7 most common STIs you should know about
Sexually transmitted infection is any infection that is spread through sexual contact. Unlike disorder, which is usually defined as disrupted bodily and health functions, infection can go undetected for years before developing any visible symptoms and signs. There are several STIs, however, in this article we will discuss 7 most common ones.
Human papilloma virus (HPV) is the most common STD. It is so common that about 80% of sexually active adults and teens will contract it at least once during their life time, but most cases will resolve on their own by the person's immune system. There are over 100 different strains of HPV, of which most can be categorized as low or high-risk strains. Low-risk HPV strains cause genital warts, cauliflower-like growths on the infected area. High risk strains may cause development of certain types of cancer. For instance, 99% of cervical cancers can be linked to a high risk strain infection in women. There were also observed correlations between a HPV infection and cancer occurrence in men, most commonly oral, penile and anal cancer.
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported bacterial infection in Europe and USA. Although it is very widespread, good news is that it is easily curable, with a dose of appropriate antibiotics. Bad news is that, in most cases, chlamydia does not cause development of any symptoms, and when left untreated, chlamydia may cause infertility in men and women, and pelvic inflammatory disease in women, showing the importance of regular STI testing.
Gonorrhoea is third most common STD. Also known as ''the clap'', gonorrhoea symptoms include unusual slightly green discharge, burning sensation during urination, and pain in the genital areas. Bacteria which causes gonorrhoea usually infects warm and moist areas of the body, so except genital area, it may also infect eyes, throat and anus.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection spread through contact with sores of an infected person. Although majority of new infections happens by contact with the sores, most of the sores go away without being noticed, so majority of infected people may not even know about their infection. Syphilis causes a wide range of serious symptoms, including blood infection, brain damage, and even death. The infection is easily treated with antibiotics, however, health damage caused by the infection is often irreversible.
Herpes symptoms appear as small and painful blisters in infected area. It can be caused by two different virus types, type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is known as the oral herpes, while type 2 is the genital herpes, however, type 1 can appear in the genital area and vice versa. About 50% of population is infected with oral herpes, while genital herpes is less common. There is no cure for herpes, but certain medications can control and reduce the blisters outbreaks.
HIV is a viral infection which causes AIDS. In early stages of infection development of symptoms is rare, but with the infection progression flu-like symptoms may occur. Infection with other types of STDs may increase the risk of contracting HIV. There is no cure for HIV infection, but the condition can be managed with medication and healthy lifestyle. It is important to know that HIV infection does not necessarily mean AIDS development.
There are three types of hepatitis, Hep A, B, and C, all of which can be transmitted sexually, however hepatitis B is the most common sexually transmitted type. Hepatitis infection causes life-treating liver damage. Hepatitis A spreads by anal contact, and hepatitis B though bodily fluids, such as pus, semen and vaginal secretions. Like in case of HIV and HPV infection, there is no cure available for hepatitis A and B.