Sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s) include infections, which are spread through a sexual contact from one person to another. These diseases are a serious problem to people who decide to be sexually active. Statistics shows that there are 15 million of new cases of STD’s are recorded every year in the United States of America. Most of these cases are among the age groups from 15 – 24. Therefore it is very important to understand how to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and protect against them.
Most of STD’s can cause health problems to infected people, especially women. Some of them may result in infertility, others may even be fatal. These diseases may result in pelvic inflammatory disease in women if untreated, which could cause infertility. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) also transmitted through sexual contact is one of the main causes of cervical cancer. Unfortunately, there is no cure for it as for a few other STD’s. Therefore it is very important to understand how to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and protect against them.
Human Papilloma virus
At least 50 percent of sexually active men and women are said to have Human Papilloma Virus — the main cause of cervical cancer. The only way to protect against this disease is to avoid sexual contact. However, those who decide to be sexually active should at least have a steady partnership and only one partner. Although if the partner had at least one sexual contact before, there is no guarantee that he/she is not infected already. Still, monogamous relationships are said to lower the risk and spread of HPV.
Those, who are not in a monogamous relationship, should have as few partners as possible. They should also choose reliable partners, who have had fewer sexual contacts. However, this could be hard to judge, since HPV usually develops no signs, except for warts that may occur in some cases, and a person may not know if he/she is infected. The use of latex condoms is known to reduce the risk of HPV. But there is no 100 percent efficient protection against this particular infection since the virus also occurs in the genital areas not covered with a condom.
Huma Immunodeficiency virus
Another serious STD that many people fear off is Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) the cause of AIDS. The virus can be spread through vaginal, oral, anal sexual act, and blood. It cannot be transmitted through other human fluids, like saliva and tears. Although there are certain medicines to prolong an infected person’s life, there is, however, no cure for the infection. The only way to protect against HIV is to abstain from sex . If a person is sexually active but is in a long-term monogamous relationship with a person who is negative for HIV, he/she is considered to be safe.
However, if a person decides to be sexually active but is not in a monogamous relationship, he/she is at risk of STD’s, including HIV. The only way to protect against the virus is to use latex condoms properly every time a sexual contact occurs. During oral sex a person should use Saran or plastic wrap to be protected against STD’s and Human Immunodeficiency Virus. In addition, the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases usually increases the risk of acquiring HIV infection.
Hepatitis B and C
Although many people do not realize that viral Hepatitis B and C is also a type of a sexually transmitted disease. B and C type Hepatitis may be spread through sexual contact and blood. One of the ways to prevent the spread of this disease is to abstain from sex. If a person decides to become sexually active, the use of latex condoms reduces the risk to acquire Hepatitis. A significant mean to protect against this disease is to be vaccinated for Hepatitis B. This vaccine is accessible for people of all age groups.
And finally, it is important for people to understand that frequent testing for STD’s is one of prevention methods to stop the spread of these diseases. Another method, in general, is to abstain from sexual contact or — if a person is already sexually active — to abstain from sex with unreliable or infected people. Remember, whenever you have sexual intercourse –wear a condom .