Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Some pathogens are
transmitted by sexual contact from one partner to another and not by casual
physical contact. A few sexually transmitted diseases are gonorrhea, genital
warts, genital herpes, syphilis and AIDS
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is caused by retrovirus (RNA virus) known as Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). The virus attacks the white blood cells or lymphocytes (T-lymphocytes ) and weakens the body’s immunity or self defence mechanism. It is transmitted through sexual contact (from infected person to a healthy person), blood contact (transfusion of unscreened blood), by surgical equipments (infected needles and syringes), maternal – foetal transmission (from infected mother to the foetus).
Weight loss, prolonged fever, sweating at night, chronic diarrhoea are some of the important symptoms.
· Disposable syringes and needles should be used.
· Protected and safe sexual contact.
· Screening of blood before blood transfusion.
· Avoid sharing shaving blades/razors.
· People should be educated about AIDS transmission.
It occurs due to infection of hepatitis-B virus (HBV) which is an enterovirus. The infecting virus damages the liver cells, causing acute inflammation of liver.
It is transferred from infected mother to their babies or by sexual contact. It is also transmitted by contact with infected person’s secretions such as saliva, sweat, tears, breast milk and blood.
Individual affected by this disease shows symptoms of fever, loss of appetite, nausea vomiting, yellowness of eyes and skin, light coloured stools, itching of skin, headache and joint pain. It also causes cirrhosis of liver.
· Screening of blood donors before blood donation can prevent the transmission.
· Injection of drugs to be prevented.
· Having safe and protected sex.
· Sharing of razors should be avoided.
· The hepatitis B vaccine offers excellent protection against HBV. The vaccine is safe and highly effective.
Some of the other sexually transmitted diseases caused by bacteria and virus are discussed in Table 8.7.