In the United States, the most highly developed country in the world, there are more than 15 million occurrences of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) each year. The rate of curable STDs in the United States is higher than the rate of STDs in some developing countries. Men and women, whether they are pregnant or not, are screened for STDs by less than one out of three doctors.
If caught at the onset, most STDs can be readily cured. A lack of symptoms mean that many people don't know about their infection and don't know that they need to seek treatment. Even when symptoms do manifest, many people still abstain from seeking treatment, not understanding their symptoms are signs of a more serious infection.
Educating people about STDs and their transmission will greatly lower the risks of spreading infections. STDs without symptoms pose the greatest risks and those at risk for catching an STD should undergo testing to determine if they are infected. Making STD testing a regular part medical care is an easy step to reducing their effect and prevalence.
Bacterial STDs are especially common with people under the age of 25. Chlamydia and gonorrhea (CT/GV) infect around 3 million Americans every year. Of those infected, 2 million people, or two-thirds of the infected, do not have noticeable symptoms. The bacteria that cause these infections can grow in the urethra of both women and men or in the reproductive tract of women.
Almost any type of sexual contact can spread CT/GC. Repeated sexual contact with an infected individual can cause repeat occurrences, even in those who have already sought treatment.
In order to stem the spread of infection and prevent long-term health complications, diagnosis and treatment are crucial. The nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) is the preferred method of testing and bases the results on amplification of DNA present in the bacteria by using a first-void urine specimen.
HSV-2 causes genital herpes. Genital HSV-2 infections affect 16.2% of people in the United States. Sexual contact with an individual who has a genital HSV-2 infection is almost the only way to spread the HSV-2 infection.
"Fever blisters" that appear on the mouth and lips are actually caused by HSV-1 infections. HSV-1 usually infects only the oral region but it can infect the genital region. HSV-1 can be transmitted by genital-genital or by oral-genital contact with another individual who has an HSV-1 infection.
To discern the difference between HSV-1 and HSV-2, a blood test that uses IgG analyses can be used. These highly sensitive analyses work by determining the difference in a patient's immune response to HSV glycoprotein G (gG).