Which STD is Most Common and What You Need to Know

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) infection is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the United States, but many people infected with it have no symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) attribute the increase in congenital syphilis and decrease in other STIs to a decline in screening due to safety concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic. Common symptoms of STDs, such as burning when urinating, itching, and genital sores, require immediate attention from a health care provider. However, some may not have symptoms, making regular testing essential.

Knowing what to look out for can help you address STDs before they cause long-term harm or spread within a community. Public awareness of HPV has increased in recent years due to the availability of an HPV vaccine. These pink or flesh-colored bumps can itch, cause discomfort, and bleed. More concerning are the strains of the virus that can cause cervical cancer, penile cancer, or mouth and throat cancer.

Health care providers can detect HPV, which is one of the most common STDs in the U. S. For those who aren't yet vaccinated, getting vaccinated can reduce much of this risk by protecting them against the strains most likely to cause cancer. Direct contact with a syphilis sore, called a chancrus, can cause transmission.

The infection may start with a round, firm, painless sore located on the penis, vagina, anus, or mouth. Sometimes these sores go unnoticed because they're painless and then the symptoms go away. However, the infection continues to progress during this stage. If left untreated, later stages of the disease can damage the heart, blood vessels, liver, bones, joints and skin.

Sometimes sexually transmitted, hepatitis A virus (HAV) is usually found in the stool. It can spread within a home through close personal contact, food or water contamination, and international travel. An HAV vaccine is available. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is also sexually transmitted.

Infection often occurs through the exchange of body fluids but it can also occur through the sharing of needles or transmitted from mother to child during delivery. A vaccine is also available for this virus. There is a more chronic form of HBV which can cause serious liver damage such as scarring, cancer, liver failure and death. Like HBV, sexual intercourse can also transmit the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is transmitted through blood, semen and other body fluids. Unfortunately there is no HCV vaccine that prevents contracting HCV although treatments are available.

This STD can also cause liver failure and death. In women symptoms of trichomoniasis may include itching burning redness or pain in the genitals; discomfort when urinating is common as is a fine discharge that may be clear white yellowish or greenish with an unusual odor. In men symptoms may include itching or irritation inside the penis burning after urinating or ejaculating or some discharge from the penis. Since men generally have no symptoms they often do not know they are infected do not seek medical attention and therefore transmit this parasite to other partners in the event of an accident without treatment this infection can last for months or years. Gonorrhea was so problematic in 19th century England that parliament passed a law to thwart “the dangerous burn disease” There is also evidence that the disease affected the Roman army as early as 100 BC In more modern times gonorrhea may be on the rise due to the pandemic In addition according to the CDC an antibiotic-resistant strain of the disease is becoming increasingly common making it more difficult to treat The agency is monitoring its spread. The bacteria Neisseria gonorrhea which thrives in warm humid areas such as the urethra eyes throat vagina anus and female genitals and reproductive tract is responsible for this disease Among the most common signs are genital discharge and a burning sensation or pain when urinating Untreated women can suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which can lead to infertility and death without medical intervention. The bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis is responsible for this STD which may have no signs or symptoms Others however may experience burning when urinating or abnormal discharge from the vagina or penis. If you travel daily you may have seen advertisements on trains and buses for pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) a drug that helps prevent infection with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) PrEP is one of two recent breakthrough HIV infections the other being a medication that can be taken after an alleged exposure Finally for those who are already infected HIV medications can cause remissions of the virus although there is currently no cure Therefore antiviral drugs should be taken regularly for the rest of your life. During the early stage of HIV people may experience swollen glands fever muscle aches headaches or extreme fatigue lasting 2 to 4 weeks The disease then progresses to “clinical latency” during which symptoms may disappear for years depending on whether the person is being treated During the late stage of HIV known as AIDS the virus has weakened the immune system so much that significant and unexplained weight loss can occur along with night sweats fever rare frequent and serious infections persistent dry cough and unusual skin rashesThese delays amount to an increase in transmission of STDs as well as an increased risk of serious complications For example untreated PID can cause fallopian tubes to heal and infections due to syphilis gonorrhea or herpes increase risk of contracting HIV As a result untreated PID causes infertility.

Jerald Hija
Jerald Hija

Incurable pop culture enthusiast. Proud web ninja. Infuriatingly humble beer junkie. Unapologetic zombie advocate. Typical pop culture scholar.