| Sexually transmitted diseases STDs are diseases that can spread from one person to another by sexual contact. STDs can cause pain, and some can cause death if not treated, some common curable STDs are gonorrhoea, Trichomoniasis, Chlamydia and syphilis
AIDS refers to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. AIDS is caused by the human immune deficiency virus, HIV. HIV can be transmitted by sexual contact, by blood and from a pregnant woman to her child during pregnancy, childbirth or occasionally by breastfeeding. As of 2001, AIDS has no definite cure. Treatments have improved the quality and length of life for people with HIV/AIDS, however, each year there are more than 333million new cases of curable STDs, 1 million new cases of HIV infection and millions of other viral STDs such as herpes and hepatitis B. STDs have become more common than malaria.
Why should family planning providers know about STDs?
1. STDs are common. They cause much suffering and disabilities; all health care providers carry the responsibility to do what they can to inform people about the risks and reduce the number of STDs.
2. A family planning client may ask about changes or conditions of their sex organs, these could be signs of STDs or other reproductive tract infections. To help their client, providers should recognise signs of STDs and either promptly treat or refer for treatment.
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. AIDS reduces the body ability to fight other diseases. People with HIV/AIDS get sick very easily with certain diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis and diarrhoea. Most people with AIDS die from diseases that there body no longer can fight. A person who doesn't look sick can still pass HIV to another person. A person may have HIV for years before any symptoms appear.
Other STDs increases the chances of getting HIV or spreading it to other, people with STDs need to seek treatment and if possible, get tested for HIV and counselled.
How is HIV carried and spread?
HIV is carried in the body fluids, the most important are:
• Vaginal fluid,
HIV is spread through:
• Vaginal intercourse,
• Anal intercourse,
• Sharing intravenous needles with an infected person,
• Transfusions of infected blood,
• Other activities that allow semen, blood or vaginal fluid to enter the mouth, anus or vagina or an open cut or sore.
• A pregnant woman with HIV is able to pass to her fetus during pregnancy or childbirth. Sometimes, a woman passes HIV to her baby through her breast milk still where many babies die from infectious diseases; a woman with HIV should breastfeed their babies.
HIV is not spread by kissing, shaking hands, or sharing food, clothing or toilets with someone who is HIV positive.
How can HIV/Aids be prevented?
HIV/Aids can be prevented in the same way that other STDs are prevented. Follow the ABCDs:
A= Abstain from sex,
B= Be mutually faithful. Have sex with only one partner who also is not infected. This person also must not have sex with any one else and must not share hypodermic needle with others,
C= Consistently use condoms,
D= Do not use a hypodermic needle that has not been sterilize or soaked in bleach.
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