There are things that we all learn in school about sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs. We learn that these diseases are transmitted via sexual contact, some can be treated and some cannot. We learn the names of the most common diseases and that condoms are often our best form of protection against STDs. While almost all of us know these basic facts, there are more uncommon facts that are worth learning. Here are ten of them:
1.Sexually Transmitted Infections
There is a difference between sexually transmitted infections and sexually transmitted diseases. STIs are the bacterium, parasites and viruses that can cause STDs. People with STIs may exhibit no symptoms and unwittingly pass the infection to their sexual partner. When infections cause symptoms, people have what are called sexually transmitted diseases.
2.Females and STDs
A female is four times more likely to contract an STI or STD than she is to get pregnant. While most girls list their main worry as pregnancy when it comes to sexual activity, they’d be much better off worrying about possible infections. If you are a sexually active female, your greatest concern should be the variety of diseases that can be transmitted to you by your partner or partners.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, there are over 300 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases around the globe. These new cases cover the gamut from gonorrhea to HIV. With the number of new cases reported, your risk of contracting an STD is increased. It’s more important than ever to know exactly who you are sleeping with and to use protection every time you have intercourse.
4.Age of Contraction
One out of every two people with an STD contracted their disease before the age of 25. This means that approximately 150 million people contract an STD in their early 20s or even younger. In fact, every day there are 12,000 teenagers who contract an STD.
Crabs, or pubic lice, can live away from the human body for 24 hours. This means that you really can get them from a toilet seat, clothing or bed sheets. If you are living with someone who has pubic lice, make sure that you sanitize all clothing and bedding properly.
6.Bacterial Versus Viral
Bacterial STDs are curable. These diseases include syphilis, chlamydia and gonorrhea. Viral STDs, on the other hand, are incurable and include herpes, HIV and hepatitis B. While sufferers may not experience symptoms regularly, viral STDs are always present in the body.
With all that we know about HIV, there are still nearly 40,000 new cases reported in the United States each year. Though there are many more drugs available for sufferers of HIV, the disease is still incurable.
While most people understand that male-to-male sexual contact is a risk factor for contracting STDs, most don’t think that female-to-female sexual contact can promote the spreading of these diseases. STDs can indeed be spread from woman to woman during sexual contact.
Though herpes can be an incredibly painful STD, nearly 90 percent of people with herpes are unaware that they are carrying the virus. Because herpes can be spread when no symptoms are present, and because only ten percent of sufferers are aware of their disease, it is one of the most highly transmitted STDs.
10.STDs and the Fetus
Women with STDs are likely to transmit their disease, or complications of the disease, to their fetuses through the placenta or during delivery. Complications can include low birth weight, blindness and neurological damage.
If you think that you know all there is to know about STDs, you’re wrong. These uncommon facts are only a small percentage of what you didn’t already know about sexually transmitted diseases. If you are sexually active, it is in your best interest to continue reading and continue learning; your health and, ultimately, your life, may depend on it.