defines sexual health as a “state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.”(World Health Organization, 2006a)
Sexual Health Issues
There are many issues involved with sexual health some of them are sexual rights, sex education, sexual safety, sexual orientation, eroticism, gender equality, reproduction, and emotional attachment. However, for the purposes of this blog article I will focus on the treatment of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
Latex Condoms will significantly reduce the risk of catching or spreading a sexually transmitted disease. However, it is not a perfect method of protection and some risk still remains.
STDs are caused by parasites, bacteria, or viruses and they are infections that are transmitted from one person to another through sexual activity. Most STDs caused by parasites or bacteria can be treated successfully with antibiotics or other drug. STDs caused by viruses can not be cured but most can be controlled to some degree with treatment.
In general STDs are more problematic for women than men. The symptoms are usually more severe for women than men and pregnant women with an STD might be exposing their unborn children to serious health risks.
Types of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
There are more than twenty recognized STDs affecting people around the world. The most common are listed below.
- Gonorrhea – caused by bacteria; some people have no symptoms; treated with antibiotics
- Genital herpes – caused by a virus; some people have no or mild symptoms; can infect babies during childbirth; no cure but some drugs available for treatment
- Syphilis – caused by bacteria; dangerous to unborn children of pregnant women; easily treated with antibiotics
- HIV / AIDS – HIV is the virus and AIDs is the most advanced stage of an HIV infection; can infect babies during pregnancy and childbirth; no cure but drugs are available for treatment
- Trichomoniasis – caused by a parasite; often people have no symptoms; men usually do not have symptoms; treated with antibiotics
- Chlamydia – caused by bacteria; usually doesn’t cause symptoms; can cause infertility in women; treated with antibiotics
- HPV – Human Papillomaviruses – caused by common viruses; they result in genital warts; more than 100 types of HPV and about 30 put the individual at risk of cancer
If you think you may have an STD then you should see your doctor or health provider immediately – for your health and your partner’s health.