Nonpenetrative sexual practices are a common method of spreading STIs. The essay gives an overview of STIs, their symptoms, and how they can be prevented and treated.
Educating oneself about sexually transmitted diseases is critical, as is getting tested if one suspects being exposed to one or is exhibiting symptoms. The CDC estimates that about twenty million new instances of sexually transmitted conditions are diagnosed each year, with half of these occurrences happening in young individuals aged 15 to 24 years (Golden et al., 2017). Itching and sores around the vaginal area are additional common STI symptoms to consider. Some individuals, on the other hand, will show no signs or symptoms at all. It is also possible to transmit an STI to a sex partner even if one is unaware that they have the disease themselves. As a result, knowing about STIs is imperative, as is being tested if one suspects they have been infected or are showing symptoms. Most sexually transmitted diseases are curable; hence, it is essential to get treatment as soon as possible to avoid long-term health problems and possibly infertility. Safety precautions such as condoms may help limit the spread of most STIs, but they are not infallible.
In the last five years, the number of STIs in the U.S. has risen dramatically, creating a public health emergency. When untreated, several STIs may have severe health implications, even if no symptoms exist (Golden et al., 2017). If individuals have HIV, treating STIs may be more difficult, particularly if the individuals’ CD4 count is low. Therefore, if individuals are sexually active, STI screening and therapy should be included in their routine HIV care. Both Hepatitis B and C are sexually transmitted and represent a health concern for the infected with HIV.
The at-risk individuals need to book appointments at the sexual health clinic if they think they may have deadly STIs. Although general practitioners (GPs) have the primary role of attending to HIV patients, the sexual health clinic proves crucial for a sustainable population. The genital and urinary systems are treated at sexual health clinics. Patients who see specialists get test results more quickly than those who visit a general practitioner, and they may not be required to pay a medication fee for therapy (Barrow et al., 2020). They may be open with their physician regarding their sexual preferences and behaviors. If they do not desire to provide their actual names or inform the staff of their GP, one may decline this meeting. The physician or anybody outside the clinic will not be aware of the patient’s visit except if the victim specifically requests it.
In conclusion, STIs are mostly transmitted through unprotected vaginal, oral, or anal intercourse with individuals who are already infected. Itching and sores around the genitals are the common symptoms, and one should be tested if they suspect to exhibit such signs. However, in some cases, individuals do not exhibit any symptoms. Prevention measures include using protection such as condoms every time people have intercourse. STIs are curable, but for individuals who have HIV, treating STIs may be challenging, especially if the individual’s CD4 count is low. Thus, for sexually active individuals, screening and therapy should be incorporated into their routine HIV care.
Barrow, R. Y., Ahmed, F., Bolan, G. A., & Workowski, K. A. (2020). Recommendations for providing quality sexually transmitted diseases clinical services, 2020. MMWR Recommendations and Reports, 68(5), 1.
Golden, M. R., Katz, D. A., & Dombrowski, J. C. (2017). Modernizing field services for HIV and sexually transmitted infections in the United States. Sexually Transmitted Diseases, 44(10), 599.
Tsevat, D. G., Wiesenfeld, H. C., Parks, C., & Peipert, J. F. (2017). Sexually transmitted diseases and infertility. American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 216(1), 1-9.