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Lab Essay, Research Paper
SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES
According to the Websters? dictionary, a sexually transmitted disease, or commonly termed STD, can be defined as any of various diseases transmitted by direct sexual contacted that include classic venereal diseases (as syphilis, gonorrhea, and chancroid) and other diseases (as hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, giordiasis, and AIDS) that are often or sometimes contracted by other sexual means (Internet 3). This lab report will be dealing with three specific types of STDs each from a different origin. Information will be given on each STD with reference to their common/scientific names, life cycle, transmission, and other key factors that influence and maintain the existence of the STD. This report deals with what may be everyday termed diseases however, these STDs affect one in four adolescents before the age of eighteen. Though these STDs are so common and spoken of so often, without early diagnosis and treatment they pose a serious and may be, even a fatal treat to someone who is infected and also their sexual partners or just innocent people who have come into contact with an infected person.
Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1)
The viral disease that will be discussed is the Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1). This STD as stated before is a viral disease, of which a virus can be defined as any of various submicroscopic parasites of plants, animals and bacteria that often cause disease and that essentially of a core of RNA or DNA surrounded by a protein coat. Unable to replicate without a host cell, viruses are typically not considered living organisms.
HSV-1 is usually associated with infections of the lips, mouth, and face. It is especially common in children between the ages of one and three years old and may cause lesions inside the mouth and inflamed gums. It causes cold sores or fever blisters and is transmitted by something as simple as oral or respiratory secretions (for example, sneezing or coughing can transmit the virus).
Most people have in one point of their life been affected with the type 1 virus by the age of 20. In addition to oral and genital lesions, the virus can also cause an infection of the eye involving the eyelid, conjunctiva, and cornea. A finger infection called herpectic whitlow affects health care providers because of exposure to lung and mouth secretions during procedures and young children. The herpes virus can also affect the fetus and cause congenital abnormalities.
Infection occurs after exposure to the virus through a break in the skin, or through mucus membranes. There is strong evidence that the virus may be transmitted even when the symptoms are not present. The virus spreads to nerve cells within the body, and then to other mucosal skin surfaces. The virus remains dormant in the body after an active infection and recurrences of the symptoms can take place at a later time. Recurrences may be precipitated by overexposure to sunlight, fever, stress, or certain foods and drugs.
Additional symptoms that may be associated with this disease are enlargements of lymph nods in the neck or groin, vaginal discharge, sore throat and memory loss. Physical findings of blisters may be sufficient to diagnosis the herpes simplex.
With regards to treatment, this all depends on the severity of the infection. Some cases are relatively mild and may not require treatment. Anesthetic mouthwashes such as 2% lidocaine or baking soda may reduce the pain of lesions inside the mouth. Alcohol-based mouthwashes should not be used. Gentle cleansing of skin lesions with soap and water is recommended. Warm baths may reduce the pain of the genital lesions. Oral Acyclovir (Zovirax) may be prescribed to suppress recurrent eruptions. The lesions generally heal on their own in 7 to 10 days however, once infected, the virus stays in the body for the rest of a person?s life and recurrences of active infection may happen.
Chlamydia Chlamydia trachomatis
Chlamydia trachomatis is a bacterium that can cause the STD Chlamydia. A bacteria is any of the unicellular, prokaryotic microorganisms of the class SCHIZOMYCETES which may vary in terms of morphology, oxygen and nutritional requirements, and motility and may be free-living, sciprophytic, or pathogenic, the latter causing disease in plants or animals.
Chlamydia infection is very common among young adults and teenagers. However, many people do not know that they have chlamydia, because although they are infected they may not have and symptoms. About 75% of infected women and half of infected men have no symptoms of chlamydia. Transference is through sexual contact (primarily vaginal or anal) with an infected person. Transmission to newborn at birth is also another method of transmission.
Though the symptoms are not very noticeable, in women the symptoms may include; an unusual vaginal discharge, bleeding after intercourse, bleeding between menstrual periods, and abnormal pelvic pain. In men, the symptoms may include discharge from the penis, burning with urination and swollen and/or painful testicles.
Chlamydia can be easily treated and cured with antibiotics like tetracycline, doxycycline, and azithromycin. Because men and women infected with chlamydia often also have gonorrhea, treatment for gonorrhea is often provided as well.
Vaginal Infections and Vaginitis
Vulvovaginal candidiasis (VVC), sometimes referred to as candidal vaginitis, monilial infection, or vaginal yeast infection, is a common cause of vaginal irritation. It has been estimated that about 75% of all women will experience at least one episode of VVC during their lifetime. VVC is caused by an overabundance or overgrowth of yeast cells (primarily Candida albicans) that normally colonize in the vagina. Several factors are associated with increased rates of VVC in women, including pregnancy, uncontrolled diabetes mellitus, and the use of oral contraceptives and antibiotics. Other factors that may increase the incidence of VVC include the use of douches, perfumed feminine hygiene sprays, and tight, poorly ventilated clothing and underwear.
The most frequent symptoms of VVC in women include severe itching, burning and irritation of the vagina. Painful urination and/or intercourse are common. Abnormal vaginal discharge may be minimal or not always present. If the discharge is present though, it is ?cottage-cheese-like? in nature although it may vary from watery to thick in consistency. Male partners of women with VVC will not develop any symptoms of the infection. However, a transient rash and burning sensation of the penis have been reported after intercourse if condoms were not used. Treatment comes in the form of
arious antifungal vaginal fungal creams (like clotrimazole and miconazole) which are available over the counter for use in the vagina.
We think of these diseases and most of us are in the habit of saying that it will not affect us. This lab report has brought your attention to the fact that not all STDs are contracted through sexual intercourse but rather through the air we breathe if we are in proximity to an infected person. Though the only almost full proof method of not contacting any STD would be abstinence, the use of a condom correctly during sexual intercourse is just as effective. Another effective method is to have one sexual partner and know their history before they were with you.
1. Bowen, Sylvia Cerel; Sexually Transmitted Diseases and Society. Stanford Univ.Pr., 1989.
2. Mader, Sylvia S., Human Biology. McGraw Hill Publishing, 1998
3. The Miami Herald, November 14th, 1999
4. Internet 1, March 7, 2000. www.avsc.org/disease/dchl/html
5. Internet 2, March 7, 2000. www.yahoo.com/health/diseases
6. Internet 3, March 7, 2000. www.webster.com