Sexually Transmitted Diseases: Their role in One Health

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a disease that is carried from one person/animal to another through sexual interaction. An STD can be contracted by unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral intercourse with someone who has the STD.

By Muhammad Zeeshan1*, Muhammad Sohail Sajid1,Muhammad Imran1, Muhammad Abdullah Malik1

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is also known as a sexually transmitted infection (STI) or a venereal illness (VD). That is not to say that sex is the sole way STDs are spread. Infections may also be transmitted through sharing needles and breastfeeding, depending on the STD.

Types of STDs

  1. Chlamydia

Chlamydia is caused by a certain type of bacterium. It is the most often reported STD in the United States. When symptoms are appeared, they frequently include sex or urination pain or discomfort, green or yellow discharge from the penis or vagina, and pain in the lower abdomen. Chlamydia, if left untreated, can cause infections of the urethra, prostate gland, or testicles, as well as pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility. If a pregnant mother has untreated chlamydia, it can be passed on to her child during birth. The infant might grow into pneumonia, eye infections, blindness Antibiotics can easily treat chlamydia.

  1. HPV (human papillomavirus)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a virus that may be transmitted from person to person by intimate skin-to-skin or sexual contact. The virus comes in a variety of strains. Some are riskier than others. Warts on the genitals, mouth, or throat are the most prevalent HPV symptoms. Some HPV strains can cause cancer, including oral cancer, cervical cancer, vulvar cancer, penile cancer, and rectal cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute Trusted Source, HPV 16 and HPV 18 are responsible for the majority of HPV-related cancer diagnoses in the United States. There is no treatment for HPV. However, HPV infections frequently resolve on their own. A vaccination is also available to protect against some of the most harmful forms, such as HPV 16 and HPV 18.

  1. Syphilis

Syphilis is another bacterial illness. In its early phases, it frequently passes unreported. A little circular sore called as a chancre is the first sign to occur. It can develop itself on genitals, urethra, or mouth. It’s not painful, but it’s quite contagious. Rash, exhaustion, fever, headaches, joint discomfort, weight loss, and hair loss are all possible symptoms. Late-stage syphilis, if left untreated, can result in loss of eyesight, hearing loss, memory loss, mental illness, infections of the brain or spinal cord, heart problems, and death Fortunately, if caught early enough, syphilis is easily treated with antibiotics. However, syphilis infection in a newborn can be fatal. That’s why it’s important for all pregnant women to be screened for syphilis.

  1. Gonorrhea

Another prevalent bacterial STD is gonorrhoea. It’s also referred to as “the clap.” Many persons who have gonorrhoea have no symptoms. However, symptoms may include: a white, yellow, beige, or green discharge from the penis or vagina, pain or discomfort during sex or urination, more frequent urine than normal, itching around the genitals, and a sore throat. During childbirth, a woman can spread gonorrhoea to her infant. When this occurs, gonorrhoea can create major health issues in the infant. That is why many doctors advise pregnant women to get tested and treated for STDs. If untreated, pubic lice can spread to other individuals by skin-to-skin contact or sharing clothing, beds, or towels. Scratched bites might develop infectious as well. It is preferable to treat pubic lice infestations as soon as possible.

  1. Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis is sometimes referred to as “trich.” It is caused by a microscopic protozoan parasite that may be transmitted from person-to-person and animal to animal by coitus. Only around one-third of patients with trich have symptoms. vaginal or penile discharge, burning or itching around the vagina or penis, pain or discomfort while urinating, or sex frequent urination Trich-related discharge in women frequently has an unpleasant or “fishy” odour. In animals they may lead to the abortion in early stages of pregnancy, yet occasionally they can cause late abortion.

  1. Herpes

Herpes is the abbreviation for the herpes simplex virus (HSV). The virus is divided into two strains: HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both can be passed on sexually. It’s an extremely frequent sexually transmitted disease. HSV-1 is largely responsible for cold sores and oral herpes. HSV-1 can, however, be transmitted from one person’s lips to another’s genitals during oral intercourse. HSV-1 can cause genital herpes when this happens. HSV-2 is predominantly responsible for genital herpes. The most frequent herpes symptom is blistery sores. These lesions appear on or around the genitals in the case of genital herpes. They appear on or around the mouth in cases of oral herpes. Herpes sores often crust over and recover in a few of weeks. Typically, the first outbreak is the most painful. In most cases, outbreaks grow less painful and less common with time. If a pregnant woman has herpes, it is possible that she will transmit it on to her developing fetus or to her newborn  at birthing. Congenital herpes may be extremely hazardous to neonates. That is why it is important for pregnant women to be informed of their HSV status.Herpes has no treatment as of yet. However, drugs are available to help reduce outbreaks and relieve the pain associated with herpes blisters. The same drugs can also reduce your risk of infecting your sexual partner with herpes.

STDs and pregnancy

It is possible for pregnant women/animal to pass STDs to their foetus or infant during childbirth. STDs can create difficulties in babies/off springs. They can be life-threatening in some circumstances. Doctors frequently recommend pregnant females to get tested and treated for suspected STDs in order to help avoid STDs in babies. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, your doctor may advise you to get tested for STDs.

Symptoms of STDs in men and women’s

It is possible to contract an STD without having any symptoms. However, certain STDs produce noticeable symptoms in males and female, discomfort or pain during sex or urination, blisters, pimples, or rashes on or around the penis, testicles, anus, buttocks, thighs, or mouth. Unexpected discharge or bleeding from the genital region, enlarged testicles, while in females are Sores, pimples, or rashes on or around the vagina, anus, buttocks, thighs, or mouth unusual discharge or bleeding from the vagina itching in or around the vagina.

Diagnosis of STDs

History of coitus is helpful in identifying the cause. Subclinical and clinical symptoms. Most STDs may be diagnosed by a urine or blood test administered by a healthcare practitioner/veterinarian. Swab analysis for identification of the agent directly from the organs. Swabs of any sores.

Prevention and control measures

The recommended therapy for STDs differs based on the kind of STD. Before resuming sexual activity, it is critical that to be effectively treated for STDs. The only guaranteed approach to avoid STDs is to avoid sexual contact. There are, however, techniques to make vaginal, anal, or oral sex safe. Condoms should be used during vaginal, anal, and oral intercourse for maximum protection. Dental dams can also be used to prevent against oral sex. Condoms are typically efficient in preventing STDs that spread by bodily fluids like sperm or blood.

Authors:

Muhammad Zeeshan1*, Muhammad Sohail Sajid1,Muhammad Imran1, Muhammad Abdullah Malik1

1Department of Parasitology, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad.

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