Sexually Transmitted Diseases and How to Protect Yourself

 Safe sex is a must in order to stave off sexually transmitted diseases (STD).  There is no pleasure worth carrying around a disease that is not only annoying and embarrassing, but some of them can be deadly as well.  Abstinence is the only sure way to prevent getting a sexually transmitted disease, but let’s be honest few people completely abstain from sex. Being in a completely monogamous relationship where both partners are STD free also is a safe way to not fear sexually transmitted diseases. The next best way is protecting yourself and your partner by use of a condom.  

Sti Prevention

Condoms greatly help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases

Always make sure to have condoms available if you will be experiencing sex.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there has been an increase in sexually transmissible infections (STI) in the last decade

  They aren’t completely sure if infections are on the rise or if it is that more people are getting tested, or a combination of both.  Although younger and middle age people have a greater STI rate, the older generation is also seeing an uptick in sexually transmitted diseases as well.  

Sexually transmitted diseases can be either bacterial or viral

Both can cause lasting damage.  Some STDs will wreck your reproductive system and some can cause death.  Some STDs will cause unpleasant symptoms such as itching or a smelly discharge and some you may not even have symptoms.  

Bacterial infections include chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis

  While chlamydia and gonorrhoea generally infect the younger generations in Australia, syphilis is spread among most age groups.  Chlamydia and gonorrhoea infect reproductive organs and can be without symptoms.  They can damage those organs if left untreated.  Antibiotics can be takes to cure these infections if taken before damage has occurred.  Syphilis can can sores on the mouth and genitals.

It can be symptom free for many years

Without proper treatment Syphilis can cause long term damage to the brain and other organs.  There are three stages to syphilis.  They are primary, secondary, and late stage.  Syphilis is often asymptomatic in the first stages and also easily transmittable.  Syphilis can be treated with penicillin, however if it reaches the late stage the damage is done and can often result in death although it may just be managed as a long term disease as well.  In Australia, syphilis is quite rare, but it is still out there.  Protecting yourself from this bacterial infections is important and is as easy as using condoms.

Viral STIs include HIV (AIDS) and herpes.  HIV stands for Human immunodeficiency virus

It is a retrovirus that attacks the immune system leaving the victim with a weakened immunity.  This causes an increase in secondary infections, some that are usually quite rare.  HIV that is not treated will lead to AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.  Sometimes there is no symptoms until it progresses to AIDS.  At that point, many opportunistic infections may occur as well as death.  Anti-retroviral drug treatment is used to treat HIV.  This is not a cure, but can keep the disease from progressing, sometimes for many years.  Men in their 30s are the highest group in Australia for new HIV infections.  The use of condoms can greatly decrease the rate of HIV infection.  

Gay men of Australia should pay special attention to the use of condoms

Herpes can cause cold sores and genital sores.  There are two types.  Genital herpes is one of the most common types of STDs in Australia.  It is spread through skin to skin contact, and the virus stays with a person for life.  When it is reactivated the person experiences outbreaks and can then spread the virus to others.  Although there is no cure, there are antiviral medications to help reduce the amount and length of infections.  Middle aged and being a woman in Australia have a greater occurrence of genital herpes, although it is quite common in all age ranges.  Condom usage can help stem herpes transmission, but because it is skin to skin it can still be transmitted even with a condom.  

Using a condom will help prevent many new sexually transmitted infections in Australia.  Protect yourself and make sure to always use a condom when engaging in sexual activities.