STDs: Treatment and Prevention
The chances of getting STD depend on a number of factors. The main elements of risk are represented by particular sexual habits, such as the failure to use barrier protective methods (condoms), unprotected intercourse with people at risk, the high number of partners, occasional sexual intercourse, sex tourism and relationships with a partner who has had many others (even when he appears perfectly healthy). It is therefore not surprising that STDs are more common among the population groups most exposed to risky sexual behavior. for example, adolescents, young adults, homosexual males, some ethnic minorities and those engaged in prostitution.
Some subjects show an "innate biological predisposition to venereal diseases; this is the case, for example, of women compared to men, of patients with immune deficiencies (such as HIV-positive) or of those with genital tissues that are still immature and more receptive such as adolescents. For what has been said, even an organism weakened by the use of antibiotics, steroids or other sexually transmitted infections, is more exposed to venereal diseases. Pregnancy and insufficient or excessive intimate hygiene also increase susceptibility to this type of disease. The best known example is given by candida which - normally present in various mucous membranes of the body (mouth, vagina, digestive system) - can be develop abnormally and cause symptomatic infections when the immune defenses do not function properly. Frequent and unprotected sexual intercourse can increase the risk of vaginosis also due to the increase in vaginal pH caused by the basicity of the sperm (see alterations of the vaginal flora). Finally, there are behavioral factors, such as drug addiction and alcoholism, which multiply high-risk infections and reduce the ability to protect themselves.
General rules for the prevention of venereal diseases
- Constantly use condoms during any vaginal, oral or anal intercourse with an unusual partner, regardless of whether or not other forms of contraception (pill, IUD or diaphragm) are used.
- Limit the number of sexual partners.
- Go to the doctor promptly as soon as symptoms referable to a venereal disease appear or there is even the slightest suspicion of infection after risky sexual intercourse. At the same time, inform your partner of your genital infection and refer him to a medical consultation.
- During any treatment it is essential to avoid unprotected sexual intercourse, even in the absence of symptoms.
- Screen for STDs annually, especially if you have a new sexual partner.
The overlap of several venereal diseases - due to their predisposing effect - has been known for some time; for example, women with Chlamidya are estimated to have a 5 times greater risk of contracting HIV.
If we take into consideration a venereal disease of viral origin (herpes, AIDS etc.), the virus remains in the genital secretions and can be transmitted to the partners even in the case of total asymptomaticity; hence the importance of the condom as the only and effective prevention tool. This device should be used regardless of the adoption of any other contraceptive measure, even more so in the case of engaging in sexual intercourse with an unknown person.
If you are diagnosed with any venereal disease, it is essential to immediately notify your partner or partners, who must consult your doctor as soon as possible for a check-up, even in the absence of symptoms.
Care and treatment
A short antibiotic treatment allows you to eradicate most of the venereal diseases caused by bacteria and parasites. The important thing, in these cases, is to strictly adhere to what is prescribed by the doctor in terms of dosages, methods and duration of intake.
Much more complicated is the treatment of STDs of viral origin, for which there is no real cure but a series of treatments capable of limiting the symptoms. The progression of AIDS, for example, is now considerably slowed down by specific drugs, whose effectiveness is greater the earlier they are taken. Recurrent episodes of genital herpes can be controlled by suppressive therapy, while for hepatitis B and papilloma viruses there are specific vaccines.
Regardless of the type of venereal disease suffered, early diagnosis and treatment increase the opportunities for treatment. Prompt intervention is also very important because it reduces the patient's infectivity and limits infections. When a suspicious symptom or the slightest doubt about a possible infection appears, it is therefore essential to suspend sexual activity, consult a doctor and inform the partner. . Hoping that the symptoms will disappear or that the venereal infection will heal spontaneously is a risky and unconscious behavior, which can lead to delays in treatment and increase complications and sequelae both for the individual himself and for his partner. Equally imprudent and deplorable is pharmacological self-treatment.
Other articles on "STDs: Treatment and Prevention"
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- Venereal illnesses