Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) are also known sexually transmitted infection (STI) or venereal disease (VD). It is used to refer a condition passed from one person to another through sexual contact with infected body fluids such as blood or semen or vaginal fluids. One can contract an STD by having unprotected vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has the STD. They are amongst the most common contagious diseases and affect both men and women, however, sex is not the only way STDs are transmitted, and depending upon specific STD infections may also be transmitted through sharing needles and breast feeding. For a healthy life, it is advised to get std testing for men on a regular basis. There are over fifteen types of STDs which include Chlamydia, HPV (human papillomavirus), syphilis, HIV, gonorrhoea, pubic ice (‘crabs’) and herpes, if left untreated it can cause
- Risk of men infertility
- Cervical or anal cancer
- Organ damage
- Perinatal infections in new borns from an infected mother
- Getting HIV
- Bladder problems
- Opportunistic infections
Some common HIV symptoms in men include
- Pain or distress during sex or urination
- Bumps or rashes on or around buttocks, thighs or mouth
- Unusual discharge
- bleeding from the penis with unusual colour
- Foul-smelling discharge
- Painful and swollen testicles
- Lower abdominal pain
- Pain during ejaculation
- Swollen glands
- Feeling exhausted.
What are some of the preventive measures for STDs?
- Being clear about your partner’s sexual history before having sex is an important part
- Laying off sexual activities completely, if not then limiting the number of sexual partners
- Using a latex condom decreases the chance of infection
- Checking the expiration date of a condom and using a new condom every time you have sex
- Avoid unsafe sex practices that could cut, and every time pass back and forth
- Get vaccinated against human papillomavirus (HPV) and hepatitis B (HBV)
- STD testing in men should be done.
- Avoid coitus under the influence of alcohol or drugs
- Get std tested before intercourse with a new partner
- Using a clean needle
- Antiretroviral therapy (ART)
What STD tests should be taken?
There are little to no signs and indications in the majority of people infected and even if existing, they can be easily disregarded and taken for granted hence, the only way to know if you have STD is by getting tested.
STD in men can be treated by urologists and other specialists such as gastroenterologists (hepatitis) or immunologists (HIV) may be consulted. Depending on what you are being tested for, a blood sample, a cotton swab or a urine test may be performed.
- For example, a swab of the genital area or urine sample is considered for testing Chlamydia or gonorrhoea.
- Blood test or a cell culture test can be done for HIV and swab or affected area for Genital Herpes
- Blood test for syphilis,
- sample of discharge for trichomoniasis
Physical exams and various other specific tests may also be conducted given the subtype of infection.
STDs caused by bacteria that is Chlamydia, gonorrhoea and syphilis are remediable with antibiotics and viral STDs may resolve on their own, However, HIV, AIDS, Genital Herpes can prove to incurable and even fatal.
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