Sunday, February 14, 2010
In light of V-Day I think I will talk about VD (venereal disease) or Sexually Transmitted Disease (STDs). What with all the "love" going around, I want to make sure all our readers are ONLY sharing the love, and not the love bugs!
I'm sure everyone knows that Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are spread through sexual contact, either genital, oral-genital, or anal-genital. Most disease causing organisms cannot live very long outside a warm, moist environment. So naturally moving from host to host via reproductive organs during sexual contact seems like the perfect mode of transportation. Some travel through bodily fluids, and others, like pubic lice (crabs) take advantage of you "bumping uglies" to hop from one person to another.
I want to give you a little run down of some common STD's and their effects. Behind door number one is Gonorrhea! It is cause by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Besides the obvious genital to genital transmission, it can be transmitted to the mouth and throat through oral sex, or mouth and eyes through hand contact. So don't think just because you're not doing the horizontal tango you are safe from STDs. Symptoms include for men pus from the penis, for women vaginal discharge, and for both painful urination. You may be asymptomatic, but you can still have complications, including sterility, SO GET CHECKED! It can be treated with antibiotics, and have no complications if caught early. However, in recent years antibiotic-resistant strains have emerged.
Behind door number two is Syphilis cause by the bacterium Treponema pallidum. This one is a little more feisty than Gonorrhea. Symptoms start with a chancre at the infection site. Then is leads to a non itchy rash, hair loss, and gray areas of infection on mucous membranes. Finally it starts it's widespread damage to the cardiovascular and nervous system, blindness, and skin ulcers. (I bet thats attractive when you're trying to pick up a valentine date at the bar!) This one can also be treated with antibiotics.
Hiding behind door number three is Chlamydia! This little darling is cause by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Although the rates of Gonorrhea and Syphilis have been going down in the U.S. Chlamydia is on the rise. It remains the most commonly reported infectious disease in the nation. Symptoms include Discharge from penis, or vagina, burning during urination, and vaginal itching. Complications include pelvic inflammatory disease, urethral infections, sterility, and complications of pregnancy. More then 1.2 million cases were report to the CDC in 2008! (CDC.com)
There are plenty more like:
- AIDS (I'm sure everyone is familiar with this one)
- Hepatitis B
- Genital warts (Cause by HPV)
- Genital herpes
- Pubic lice
Not only are they embarrassing in a social situation, but some of these little "love bugs" can cause serious organ damage. So please please please be smart and safe, GET TESTED! No shame in being smart about your sex life, if you have one. I mean what would you rather get for Valentines day, flowers and candy, or a VD for V-Day? (I personally like expensive metals and shiny clear chunks of carbon!)
For information how to protect yourself check this out!
So to everyone out there, Happy Valentines Day, and remember... No glove.. No love!