: Classifieds : MyJU :
Stories: Health
Browse Health Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

Facts and Fallacies About Sexually Transmitted Diseases

By: TSgt Sandra Page

Date Posted: 2001-04-28

STDs are the most common infectious diseases in the United States today, surpassed only by the common cold and the flu. STDs occur in over two-thirds of individuals 25 years of age or younger. The CDC estimates that one out of every five Americans has a STD and one in four individuals will contract a STD at some point in their lives. The most common types of STDs are chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HIV, and genital warts. Even though these statistics affect the general population, the military community on Okinawa is not immune. The Public Health Flight of the 18th Aerospace Medicine Squadron reports that there were 132 cases of chlamydia, 20 cases of gonorrhea, and 1 case of syphilis reported on Kadena during calendar year 2000.

Chlamydia, a bacterial infection, is the number one sexually transmitted disease in the United States. Most infected people have no symptoms. Those who do may have burning during urination, discharge, abdominal pain, pain in testicles, and fever. A medical provider can perform a culture for examination to detect chlamydia. If positive, treatment will consist of antibiotics and requires that both partners be treated simultaneously to prevent re-infection. Left untreated, chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women and sterility in men and women.

Gonorrhea, also a bacterial infection, can be spread from the genitals of one partner to the genitals, throat or rectum of the other partner. Symptoms include discharge, burning during urination, and pain and may be mild or not present at all. Gonorrhea can be detected by a culture. Treatment consists of antibiotics for both partners. Left untreated, this too can lead to PID in women and sterility in men and women.

Syphilis, also a bacterial infection, is a very serious disease that can eventually lead to death. Symptoms include painless sores on the genitals, mouth, or rectum followed by a contagious rash that will eventually disappear. Detection is through a blood test or culture from a sore. Treatment consists of penicillin for both partners.

According to Maj Ceabert Griffith, Physician Assistant in the 18th Medical Group and Health Promotion Flight Commander, genital warts or Human Papillomavirus (HPV), are prevalent not only on Kadena but worldwide as well. HPV is a virus that can cause painless, flesh-colored or white warts that may appear around genitals, rectum, mouth or in the throat. There are over 80 types of the virus and there is currently no cure availableóthe virus will continue to live in your body. However, warts can be removed through freezing or burning, lasers or surgery and they can return at any point. You can transmit or catch HPV from someone even if they do not have any visible symptoms, as most HPV carriers do not.

How can you protect yourself from falling victim to a STD?

∑ Practice monogamy if youíre sexually active
∑ Donít have sex in your teens
∑ Always use a latex condom and spermicide
∑ Donít have casual sex when traveling abroad
∑ Limit alcohol intake to prevent impairing your judgment
∑ Perform a genital self-exam regularly to check for sores, discharge, etc.
∑ See a provider for treatment if you have any symptoms of STDs, been exposed to one, or if youíre at high risk (have unprotected sex or more than one partner)
∑ If you do contract an STD, complete all medication as prescribed, even if symptoms disappear

The key to stopping the spread of STDs is through awareness and prevention. The Public Health Flight (630-4520) is available to answer any questions you may have. Also, the Health and Wellness Center (634-2499) has information and free condoms available.

Browse Health Stories: « Previous Story | Next Story »

weather currency health and beauty restaurants Yellowpages JU Blog

JU FacebookOkistyleOkistyle

Go to advertising PDF?||?|o?L?qAE?|?}?OA?N?ga`OkiStyle?A??q?qM?oeu^?I`??N?gX?<eth>?<ETH>?ni^?IWanted!!Golden Kings ScheduleOkiNightSeeker