Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

LGV (Lymphogranuloma Venereum)

Lymphogranuloma venereum: Abbreviated LGV. An uncommon genital or anorectal (affecting the anus and/or rectum) infection that is caused by a specific type of Chlamydia trachomatis. Patients typically have tender glands (lymph nodes) in the groin and may recently have had a genital ulcer that resolved on its own. Other patients, in particular those with HIV infection, may have rectal or anal inflammation, scarring, and narrowing (stricture), which cause frequent small bowel movements (diarrhea) and a sense of incomplete evacuation of the bowels. In addition, these patients can have pain around the anal area (perianal), and occasionally drainage from the perianal area or the glands in the groin.

Chancroid

Chancroid: A sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Haemophilus ducreyi. Periodic outbreaks of chancroid have occurred in the US, usually in minority populations in the inner cities. This disease is common in sub-Saharan Africa among men who have frequent contact with prostitutes. The infection begins with the appearance of painful open sores on the genitals, sometimes accompanied by swollen, tender lymph nodes in the groin. These symptoms occur within a week after exposure. Symptoms in women are often less noticeable and may be limited to painful urination or defecation, painful intercourse, rectal bleeding, or vaginal discharge. Chancroid can be treated effectively with several antibiotics. Chancroid is one of the genital ulcer diseases associated with an increased risk of transmission of the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the cause of AIDS. Also known as soft chancre, soft sore, and soft ulcer.

Trichomoniasis

Trichomoniasis: Infection with trichomonas, in humans with Trichomonas vaginalis.

HIV/AIDS

HIV: Acronym for the Human Immunodeficiency Virus, the cause of AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV has also been called the human lymphotropic virus type III, the lymphadenopathy-associated virus and the lymphadenopathy virus. No matter what name is applied, it is a retrovirus. (A retrovirus has an RNA genome and a reverse transcriptase enzyme. Using the reverse transcriptase, the virus uses its RNA as a template for making complementary DNA which can integrate into the DNA of the host organism). Although the American research Robert Gallo at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) believed he was the first to find HIV, it is now generally accepted that the French physician Luc Montagnier (1932-) and his team at the Pasteur Institute discovered HIV in 1983-84. Early symptoms of HIV Infection: Many have no symptoms, but some people get temporary flu-like symptoms 1-2 months after infection: swollen glands (seen here), a fever, headaches, and fatigue. Canker sores in the mouth can occur, too.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B: Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), once thought to be passed only through blood products. It is now known that hepatitis B can also be transmitted via needle sticks, body piercing and tattooing using un sterilized instruments, the dialysis process, sexual and even less intimate close contact, and childbirth. Symptoms include fatigue, jaundice, nausea, vomiting, dark urine, light stools. Diagnosis is by blood test. Treatment is via anti-viral drugs and/or hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG). Chronic hepatitis B may be treated with interferon. Healthcare workers accidentally exposed to materials infected with hepatitis B and individuals with known sexual contact with hepatitis B patients are usually given both HBIG and the hepatitis B vaccine to provide both immediate and long-term protection. HBV infection can be prevented by the hepatitis B vaccine, and by avoiding activities that could lead to getting the virus.

Herpes Simplex Virus Type 2

Herpes simplex type 2: A herpes virus that causes genital herpes, which is characterized by sores in the genital area. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease (STD). This virus, like herpes simplex type 1, can also cause infection of the brain (encephalitis) if the immune system is severely defective or compromised. The treatment of infection with herpes simplex type 2 is by topical or oral anti-viral medication. Herpes simplex type 2 is also known as human herpesvirus 2 (HHV-2).

Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1

Herpes simplex type 1: A herpes virus that causes cold sores and fever blisters in and around the mouth. In rare cases, as when someone's immune system is severely compromised, this virus can cause infection of the brain (encephalitis). Herpes simplex type 1 is also known as human herpesvirus 1 (HHV-1).

Chlamydia

Chlamydia: A type of bacteria one species of which causes an infection very similar to gonorrhea in the way that it is spread, the symptoms it produces, and the long-term consequences. Like gonorrhea, chlamydia is found in the cervix and urethra and can also live in the throat or rectum. Like gonorrhea, it is highly destructive to the tubes (the fallopian tubes), the conduits through which the eggs voyage from the ovary to the womb. As a consequence, it causes infertility and tubal pregnancies (pregnancies that implant ectopically in the tubes, a potential disaster). Again like gonorrhea, chlamydia is a prime cause of severe pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). Because women newly infected with chlamydia tend not to have symptoms (to be "silent" or symptom-free), chlamydia often goes undetected and untreated, the disease can progress in a stealthy way to wreck extensive destruction of the fallopian tubes and lead to infertility. Once again like gonorrhea, chlamydia is associated with an increased incidence of preterm births (premies). Women with a history of chlamydia have an increased risk of developing cancer of the cervix.

Syphilis

Syphilis: A sexually transmitted disease caused by Treponema pallidum, a microscopic organism called a spirochete. This worm-like, spiral-shaped organism infects people by burrowing into the moist mucous membranes of the mouth or genitals. From there, the spirochete produces a non-painful ulcer known as a chancre.

The Clap (Gonorrhea)

Gonorrhea: A sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoea. Although gonorrhea is known primarily as a sexually transmitted infection (STI), it is not exclusively so, but can also be transmitted to the newborn during the birthing process. Contrary to popular belief, gonorrhea cannot be transmitted from toilet seats or door handles. The bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea requires very specific conditions to grow and to reproduce. It cannot live outside the body for more than a few minutes at most, nor can it live on the skin of the hands, arms, or legs. It survives only on moist surfaces within the body and is found most commonly in the vagina and, especially the cervix. The bacterium can also live in the urethra. Gonorrhea can even exist in the back of the throat (from oral-genital contact) and in the rectum.

Crabs (Pubic Lice)

ice: Parasitic insects found in the genital area of humans. Pubic lice are usually spread through sexual contact. Rarely, infestation can be spread through contact with an infested person's bed linens, towels, or clothes. A common misbelief is that infestation can be spread by sitting on a toilet seat. This is not likely, since lice cannot live long away from a warm human body. Also, lice do not have feet designed to walk or hold onto smooth surfaces such as toilet seats. Infection in a young child or teenager may indicate sexual activity or sexual abuse. Pubic lice are generally found in the genital area on pubic hair; but may occasionally be found on other coarse body hair, such as hair on the legs, armpit, mustache, beard, eyebrows, and eyelashes. Infestations of young children are usually on the eyebrows or eyelashes. Lice found on the head are not pubic lice; they are head lice. Animals do not get or spread pubic lice.

Genital Warts (HPV)

Genital wart: A wart in the moist skin of the genitals or around the anus. Genital warts are due to a human papillomavirus (HPV). The HPVs, including those that cause genital warts, are transmitted through sexual contact. HPV can also be transmitted from mother to baby during childbirth. Most people infected with HPV have no symptoms, but these viruses increase a woman's risk for cancer of the cervix. HPV infection is the most common sexually transmitted disease in the US. It is also the leading cause of abnormal PAP smears and pre-cancerous changes of the cervix in women. There is no cure for HPV infection, although anti-viral medications can reduce outbreaks and topical preparations can speed healing. Once contracted, the virus can stay with a person for life. Also called condyloma acuminatum, condylomata.

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