Sexually Transmitted Diseases

By: Chaitanya Srinivasan

HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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Signs & Symptoms: Some symptoms of contraction of the HIV virus are rapid weight loss, recurring fever, extreme tiredness, pneumonia, diarrhea, and sores. Early symptoms are flu-like.

Treatment: Antiretroviral Therapy can control the virus to allow the patient to live longer and healthier. It prevents the HIV virus from multiplying inside the body, giving the immune system a chance to fight off infections and cancer.

Prevention: Using condoms, reducing the number of sexual partners, and consulting with doctor about taking pre-exposure prophylaxis can help prevent contraction of the HIV virus.

Complications: The virus multiplies rapidly inside the body, making it difficult for the body to fight the infection.


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Signs & Symptoms: At first, symptoms are mild: rashes resembling an insect bite. These are found anywhere around the genital area. The virus remains dormant in the nerves until it "wakes up", and travels throughout the nervous system, causing outbreaks.

Treatment: Acyclovir, Valacyclovir, and Famciclovir have active ingredients that stop the HSV virus from replicating. These medications have been listed in chronological order, so Famciclovir does not need to be taken as often as Acyclovir since it is more well absorbed into the body.

Prevention: Use a condom during sexual intercourse, and avoid having intercourse with a partner who already has herpes.

Complications: Bladder problems, newborn infections, other STD contractions, Meningitis, and anal inflammation.


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Signs & Symptoms: Abnormal vaginal discharge, bleeding between periods, pain during sexual intercourse, pain when urinating, small amounts of discharge from the tip of the penis, burning or itching around the opening of the penis, and pain and swelling around the testicle.

Treatment: Doctors prescribe oral antibiotics like azithromycin and doxycycline. Women with severe chlamydia may be hospitalized and treated with intravenous antibiotics.

Prevention: Refrain from having sex with more than one partner. Condoms also reduce the risk of contracting a STI.

Complications: Chlamydia can lead to reactive arthritis. Inflammation of the testicles could affect fertility.


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Signs & Symptoms:

Men - Urgency or frequency of urination, pus-like discharge from the penis, swelling or pain in the testicles, persistent sore throat.

Women - Discharge from the vagina, sharp pain in the lower abdomen, the need to urinate more frequently, fever.

Treatment: There are many strains of drug-resistant gonorrhea, which are extremely difficult to treat. Cefiximine can be taken in oral doses.

Prevention: Refrain from having multiple sex partners and any partners that show signs and symptoms of gonorrhea.

Complications: Gonorrhea can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease, ongoing pelvic pain, ectopic pregnancy, and infertility. Gonorrhea spreads to the bloodstream, so the patient may experience arthritis, heart valve damage, or inflammation of the lining of the brain or spinal cord.


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Signs & Symptoms: The first sign of syphilis is a small sore. Then a rash, starting at the trunk starts spreading, accompanied by more wart-like sores. Some experience muscle aches, fever, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes.

Treatment: Benzathine penicillin G will kill the bacterium and prevent further damage; however, it will not repair the damage that has already been done.

Prevention: Abstain or be monogamous. Use a latex condom and avoid recreational drugs, which can cloud your judgment and, as indicated by studies, possibly lead to unsafe sexual practices.

Complications: Stroke, Meningitis, Deafness, Visual problems, and Dementia.


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Signs & Symptoms: 70% of those infected do not show any signs or symptoms of contraction of the STD. Symptoms range from mild irritation to severe inflammation.

Treatment: Metronidazole or tinidazole can be prescribed as antibiotic medication that cures trichomoniasis in a single dose. It is okay for pregnant women to take this medication.

Prevention: Practice safe sex.

Complications: 1 in 5 people who are treated for trichomoniasis get infected again within 3 months of treatment.

Pubic Lice (Crabs)

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Signs & Symptoms: Itching in the genital area and nits.

Treatment: A lice killing lotion that contains 1% permethrin can kill the pubic lice.

Prevention: Avoid any kind of contact with an infested person. Do not share clothing, bedding, or towels with an infested person. Do not use fumigant sprays or fogs as treatment, as they can be toxic

Complications: Discolored skin, secondary infections, eye irritation.

Hepatitis B

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Signs & Symptoms: Abdominal pain, dark urine, fever, joint pain, loss of appetite, weakness and fatigue, and yellowing of skin.

Treatment: Interferon alfa-2b, antiviral medication, and liver transplant either reduce the risk of liver disease, or prevent the disease from being passed on to others.

Prevention: Hepatitis B vaccine, know the HBV status of your sexual partner, stop using illicit drugs, and be cautious about tattoos or piercings.

Complications: Cirrhosis, Liver cancer, Liver failure, kidney disease, and inflammation of blood vessels.

HPV (Human Papilloma Virus

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Signs & Symptoms: Genital warts (flat, pink, or flesh-colored), cervical cancer

Treatment: Directed to the macroscopic or pathologic precancerous lesions caused by HPV.

Prevention: Cervarix and Gardasil vaccines protect against most cases of cervical cancer, condoms, monogamous relationship

Complications: Oral and upper respiratory lesions, cancer.

Mycoplasma Genitalium

Signs & Symptoms: Watery discharge from the penis, burning sensation in the penis when urinating, abnormal discharge from the vagina, discomfort on urination, bleeding between periods.

Treatment: Effective antibiotic treatment is available on prescription from a doctor, specialist treatment

Prevention: Safe sex, monogamous relationship

Complications: Contraction of other STDs