15 facts about STDs that you were unaware of

 

Sexually transmitted diseases, you think you know everything about it until you are hit with an asymptomatic one that aggravates into a severe condition a few years later.

The fact is that despite more than 20 million new cases of STDs being reported each year, most people are unaware of the basic facts about them.

Today, we will share 15 facts about STDs that we bet you weren’t aware of.

Let’s begin.

#1 – There are more than 25 types of known STDs

You’d probably only heard about syphilis, chlamydia and HIV. But there are more than 25 different known STDs at the moment. Some of them are HIV, Hepatitis, Chancroid, Trichomoniasis, Gonorrhea, Herpes, Chlamydia, HPV, Syphilis, Scabies, LGV, MPC, BV, PID, Crabs and Molloscum Contagiosum.

#2 – A lot of them are incurable

That’s not very reassuring, is it? But the number of sexually transmitted diseases that cannot be cured keeps increasing. As of now, there are at least five which cannot be cured.

#3 – Most of them don’t have symptoms

Another reason why prevention is always better than cure. Most people do not know that they are carrying an STD until the infection has spread or become severe.

#4 – Douching won’t prevent an STD

There’s a common misconception that douching can help prevent an STD. Sorry to break the bubble. It can’t.

#5 – STDs can spread through oral sex as well

If you thought that going down on your sexual partner was safe, think again. Oral sex is one of the main ways in which STDs, particularly Hepatitis, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia spread.

#6 – Anal intercourse is high risk

Going through the back door unprotected is considered to be the highest-risk sexual practice ever.

#7 – Even mutual masturbation isn’t safe

Even contact with bare skin or lesions is enough to spread conditions like Pubic lice and herpes. Even HPV can spread through mutual masturbation.

#8 – Condoms aren’t foolproof either

You may be wearing a condom during intercourse. But if the person has a herpes sore near their thigh or buttock, you are open for infection. Wear a condom no matter what you do or where you touch an unknown partner.

#9 – 40,000 people are infected with HIV each year in the US alone

Enough said!

#10 – Some can cause cancer and even death

Gonorrhea and syphilis if left untreated can progress to more severe life threatening conditions like cancer. In extreme cases, it can even cause death.

#11 – Women are more prone to STDs

Women are more likely to contract STDs than men. That’s just the anatomy. Syphilis is the only condition that is more prevalent among men.

#12 – Some STDs remain undetected even in tests

HIV for example, can remain dormant for months after exposure to it. It is revealed in tests only after a year or two post exposure.

#13 – People aged 15-24 are at the most risk for contracting an STD

Statistics reveal that almost 12,000 young men and women between the age of 15-24 contract an STD every day in the US.

#14 – Close to 50% of women who are sexually active can be infected with HPV

Thankfully, only about 10% of these are infected with a dangerous strain of the virus which can cause cervical cancer if left untreated.

#15 – Some very famous and infamous men suffered from Syphilis

How’s Al Capone for starters? There’s Hitler, Napoleon and Benito Mussolini in the list.

5 STDs that are more common than you believe

The very term ‘Venereal Disease’ can often trigger anxiety attacks in men and women alike. But the fact is that despite being considered a stigma or even taboo in many parts of the society, sexually transmitted diseases are more common than what you’d imagine.

In fact, most people do not even realize that they have contracted a sexually transmitted disease until it graduates into a full-blown infection.

Today, we take a look at some of the commonest sexually transmitted diseases in the world, talk about some of the symptoms and the potential cures for each.

Here goes.

Gonorrhea: We are sure you’ve heard about Gonorrhea, which was also called ‘The clap’, derived from an old French term for Brothel. This bacterial infection is among the most common sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, statistics reveal that almost 700,000 new cases are reported each year. Symptoms are so mild that they can go unnoticed for long. In men, the most typical symptom is painful urination, pus discharge from the penis or swollen testicles. In women, there can be increased discharge from the vagina, sore throat and fever. Treatment includes antibiotics and OTC medications.

Hepatitis B: Hepatitis B or HBV is one of the most dangerous sexually transmitted diseases in the world and also one of the commonest ones. The condition is believed to affect more than 1.25 million people in the US alone. Symptoms include a very dull colored poop, loss of appetite, distended stomach, pain in the stomach and jaundice. In extreme cases, it even causes liver cirrhosis and liver cancer. A simple vaccine and a shot of hepatitis B immune globulin is enough to help your body ward off the disease on its own.

Syphilis: Another notoriously famous veneral disease from the olden days. Syphilis, also known as the Pox is a condition that is caused by a bacterial infection. Small sores that are usually painless are breeding spots for the bacterium and unprotected contact with the sores spreads the disease. It can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy. Some of the common symptoms are, weight loss, joint aches, fever and hair loss. The most common treatment for syphilis is penicillin.

Herpes: Herpes is a viral infection that is transmitted through unprotected contact with sores or lesions that can occur in the mouth or in the genital area. According to the American Sexual Health Association, one in five people in the US may be suffering from the condition. The most common symptom is the sore or lesion which can look like a mild skin rash in the beginning and transform into a painful pustule in the later stages. Treatment is usually done with a combination of an antiviral and an antibiotic. But treatment is not permanent and the condition usually recurs twice or thrice a year.

Chlamydia: We have saved the worst one for last. Chlamydia is transmitted via unprotected sexual contact with an infected partner. However, there can be zero symptoms for up to years after you have contracted the disease. That makes it one of the most easily transmitted STDs in the world. Treatment though is pretty simple with a 7-14 day course of antibiotics.

6 Ridiculously easy ways to protect yourself from STDs

 

According to the CDC, close to 20 million cases of STDs are detected each year. That’s a staggering number considering that billions of dollars are spent each year on creating awareness about these conditions.

But despite all the infomercials, adverts, blogs and social media shares, STDs manage to sneak in and go undetected for a long time. This can also be attributed partly to the fact that most of the common STDs are asymptomatic or have very mild symptoms.

If you suspect that you might have picked up something nasty from your last romp under the covers, the best way to put speculation to rest might be to get it tested.

Otherwise, here are a few easy ways to stay safe.

Abstinence

You really thought it was going to be easy, did you? Jokes apart, Abstinence from sex until you know that you have a partner you can trust is the best way to prevent an STD. Not what most people are willing to follow though. Stay monogamous, stay STD free. If you think you are about to get carried away after a wild night, use protection.

Use a condom

This and also a dental dam if you think oral sex is on the cards. Most of the STDs are transmitted via unprotected genital to genital or oral to genital contact. Use protection. Even better, talk to your partner about getting tested for STDs before you go all the way.

Get yourself tested

If you have recently had unprotected sex with more than one sexual partner, then it is crucial that you screen yourself for STDs. Many STDs are not revealed in screenings and tests for a few months after you get infected. Schedule multiple screenings in a year to ensure that you know that you are safe and clean.

Never trust appearances

There’s a general consensus among men and women that someone who looks ‘clean or sophisticated’ might not have an STD. That’s a load of bull. Appearances can be deceptive. You cannot look at someone and assume that they might not have an STD. Always play by the rules and use protection. If the opposite partner insists or is pushy towards not using a condom, refuse to have sex. Remember, it is your right to refuse an intimate relationship if you feel that something is off.

Limit your sexual encounters

If you are jumping into bed with every man or woman you meet, then you are a magnet for sexually transmitted diseases. Limiting your partners is the next best thing to abstinence and using protection. One of the proven ways is to make a list of criteria that someone needs to fulfill before you get into bed with them. Say, a relationship for a year or staying monogamous.

Don’t have sex after a party

When you have a couple of drinks or have done drugs, you are most likely to make poor decisions. If you are about to go to a party, follow a strict no-sex-afterwards rule. If you find this difficult to enforce yourself, ask a friend to help you with it.