As the name suggests, sexually transmitted diseases or STD, as they are most commonly known as, are diseases or illnesses that are transmitted from person to person via sexual contact. While the most common way in which they are spread is through sexual contact, they can also be spread through other ways, from mother to child during delivery and breastfeeding, through sharing of needles, commonly seen among drug users.
STDs are also spread when someone is simply injecting himself with insulin from a shared needle. It does not matter whether someone is using drugs; a person sharing a needle to inject himself with insulin is just as much at risk.
As the name suggests, Sexually Transmitted Diseases are transmitted through coming in contact with the bodily fluids of an infected person such as semen, blood, vaginal fluids. The genitals are an easy breeding ground for the pathogens that are responsible for causing STDs as these are warm and damp places that provide a good environment for them to proliferate.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are very common, and it affects more than half of the world population each year. Some of these STDs like Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, etc are preventable. There are also incurable STDs, like HIV, HPV, Herpes, etc. Below are some of the incurable types of sexually transmitted infections; let’s take a look at what each one is all about and learn about how to manage them.
Types of Incurable STDs
Usually, most sexually transmitted diseases are curable with the appropriate and proper administration of antibiotics and medications; however, some are incurable in nature like:
Caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus or HSV, Herpes is a sexually transmitted disease that affects almost 500 million people worldwide. It is mainly transmitted through anal, oral, and vaginal sex with an infected person. It can also spread from an infected mother to its child during delivery. Herpes patients do not exhibit any signs and symptoms of it; however, when they do show up, it differs from person to person. The symptoms usually start with a runny nose, fatigue, and general flu-like symptoms.
The most common symptom of Herpes is open blisters that appear around the genital area. These blisters are pus-filled, and when they pop, they leave red and inflamed sores behind. One thing to note here is that the virus when it enters the body, it stays in it for a lifetime.
Most of the time, it stays dormant and does not cause any issues, but when triggered, it gets activated and causes outbreaks that involve the appearance of sores and extreme discomfort. It is an incurable form of the sexually transmitted disease but can be managed through medications. The most effective way of avoiding this disease if to use protection while having any sexual contact with someone, also it is advisable to be in a monogamous relationship with someone as frequently changing sexual partners is also a major contributor for getting Herpes.
Hepatitis is a sexually transmitted disease. There are three types of it A, B, and C, and all of them cause chronic swelling of the liver and greatly contribute to getting liver cancer. They are caused by a virus that affects a lot of people worldwide each year. The virus lives in the blood, seminal, and vaginal fluids of infected people. It is mainly spread through unprotected anal, oral, and vaginal sex with an infected person.
Hepatitis is also transmitted through the sharing of needles during drug use, through exposure to tattoos, body piercings that are not sterilized. It is also transmitted via a mother to her child in the womb and sometimes also through the sharing of razor blades and toothbrushes that have infected blood on them. Nowadays, infants get the Hepatitis vaccine at birth, but those people that were born before the year 1991 may not have received this vaccine.
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Hepatitis mostly does not cause any signs, and people can easily fight it off without having to resort to medications. But when the symptoms do occur, it is important to consult with a doctor to look for options that will help in lessening the severity of its symptoms.
Also known as human immunodeficiency virus, HIV is a dangerous virus that attacks the immune system of an infected individual. It is transmitted through engaging in unprotected sex with an infected person, coming in contact with infected bodily fluids like blood, through breastfeeding, and through an infected mother to its baby during pregnancy. It lays dormant in the body for many years and later develops into the fatal AIDS or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
When a person reaches this stage, his/her immune system gets so weak that even a small infection like the flu can kill them. The best way to avoid HIV is to practice safe sex, avoid sharing of needles, and to get blood transfusions from suspicious sources. HIV is an incurable disease; however, it can be managed with certain medications. With these medications, a person can even lead a normal life without any discomfort whatsoever.
Human papillomavirus or HPV is a sexually transmitted disease that affects about 14 million people in the United States each year. It is spread through sexual activities such as anal, oral, and vaginal sex. The symptoms are very hard to track, and sometimes they do not even occur.
However, when the symptoms do occur, it is the appearance of warts in the genital area. Human papillomavirus can also cause Cervical and oral cancer. Although about 90% of the infections caused due to HPV go away on their own, it is still termed as an incurable disease. However, there are treatments and medications that help in managing its symptoms like freezing and burning warts with the help of surgery and electric current.
Managing Incurable STDs
Catching incurable STDs can be a very daunting moment for most people. While some are curable, there are others that can be potentially dangerous and so are incurable. Today with the rapid advancement in technology and science, some certain treatments and medications help in curbing the symptoms of some of these incurable sexually transmitted diseases.
Herpes is caused by the herpes simplex virus that can make the life of an infected person hell by the way its symptoms affect their daily lives. Most people do not show any symptoms and so can be completely unaware of the fact that they have Herpes. Its symptoms when they do occur, are painful blisters and sores in the genital areas. Herpes can be managed with the use of antiviral medications. These medications help with recurring outbreaks and also keeps the symptoms in check.
It is caused by a virus and are of three different types. Hepatitis A, B, and C. All of them cause infections of the liver that makes the liver get inflamed. The virus lives in the semen, blood, and vaginal fluids of an infected person and spreads through unprotected anal, oral, and vaginal sex. Out of the three, Hepatitis C is the curable one, while B and C are incurable STDs. There are vaccines available for it and also certain medications that prevent the virus from damaging the liver further.
Out of all incurable diseases, HIV is probably the fatal one. Since this epidemic began in the 80s, it has taken almost 35 million lives around the globe. HIV or human immunodeficiency virus is a virus that attacks the immune system. If not caught in its early stages, it turns into AIDS, which is when the body’s immune system is so weak that even the flu can kill a person.
Currently, there are some treatments with the help of which HIV infected people are able to live longer. They are able to pursue their goals and lead a normal life just like before. The treatment works by reducing the count of the virus in the body and also preventing it from multiplying. With the help of the treatment, the count of HIV becomes so low that even when these people engage in unprotected sex with another person, it did not get transmitted to them.
HPV or Human papillomavirus is a virus that causes the appearance of warts in the genital area. In some cases, it can also cause cervical and oral cancer. The body’s immune system is strong enough to fight off the infection on its own, but if it fails, some certain medications and treatments help in managing its symptoms which include, freezing and burning off warts by surgical procedures and with the help of electric current.
The treatments also help in the removal of abnormal cells in the cervix, which can otherwise cause cervical cancer. Children nowadays are getting vaccinated early on to protect them from the possible dangers of HPV.
Sexually transmitted diseases are very common, and they affect a lot of sexually active people worldwide. Although most of these diseases get cleared up on their own thanks to the body’s immune system, some are incurable. Meaning the pathogen stays in the body forever and causes frequent outbreaks. Due to the advancement in medicine, there are several treatments and medications available that help in managing these incurable STDs. However, it is important to get regularly tested, and as with any illness, prevention is always better than cure.