Sexually Transmitted Diseases are a special kind of infection that has a primary transmission as intimate contact. STDs are a global epidemic as described by the World Health Organisation (WHO), more than millions of people have lost their lives against STDs. In the United States alone, there are more than 30 million new cases of STDs being recorded each year. And some of the states have a high toll.
What are STDs?
Sexually Transmitted Infections are of different types – more than half a dozen. They all share a common characteristic which is spreading through sexual contact. It is estimated that more than 1 million cases are reported each day around the world according to WHO. Sexually transmitted diseases can spread even through genital touch, oral sex and don’t necessarily require vaginal sex. Because the infected individual’s genitals and/or oral cavity has contagious bacteria and viruses which can spread to you if you get in touch.
Some of the STD types have the ability to transmit even without physical contact. Just getting in touch with their utensils can do the job – such as their used razors, unwashed sex toys, and accepting unscreened blood donors.
Types of STDs
There are more than 15 different types of STDs – but only 6 of them are widely spread and cause severe health complications. Following are the most commonly known STDs –
Some of the above types are still incurable to date, leaving the individuals who are infected with those particular STDs depressed.
STDs in Colorado, US
According to Health Alert, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis are rising in Colorado since the year 2013. If you live in Colorado and experience any of the above symptoms of STDs, then get tested for STDs right away. Following are some of the common STDs found in Colorado –
In the year 2018, chlamydia was the most commonly reported STI in Colorado with 29,124 reported cases — at a rate of 512 per 100,000. This means for every 100,000 people living in Colorado at least 512 people have had chlamydia infection. Chlamydia is caused by a bacteria called Chlamydia Trachomatis. This is a highly contagious STDs that can be easily transmitted from one person to another via sexual contact.
Gonorrhea is the second most commonly reported STDs in Colorado and in the United States. Colorado has reported more than 8,800+ cases of gonorrhea in the year 2018 alone – which is a 3.3% increase compared to the previous year. Gonorrhea is caused by a different type of bacteria called neisseria gonorrhea. Both chlamydia and gonorrhea share similar symptoms properties that can sometimes be hard to differentiate between the two without a screening test.
Unlike the previous two, syphilis is a type that progresses in three different stages. You can identify which stage you are at by the symptoms you are experiencing. Syphilis is caused by a bacteria known as Treponema pallidum that causes painless sores as its primary symptoms and comprises other signs that are seen in several other STDs. Syphilis is ranked third in the number of cases in Colorado 19.1 cases per 100,000 in 2018 — increased at a rate of 26.7% year over year.
Symptoms of STDs
STD symptoms are typically low-key and do not pop up the symptoms like the flu or allergy as soon as you get in contact with the bacteria. STD symptoms can take anywhere between days to even several weeks for the initial symptoms to appear. Following are the common STD symptoms you may encounter –
Symptoms in women
- Unusual vaginal discharge
- Pain during urination
- Painful sexual intercourse
- Pain in the lower abdomen
- Heavy menstrual bleeding
Symptoms in men
- Thick penile discharge
- Burning sensation while urinating
- Swelling and pain in the testicles
- Itching in the anus
- Irritation in the penis
- Painful bowel movements
- Weight loss
- Pain in the joints
- Unusual night sweat
- Sore throat
If you experience any of the above symptoms, then it is highly recommended to get tested for STDs. As we mentioned earlier, the symptoms tend to slowly show up and it can be tricky to figure out you actually have an STD if you experience only the general symptoms like fever and sores. This is one reason for the widespread STD where many people tend to misinterpret it as another common disease and wait for it to go away continuing sexual intimacy and thus spreading it to others without their knowledge.
How to test for STDs?
Testing for STDs is a crucial diagnostic procedure that can lead to better detection and faster recovery if identified in the early stages. It also helps in breaking down the chain of spread that happens unknowingly. There are multiple labs around your proximity that provide STD testing. If you are not comfortable visiting a lab then you can also look for at-home STD testing kits. These home test kits contain all the necessary equipment for you to pick the sample and send it back to the lab address. On receiving your sample, the lab technicians will start the screening process and you can expect your results to be available in a few days.
Can STDs be cured?
Yes, with the latest technological advancements in medicine almost all the STDs can be treated and cured completely. The most commonly seen STDs in Colorado which include Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis have anti-bacterial medicinal prescriptions that can help kill the invaded bacteria and recover the symptoms.
However, this comes with a catch, not all the STDs including the devasting one – HIV is incurable to date. This means, if you are acquired with HIV then it is likely that you have to live with it forever. But there are anti-retroviral drugs that can help you reduce the symptoms and suppress the virus’s activities, increasing the chance of you living longer.