Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Sex is a popular subject; it is on television, in advertisements, in magazines, and practically everywhere. One very serious side effect of an increase of sexual activity is the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. They affect more than twelve million Americans each year. Sexually transmitted diseases are becoming common and widely spread throughout Americans because of unprotected sex, permiscuity, and multiple sex partners. Some of the most commonly found sexually transmitted diseases are gonorrhea, chlamydia, HIV/AIDS, and syphilis.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are six hundred-fifty thousand new infections of gonorrhea in the United States each year. (Ultimate Guide: Gonorrhea par.2) Gonorrhea is a very common bacterial sexually transmitted disease. Gonorrhea is caused by the bacteria Neisseria gonorrhoeae, and is also one of the oldest known human diseases. In the second century A.D., the Greek physician Galer first gave it the name Gonorrhea, which means, “flow of seed” in Greek, as the discharge from the penis (actually pus) was thought to be semen. (Jackson 68)
Gonorrhea can be transmitted by vaginal, anal, or oral sex. According to James K. Jackson, men often will have a burning discomfort at the tip of the penis during urination and a discharge of pus from the urethal opening, after being contaminated with gonorrhea. In women symptoms usually include increased vaginal discharge, painful or difficult urination, pain during or following intercourse, and bleeding between periods. (Ultimate Guide: Gonorrhea par.4) Gonorrhea can be easily detected by urine, or by taking tissue samples from the infected area. Gonorrhea can be cured, by simply taking some antibiotics.
Chlamydia is the most commonly reported sexually transmitted disease in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates there are three million new infections in the United each year. (Ultimate Guide: Chlamydia par.2) Chlamydia is a bacterial sexually transmitted disease. This organism, a very small bacterium, gets its name from the Greek word chlamys, meaning, “cloak.” It must cloak itself inside a cell to multiply. The infection is often persistent and relatively silent for long periods, because the cell provides camouflage for the germ. (Jackson 73)
Chlamydia is mainly transmitted through anal and vaginal sex with an infected partner. It is also possible, but not very common to spread chlamydia through oral sex. Another way it can be transmitted is from an infected mother to her newborn child during birth. People can get eye infections from chlamydia if an infected bodily fluid reaches the eye during sex. (Ultimate Guide: Chlamydia par.3) Symptoms of the infection appear in seven to twenty-one days. Chlamydia, often called the silent sexually transmitted disease, does not show any symptoms at all. Symptoms can include abnormal fluid discharge from the penis or vagina, pain or burning during urination, testicular pain, vaginal bleeding, bleeding after or pain during intercourse, rectal inflammation, rectal discharge, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal pain. (Ultimate Guide: Chlamydia par.4) In women, if chlamydia is left untreated it can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and infertility. (Dudley 6) In men, chlamydia can inflame the testicles and cause the testicle to vas deferens. This inflammation can result in infertility. (WebMD: Facts of Chlamydia par.5) Testing for chlamydia can be done with a urine test or by collecting a sample of tissue from the vagina, cervix, or urethra. (Ultimate Guide: Chlamydia par. 7) Chlamydia can be treated by antibiotics to cure the infection. (Jackson 75)
In 1997 alone, HIV/AIDS associated illnesses caused the deaths of approximately two point five million people worldwide. (WebMD: HIV/AIDS par.2) A recent issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) offered the following comment: “ Any maypole erected today ought to be covered with a condom.
That is the conclusion one might well reach after talking with physicians
And others concerned with expression of sexuality… Sheathing the
Ancient fertility symbol would negate its raison d’e^tre, but it
Would surely focus attention on the horrific truth that the male member
May now convey the seeds of death as well as life.”
HIV/AIDS can be contracted through anal, oral, or vaginal intercourse. These diseases can also be contracted through the use of “dirty” needles. (Ultimate Guide:HIV/AIDS par1) HIV, human immunodefiency virus, is the virus that causes aids(acquired immune defiency syndrome). HIV attacks the immune system, which is the body’s defense against