Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD), also known as Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) or Venereal Disease (VD) is transmitted between human through sexual contacts, which includes vaginal intercourse, oral sex and anal sex. In the recent years, public health officials have started using the term sexually transmitted infection instead of sexually transmitted disease as the former has a broader range of meaning. The difference between the two terms being that STI simply means that the person being infected with the virus, bacteria or parasite would necessarily show symptoms of feeling sick whereas an STD would mean that the person shows signs of being sick. BacterialChancroid (Haemophilus ducreyi)Chancroid is a sexually transmitted bacterial infection caused by Haemophilus ducreyi, fastidious gram-negative Coccobacillus and is characterised by painful sores on the genitalia. It is also a risk factor for contracting Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). SymptomsThe symptoms are usually visible within one day to two weeks of the incubation period, which begins with a small bump and turns into an ulcer within a day of its appearance. The size of the ulcers varies dramatically from 3 to 50 mm across and has sharp defined, undermined ragged borders. The ulcers are very painful and are covered with a gray or yellowish-gray material that bleeds easily if traumatised. There is only a single ulcer in most infected men and appears in coronal sulcus of the uncircumcised glans penis, whereas women frequently have four or more ulcers, characterized by dysuria (pain with urination) and dyspareunia (pain with intercourse).The common location in women is the labia majora. TreatmentThe Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend a single oral dose (1 gram) of Azithromycin or oral Erythromycin or a single IM dose of Ceftriaxone for seven days.Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis)This infection is caused by bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and is one of the most common sexually transmitted infections worldwide. Chlamydia is a major cause of genital and eye disease among humans.SymptomsChlamydial infection of cervicitis is asymptomatic in about half and three-quarters of all infected women. The infection which is transmitted through vaginal, anal or oral sex, if not detected timely, can cause pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), a generic term for infection of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and/or ovaries. PID can cause scarring inside the reproductive organs, which can later cause serious complications during pregnancy and chronic pelvic pain.Symptoms that may occur include• Pain in the abdomen• Vaginal bleeding or discharge • Dyspareunia (painful sexual intercourse)• Fever• Urinary urgency (painful urination or the urge to urinate more frequently than usual)In 50% of cases among men, Chlamydia shows symptoms of infectious urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) characterised by • Painful or burning sensation when urinating• Unusual discharge from the penis• Swollen or tender testicles • Fever• It can spread to the testicles causing epididymitis, which in rare cases, can cause sterility if left untreatedChlamydia can also cause Chlamydia conjunctivitis or trachoma, reactive arthritis (Reiter`s Syndrome), urethritis (inflammation of the urethra) - especially in young men, perinatal infections, lymphogranuloma venereum, an infection of the lymph nodes and lymphatics.Chlamydial infections can be diagnosed through Nucleic Acid Amplification Tests (NAAT), such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Transcription Mediated Amplification (TMA), and the DNA Strand Displacement Amplification (SDA). TreatmentChlamydia trachomatis infection can be effectively cured with antibiotics once it is detected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend Azithromycin 1 gram oral as a single dose or doxycycline 100 milligrams twice daily for seven to fourteen days or tetracycline or erythromycin.
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