Tuesday, 22 September 2015

STDs still a problem in SA!

Sexually transmitted infections are still a major health problem in Mzansi.

An infection can spread when your fingers, other body parts or sex toys come in contact with another person’s genitals or body fluids. These diseases often don’t have any noticeable symptoms and people are can become infected without even knowing it!

According to a recent report by the provincial health department, the most common infections reported in Gauteng are genital blisters without ulceration, genital ulcers and genital warts.
An infection can spread when your fingers, other body parts or sex toys come in contact with another person’s genitals or body fluids. These diseases often don’t have any noticeable symptoms and people are can become infected without even knowing it!
The report said 18 086 people visited public health facilities with infections in 2014/15 compared to 19 416 patients in 2013/14. Also, the incidence of infections in 2014/15 showed 33,4% males were infected compared to 66,4% of females, and the most affected age group was those between 25 and 29-years-old.

Females are the majority of the infected because their anatomy makes them more vulnerable to sex infections than males. The most common infections in women are genital ulcers, warts or vaginal discharge.

Genital blisters and ulcers

A blister is a fluid-filled pocket in the upper layer of the skin while an ulcer is an open sore on the surface of the body. Genital blisters can become ulcers. They can be painful or painless. They can be accompanied by swellings in the groin’s lymph areas. Genital blisters and ulcers can occur anywhere in the genital area and are also associated with mouth ulcers from oral sex.

The most common causes are herpes simplex virus, syphilis and chancroid, which are all sexually transmitted. But not all ulcers are caused by infections; they also occur because of drug reactions, trauma or cancer.

Genital warts
A wart is a small, hard, non-cancerous growth on the skin caused by members of the human papilloma virus (HPV) family.

Genital warts can be on the vulva, vagina, cervix, perineal area or in the mouth, said Swart adding they are caused by certain types of HPV that are sexually transmitted.

These should not be confused with warts on other parts of the body. These are caused by other types of HPV that are not sexually transmitted.

If you have genital warts, you are also at increased risk of cervical, vaginal and vulvar cancer. These need to be actively excluded by the health care provider by examination, regular Pap smears and biopsies of the area if indicated.

Vaginal discharge
Women have a vaginal discharge that changes in volume and colour throughout the month, but if this discharge becomes foul smelling or is accompanied by symptoms like itching or burning, it might be indicative of an infection.

The most widespread infections causing a discharge are thrush and bacterial vaginosis but these are not sexually transmitted infections. The most common infections causing discharge are trichomoniasis, gonorrhoea and chlamydia. Women experiencing these symptoms should visit the clinic or GP for a full gynaecological examination that should include a speculum exam. While most infections have relatively mild symptoms, they can have more severe consequences such as cervical cancer, an increased risk of HIV transmission and infertility. For more info download the Pasop app for Android devices.
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