Today’s post is second part of a II Part series. The best resource for this presentation is the website of the Centers for Disease Control: WWW.CDC.gov. In addition, I found a book by Anita Nelson, M.D. and JoAnn Woodward, RNC, BSN, NP, entitled Sexually Transmitted Diseases A Practical Guide for Primary Care most helpful. Information was shared from my own book, Strolling through a Rose Garden Called Life-Living Holy from Birth to Death, published in 2011 by Xulon Press. Many of my examples were taken from my own personal experiences as a Holiness preacher, speaker and author, Clinical Nurse Specialist, School Nurse Practitioner and RN for the past 46 years.
A Bit of History
Facts brought out in the book by Nelson and Woodard and validated by my own professional experiences
Before 1960 Syphilis and gonorrhea were the only two major recognized STD’s. Chlamydia was added in 1970’s. Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS) was identified in 1981 and later the human immunodeficiency virus was isolated. Although genital warts were first recognized to be sexually transmitted in the 1950s the involvement of HPV in carcinoma was not recognized until the 1980s. It was also in the 1980s that HSV-2 was recognized.
Some of these infections are life-threatening such as human immunodeficiency virus [HIV]/Aids and syphilis. Some can give you cancer such as hepatitis B, human papillomavirus [HPV], and HIV. Others destroy fertility or the ability to have babies such as gonorrhea and chlamydia. The World Health Organization (WHO) points out that STDs are a major global cause of acute illness, infection, long-term disability, and death, with severe medical and psychological consequences for millions of men, women, and infants. In the United States, STDs are among the most common infections. Five of the ten most reported infections are STDs.
Let’s look at the diseases according to the way they affect the individual.
Some of the diseases that cause genital ulcers or sores are:
- Chancroid – A bubo develops in about half the cases. The bubo appears on one side in the groin area. It is painful, tender and inflamed. If the condition is left untreated the buboes may rupture and form large weeping ulcers in the inguinal area. Phimosis, a tightening of the foreskin that might close the opening of the penis, may develop in men. Infections outside the genitals are possible but rare.
- Genital herpes simplex virus infections
- Granuloma inguinale (donovanosis)
- Lymphogranuloma venerum
The diseases that inflame the cervix or the urethra, which is the thin tube that carries urine out of the body are:
- Chlamydial infections
- Gonococcal infections
- Nongonococcal infections
- Mucopurulent cervicitis
The diseases that cause a vaginal discharge
- Bacterial vaginosis (fishy odor)
- Vulvovaginal candidiasis
The disease that causes the inflammation of the pelvis is known as Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID.
The disease that is characterized by infection of the epididymis, a part of the male anatomy, is also known as Epididymitis.)
The disease that is known as Human papillomavirus infection or HPV can give you genital warts and/or cancer.
Vaccine-preventable sexually transmitted infections
- Hepatitis A, B, or C.
Proctitis, proctocolitis, and enteritis. (Proctitis is inflammation of the lining of the rectum. Proctocolitis is Proctitis plus diarrhea and stomach cramps. Enteritis is stomach cramps and diarrhea without proctitis)
The diseases that are characterized by parasitic infection are:
- Pediculosis pubis (Crabs)
- Scabies (Not always due to sexual contact). Health care workers at a hospital where I worked all had to be treated with a skin pesticide because we provided health care for a severely infested patient. If we went into the room we had to use the medication. UGH!
And finally we have Human immunodeficiency virus, the virus that can take your life.
The problem of STIs is continuing to grow, in spite of the fact that we have treatments that work and programs set up to cut down on the spread of infection. The WHO estimated that in 1999, 340 million new cases of syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and trichomoniasis occurred worldwide in men and women aged 15-49 years.
The Ten Most Frequently Occurring STDS
Now let’s look at some facts concerning the ten most frequently occurring STDs.
- Chlamydia is the most common curable STD. It is most common because people who have it usually don’t know that they have it. They can be without symptoms for weeks, months or years. It needs to be treated because it can damage the body. Symptoms include: pain during sex, discharge from the penis or vagina. RX: single dose Azithromax.
- Gonorrhea is next. It is a common bacterial infection that is often called “The Clap” on the streets. Symptoms include burning on urination and, in men, a white, yellow or green penile discharge. BTW, you can also get gonorrhea of the throat from oral sex. It is the second most commonly reported bacterial STD in the United States; Gonorrheal infections among women now exceed the rates seen in men; Infections in women are most often asymptomatic. (See, you really can’t always tell that someone has it by looking).
- Syphilis. Syphilis is a very serious STD that can cause long term complications if left untreated. It is simple to cure when treated. Stages: Primary- A chancre appears that looks like a single sore that may look as simple as an ingrown hair. If left untreated it will go away. Secondary stage: A rash on the palms of the hands and/or the soles of the feet may appear. If left untreated at this stage it can appear to go away again and become latent or hidden for years until it reappears as late Stage or tertiary syphilis. The final or tertiary stage is most serious and various organs of the body, including the brain, can become affected. Syphilis can ultimately cause death.
- Mycoplasma Genitalium surpassed gonorrhea in 2007 and is a major cause of infertility from pelvic inflammatory disease. This condition inflames a female’s reproductive organs and causes her to be unable to bear children. In men Mycoplasma genitalium causes both short term (acute) and long term (chronic) inflammation of the urethra
- Trichomaniasis is the single most common curable STD in sexually active young women. Some young ladies may think that they have a yeast infection and try to treat it with an OTC product. They may also think that they have bacterial vaginosis (BV) because the symptoms are similar. Symptoms include frothy discharge, strong vaginal odor, painful intercourse, irritation and itching. Men usually do not get symptoms but they need to get treated so that they do not infect or re-infect women.
- Crabs/Pubic lice. These little insects live in the coarse-haired segments of the body. They are usually spread from sexual contact but may also be transferred by infested linen and clothes.
- Scabies. Although it can be transmitted by sexual contact, it may just be transmitted by infested linen and clothing.
- Human Papilloma virus/HPV. This is probably the most common STD in women and men. It can go away on its own but when it does not, it has the potential of causing cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis or anus, as well as cancer in the back of the throat and base of the tongue. It can also manifest as warts in both male and female. It is not HSV or HIV. It has been known as the cervical cancer virus, but only a few strains are linked to cancer. Other strains cause warts. Although there is no cure for the disease, there is treatment available. There is a new vaccine available that is given to 11, 12 and 13 year olds in three doses that can prevent the disease.
And now we will look at two of the biggest hitters, HIV/Aids and herpes.
- HIV/Aids. At the end of 2005, an estimated 40.3 million individuals, including 2.3 million children younger than 15 years of age, were living with HIV worldwide. An estimated 4.9 million new infections developed during that year, representing 14,000 new infections each day-the greatest number in any 1 year since the beginning of the epidemic. Also in that year, 3.1 million people died as a result of HIV/AIDS-associated illnesses, including an estimated 570,000 children younger than 15 years. In the United States in 2006, the CDC estimated that more than 1 million people were living with HIV infection; one-fourth of infected women were unaware of their infection. Approximately 40,000 new cases of HIV infection occur each year in the United States, half of them in individuals younger than 25 years of age. In his speech at the 2003 International AIDS Conference in Paris, France, President Nelson Mandela declared HIV/AIDS the “greatest health crisis in human history.”
Today, the number of HIV-infected people continues to rise in all parts of the world, including in the United States. Anal intercourse carries the highest risk of HIV transmission followed by vaginal intercourse. Oral sex has a low risk of HIV transmission. Wait! Back up and stop! Houston, we have a problem. We (they, not me) have recently begun to validate anal sex as an alternative lifestyle…and it carries the highest risk of HIV transmission? We need to take our fingers out of our ears and do things God’s way.
2004 Aids Data
In 2004 Heterosexual transmission was responsible for 78% of cases in women diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, whereas male-to-male sexual contact accounted for 74% of cases.
Minorities were disproportionately affected by HIV and AIDS. African-Americans and Hispanics accounted for the majority of all reported AIDS cases in the United States at the end of 2004.
African-Americans were the most commonly affected minority; they accounted for 50% of all new cases of HIV/AIDS reported in 2004.
In the 29 states with HIV reporting during 1999-2002, blacks had an HIV diagnosis rate of 75.6 per 100,000 in 2002, nearly 10 times the rate of whites and 2.5 times the rate of Hispanics.
2010 Aids Data
Comparing 2008 to 2010, there were decreases among women, including the rate of HIV in African American women. According to the following chart, new cases of HIV infections among white men who have sex with men, (MSM), have exceeded all groups, jumping to almost double the rate of HIV infections among black heterosexual females. The number is also high among African American men who have sex with men.
White MSM 11,200
Black MSM 10,600
Hispanic MSM 6,700
Black Heterosexual Women 5,300
Black Heterosexual Men 2,700
Hispanic Heterosexual Women 1,200
- Genital Herpes/HSV. Herpes of the mouth or lips is called HSV1. Some people know this condition as cold sores or fever blisters. HSV1 can be transferred by kissing or oral sex. For this cause I recommend that mothers should keep anyone from kissing their babies, particularly in the face.
HSV2 occurs below the waist. What young people need to know is that HSV1, the cold sore, can cause one to have Herpes below the waist. Someone with HSV1 can cause HSV2. In genital herpes there is an outbreak of sores or breaks in the skin of the mouth, vagina or and rectum. Touching the sores can cause the sores to spread to other parts of the body.
- Genital herpes is one of the most prevalent STIs in the United States. About 50 million Americans have genital HSV infection.
- HSV is the leading cause of genital ulcers. HSV-2 infections doubles one’s risk of sexually acquiring (HIV).
- Herpes is a chronic, life-long infection; patients can shed virus, not only during outbreaks but also during those times when they do not have symptoms.
- Babies who contract HSV-2 during birth can acquire permanent neurological damage or die as a result of the infection.
The Case against Open Mouth Kissing
This section on kissing was taken directly from my book Strolling… in the first chapter which was written to Roses of Innocence (Young girls from birth to age 18 yrs.)
And finally let’s discuss whether or not teens should be involved in open mouth kissing. Many would agree that in our culture and society, a gentle, very brief kiss on the forehead, cheek or even lips is generally harmless, depending upon the circumstances and individuals involved. Kissing that is on the lips, lingering, and/or open mouthed and that stirs the mind and body is generally the very early preparation for the sex act. A well-known Apostle expressed his opinion about kissing in this way: “It is an upper invitation for a lower invasion”. Why play around with risky behavior?
Open-mouth kissing is also one way that pyorrhea or gum disease can be passed from one individual to another. Gum disease, which was at one time a problem of the elderly, is now being seen in younger people. It causes subsequent gum and bone destruction, and ultimately cavities and loss of teeth. It is no longer limited to the elderly. Open mouth kissing with an HIV infected individual who has bleeding gums is a direct way to become infected. Although kissing is considered a low risk activity for acquiring HIV/AIDS it is not a no-risk activity. How do you know when an individual with bleeding gums is HIV positive? You can’t always tell by looking …or kissing. Kissing is not harmless behavior.
OK, young people, before we leave this subject of kissing, let’s get real with it. We have discussed some of the health issues related to kissing, but most people are not thinking about pyorrhea or Herpes or HIV when engaged in kissing. The fact of the matter is that kissing is a powerful push towards completion of the sex act. It stirs up the mind and causes urgent desires to go further. Once you have started this activity there is always the push to go to the next level. Deep kissing puts you on the slippery slope to destruction. You may think that you “know your limit” or that you will know when to stop, but you must not forget that there are two people in the situation and one of them is (probably) a male. Even if you could control your own emotions would you be able to control his? Too risky, girls, too risky.
Some young girls love to kiss because they enjoy the response that it causes from a male. It might make the young girl feel powerful or even needed and loved by the male because of his physical and hormonal response. Young girls, wake up! The male response may have little to do with you; it could just be a natural response to sexual excitement. …you have to be aware of the forces and hormonal drives of your own physical body as well as that of the male. Kissing lights the fuse to a load of dynamite. If you don’t want the explosion, why light the fuse? The Bible in Proverbs 6:27 asks the question in this way: Proverbs 6:27 (KJV)
27 Can a man take fire in his bosom, and his clothes not be burned?
The seminar closed following a brief Q &A session related to answers that the young people could provide if they were put in a situation in which sex was thrust upon them. The Bible tells us in Hosea 4:6 (KJV) 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Our young people are being destroyed by the enemy before they even get a chance to begin their adult lives. It is our responsibility to take our heads out of the sand and equip them with current information. We know, like Revelation 2:13…where Satan’s seat is. We know his devices. We must not simply sit back and allow the sin in the world to take over our children. We cannot isolate them but we must insulate them and we can do that with the truth. We have to let them know that God is angry with the wicked every day, that He hates sin and that we can be kept by God if we want to be kept.
Psalms 7:11 (KJV)
11 God judgeth the righteous, and God is angry with the wicked every day.