Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases that are spread by sex. Previously, STIs were referred to as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). This change was adjusted to the World Health Organization’s policies in 1998. You can get sexually transmitted diseases from sexual activity involving the mouth, anus, vagina, or penis.
According to the American Social Health Organization, one in four teenagers in the United States is infected with an STI every year. At the age of 25, half of all sexually active young adults will get an STI. This disease is one of the first ten causes of unpleasant disease in young adult males and the second largest cause in young adult females in developing countries.
Adults and adolescents (15-24 years) constitute 25% of all sexually active populations, but contribute to almost 50% of all newly acquired STI cases. It is estimated that more than 340 million new cases of STIs that can be cured (syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia infections, and trichomonas infections) occur annually in men and women aged 15-49 years.
STI is a serious disease that requires treatment. Some STIs, such as HIV, cannot be cured and are deadly. By learning more about STIs, you can find ways to protect yourself from other sexually transmitted diseases, such as genital herpes, viral papillomas (genital warts), hepatitis B, chlamyida, syphilis and gonorrhea.
Symptoms of sexually transmitted infections
Sometimes, STIs do not show special symptoms. However, there are some common symptoms that you can recognize, namely:
- Lumps, sores, or warts near the mouth, anus, penis, or vagina.
- Swelling or redness near the penis or vagina.
- Skin rash.
- Pain urinating.
- Reduced weight, loose stools, night sweats.
- Aches, pains, fever and chills.
- Yellowing of the skin (jaundice).
- Discharge from the penis or vagina.
- Leucorrhoea causes an unpleasant aroma.
- Bleeding from others in the vagina rather than during the monthly period.
- Painful sex.
- Severe itching near the penis or vagina.
The most effective way to avoid being infected or transmitting sexually transmitted infections is to abstain from sexual intercourse (for example, oral, vaginal, or anal sex) or to engage in sexual relations only in long-term, mutually monogamous relationships with non-infected partners.
If not treated properly, the infection can spread and cause suffering, prolonged illness, infertility and even death. For adolescent girls, the risk of getting an STI is greater than that of men because their reproductive organs are more vulnerable. Often more severe because the initial symptoms are not immediately recognized, while the disease becomes more severe.