Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) (previously known as STDs) refer to infections that are transmitted through sexual contact caused by bacteria, parasites and viruses. STIs are on the rise throughout the globe as more and more people are falling prey to it each and every day. Over 20 million cases of STIs are reported every year and ¼ of the infected population consists of teenagers.
STIs are on the rise is because of lack of information about the associated diseases and infections. The lack of information is basically due to two reasons:
Some STIs do not have any symptoms and therefore, many people are unable to detect STIs in the primary stages which leads to disastrous consequences over time.
Many people are living under the misconception that STIs can be only transmitted through sexual intercourse. This, however, is not true as many types of STIs can be transmitted through casual skin contact as well.
This article will emphasize on the types of STIs that can spread through casual skin contact:
Syphilis: Syphilis is a bacterial infection that starts off as a painless sore and overtime, starts to affect the internal body organs. While having sex, getting infected from sores can be prevented by wearing a condom. However, if the sores are located at the mouth or other skin locations, they can be contagious and direct contact with them can lead to STIs.
Herpes: Also known as HSV, Herpes is a virus that causes contagious sores around the mouth and the genitals. Genital herpes (HSV-1) is transmitted through unprotected anal, oral or vaginal intercourse whereas oral herpes (HSV-2) that affects the area around the mouth and border of the lips can spread through skin to skin contact.
Human Papillomavirus Infection (HPV): An infection that causes warts in the various parts of the body; this infection has a very high probability of skin to skin transmission. This virus can cause cancer or genital warts. HPV can be prevented through vaccines that are given to children before 11 years of age before they become sexually active.
Important things to keep in mind:
In many cases, STIs can be passed from the mother to the baby.
The best way to prevent STIs is to avoid any form of sexual activity with multiple partners.
It is never ideal to neglect STIs due to the fear of being embarrassed. Remember, the quicker you seek medical help, the better are your chances to treat STIs.
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