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HIV/AIDS

   
Sexually Transmissible Infections (STIs)
    STIs?
    What does STI stand for:
                             S - Sexually
                                    T - Transmissible
                                    I  - Infections
  • These infections were earlier known as VD (Venereal Diseases) STD (Sexually Transmissible Diseases) and “Gupt Rog” in Hindi.
  • STI’s are a group of infectious diseases transmitted from one person to another mainly through unprotected sexual activity.
  • The primary or first site of disease is around the genital area.
  • Most STI’s are curable by a full course of allopathic medicines.
  • Since getting infected with an STI is considered shameful in society, people avoid going to the STI clinics / Doctors and prefer quacks who are not trained to treat these infections scientifically.
The following pages contain brief and accurate information on STI’s.
    ^ TOP^
    Who are at risk from STIs?
   

  • People who have unprotected multi-partner sex
  • People who have single partner unprotected sex with an infected person
  • A very small number of people get infected by the following ways
  • Transfusion of infected blood
  • During pregnancy, labour and breast feeding, a mother may transmit an STI to her child
  • Sharing Needles specially among drug addicts or using the same needles and syringes for many patients (without sterilisation) by some doctors and quack
    ^ TOP^
    How are STIs spread?
   
  • Unprotected multi-partner sex
  • Oral Sex without condom
  • Some STIs are spread through Blood transfusion
  • Infected Mother to Child during pregnancy
  • Sharing infected Needles and Syringes
    ^ TOP^
    STIs do not spread by?
   
  • Sitting together, or working together
  • Sharing toilets
  • Sharing combs, towels and clothes
  • Masturbation
    ^ TOP^
    How can I know if I have an STIs?
   

Symptoms in and around genital area

  • White pus like discharge from urethra or vagina
  • Burning sensation while passing urine
  • Ulcer on the tip of the penis,
  • Swelling of lymph nodes in the groin, which may be red and painful sometimes discharging pus.

Constitutional symptoms (may or may not be present)

  • Low grade fever
  • Low back ache
  • Swelling and pain in the testicles
  • Pain in the lower abdomen and back in women accompanied by fever and painful intercourse.
  • Menstrual disturbance

Note:   There may be no outward sign or symptom of having contracted an STI as in
Hepatitis B, C or HIV.

    ^ TOP^
    What causes STI’s
   

STIs are caused by –

  • Unprotected sex with an infected person or persons.
  • Improper Hygiene in the sexual parts
  • STIs are caused by germs (bacteria, virus or fungus) which can be detected by laboratory tests conducted at an STI clinic
  • Some of the common STI’s can be identified by their signs and symptoms

     
A)        Common STI’s with ulcers and/ or discharge and /or swelling in the groin from the genital area.

BACTERIAL       - Syphilis}
                        - Gonorrhoea   }          are completely curable with a special
                        - Chancroid      }          course of antibiotics.

VIRAL               -Genital Herpes}         Can be treated in some
                        - Genital warts          cases. Do not effect life span.
                        - Fungal  }                Candidiasis (oral/vaginal thrush)           

B)        STI’s with no symptoms in genital area.
           
                        Hepatitis ‘B&C’          }          -Have no cure
                        HIV                         }          -Can be prevented
                                                                   -Affect/shorten life

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    ^ TOP^
    THE LINK BETWEEN STI / HIV / HEP ‘B / C
   
Method of spread is the same for all three-unsafe sex, transfusion of infected blood and infected mother to child. People with signs of STI’s and high risk unprotected sex have a   10%increased risk of contacting HIV and Hepatitis B or C

 

    ^ TOP^
   
   

SYPHILIS

  • Is caused by a germ whose presence in the blood can be detected by a test called VDRL test
  • The major way the infection spreads is through-
      • unprotected sex                     
      • transfusion of infected blood
      • Mother to child transmission during pregnancy or labour
  • It is a completely curable disease if a full course of medicine is taken under the guidance of an STI clinician
  • It occurs in three stages

 
Stage I

  • Within 9 –90 days of sex with an infected person an ulcer appears on the tip of the penis or the lips of the Vulva .The ulcer looks clean, hard and painless and it disappears on its own without treatment in 10-15 days
  • The fluid from the ulcer is teeming with the Syphilis bacteria, if no protection is used at this stage it will infect the partners.                            
  • At this stage it is completely curable by a full course of allopathic medicines.
  • If left untreated at this stage it will progress to the next stage – stage II

 

Stage II

  • After a period of 2 months or so a measles -like rash, which is neither itchy nor pain-full, appears all over the body.
  • At this stage the germs have spread all over the body
  •  It is still curable in this stage
  • If still not treated at this stage it will progress to the next stage- stage III

Stage III

  • 2 years or more untreated at stage I and II can affect the brain, the heart, the eyes, the bones and any other organs of the body causing irreparable damage.
  • Untreated  / late Stage III disease causes deterioration in the quality of life and early death

 

GONORRHOEA

  • It is an STI affecting the urinary and genital tract of both males and females.
  • It can be recognised by the signs of itching / burning sensation while passing urine, and foul smelling dirty white discharge from the tip of the penis or vagina
  • There is usually no visible ulcer.
  • It is easily treatable by a course of antibiotics
  • If left untreated it can cause SERILITY in men and women and permanent damage to the urinary passage in men

CHANCROID

  • This STI can be recognised by the multiple, soft, painful and dirty ulcers on the tip of the penis or mouth of the Vagina
  • There may be swellings in one or both groins which are painful
  • If left untreated the swelling in the groins burst and a large amounts of infected pus leaks out
  • It should be treated before the swelling in the groin bursts
  • The treatment is a complete course of medicines.

.
GENITAL HERPES

  • Herpes of the Genitals is caused by a virus
  • It can be recognised by the small pimple like rashes, which are extremely painful
  • It is difficult to cure and can recur without any high risk behaviour.

GENITALWARTS

This STI is caused by a Virus

  • It can be recognised by the small multiple hard , painless pimple like growths anywhere in the genital area
It is cured by cutting or cauterising the warts by an STI specialist.
    ^ TOP^
   
What happens if I don’t treat my STI
   
  • If no treatment is taken promptly, the commonest complication is “STERILITY” in both men and women due to some STI’s e.g.  Gonorrhoea.
  • Syphilis has long term consequences and can damage vital organs like the heart, the brain, the eyes etc. thus shortening life and affecting the quality of life.
  • Any ulcer, discharge disease of the sexual organs predisposes to 10% increased risk of getting HBV and HIV by unsafe sex with an infected individual .
    ^ TOP^
   
How and where should I get treatment for my STI
   
  • Only by qualified doctor or at a hospital. Quacks and sex specialists should be avoided.
  • A full course of the allopathic treatment should be taken.
  • Both sexual partners should begin treatment together, and use condoms till both have been declared cured by the doctor.
    ^ TOP^
   
How do I save myself from getting an STI?
   
  • Delay sex till marriage.
  • Have sex with only single and uninfected partner.
  • Correct and consistent use of condoms is a safe sex practice.
    ^ TOP^
   
Some myths/blind beliefs about STI’s
   

Q.1      Any ulcer on the genitals is caused due to body heat, wrong types of foods which are considered to be hot like eggs, meat, spices etc.
A.1      An ulcer on the genital may be an STI and is caused by germs.

Q.2      To get rid of an STI one should have sex with a young virgin.
A.2      Since STI’S are caused by germs which can only be killed by allopathic
medicines, this will infect the young virgin also. It is a crime to have sex with children and punishable under the law.

    ^ TOP^
 
 
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