Since nearly half of all sexually active people are expected to contract a sexually transmitted disease (STD) at some point in their lives, there is no better* time than today to read up on how the illnesses first originated and what you need to do today to take care of your sexual health and that of your partner. To start with, here are 7 things you probably didn’t know about STDs.
1. There are more than 20 known STDs
Yes, that’s right. While you may not like to think about it, it is a fact that you can catch more than 20 different types of illnesses if you don’t have safe sex with a new partner. Most bacterial STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotics, while viral STDs like Herpes and HIV can only be controlled with drugs. The most important thing to remember is that the sooner the infection is diagnosed, the more are your chances of getting cured.
2. Women are more Vulnerable to STDs when compared to Men
We all know that STDs do not discriminate between men and women. However, women have more chances of contracting an infection because of her anatomy. Women are also more likely to suffer serious health consequences such as loss of fertility and ectopic pregnancy as a result of untreated STDs. Pregnant women, who have not undergone treatment, can also pass on the infection to their children during delivery.
3. You can carry an STD for a long time and not know it
A lot of STDs are symptomatic, which means that you can carry an infection for a long time and pass it on to your partner without knowing about it. In fact, nearly 75% of women with chlamydia – an STD that affects nearly four million people in the U.S. – do not show any symptoms. Some people with HIV may appear symptom less* for 10 years or so after infection, while others may start showing symptoms as soon as a month after exposure. Regular testing is the best way to find out if you have an STD.
4. You can contract an STD through Unhygienic Equipment at a Tattoo Parlor
If you thought that you can contract an STD only through sexual contact with an infected person, think again. Blood-borne infections like HIV and Hepatitis can also be transmitted through dirty, unsterilized equipment used in places like tattoo parlors. However, you can’t catch STDs from a toilet seat or a dirty door knob. That’s just a myth!
5. STDs can affect other parts of your Body
During the early stages, most sexually transmitted diseases affect the genitals and the reproductive system of the affected person. However, in the later stages, the infection can spread to various other organs in the body, including eyes, skin, bones, and central nervous system.
6. Syphilis was First Reported in the 15th Century
The first reported instance of syphilis was among the soldiers of King Charles VIII of France during the first of the Italian Wars. In February 1945, Charles’s army took over Naples, intending to use the major Italian city as a base to launch a campaign against the Crusades. However, shortly after the invasion of Naples, a large number of soldiers became infected with a horrible disease that was characterized by genital ulcers, fever, rash, joint and muscle aches, and sores. The army had mercenaries from different regions – Spanish, Swiss, French, and Dutch. When the army disbanded on Charles’s return to France, the soldiers went back to their separate homelands, carrying the disease with them.
7. You can get Tested for STDs Privately
STD testing is very important for everyone who is sexually active. However, a lot of people do not get tested for STDs because they are too embarrassed to raise the subject with their primary care physicians, want to avoid the hassle of waiting in long queues at the testing centers, or would prefer not to have the results entered into their medical records. Such people can buy an online STD test package at any website that offers private and confidential testing and get the samples drawn at a convenient testing center near them. Since most such websites do not accept insurance, there is no need to worry about the test results showing up on medical records. Moreover, the results are completely private and confidential.