What Is A Sexually Transmitted Disease?
January 18, 2013

Sexually Transmitted Disease: What Is It?

Alan McStravick for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online

A sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a disease that passes from an infected person to a non-infected person during anal, vaginal or oral sex. Depending on the disease transmitted, there can be several differing symptoms and health risks for the infected person.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has published, on their website, an action forum on the prevention and treatment for the most common STD´s. On their site, they offer what they term “effective strategies” for diminishing your overall risk.

The first strategy is the most obvious for eliminating your risk of contracting an STD. It is also the least likely, as sexual intimacy is as basic a human need as food and water. They claim that abstinence, the avoidance of anal, vaginal or oral sex, is the most reliable way to avoid possible infection.

Another strategy, meant to be used before possible contraction of an STD, is vaccination. According to the CDC, vaccines are safe and effective. The current vaccinations available protect the individual from both Hepatitis B and the human papillomavirus (HPV). They state that HPV vaccines can protect both males and female from the most common strains of the virus, and recommend that an individual get all three dose, administered in a shot, before they become sexually active.

Individuals can allay their risk to possible infection, also, by engaging in a relationship that is mutually monogamous. This means that both you and your partner have an understanding that you will be sexually active only with each other. It is important to discuss with your partner that neither of you is infected with an STD to practice this more reliable way to avoid infection.

For those who are still sowing their oats, the CDC recommends reducing or limiting the overall number of sexual partners that you engage in the act of making love. Even with this strategy, it is important that both you and your partners undergo STD testing and share those results with one another.

If one chooses to have non-monogamous sex with multiple partners, the use of condoms is highly recommended. When used consistently and correctly, the use of the male latex condom has been shown to be highly effective at limiting the spread of STD´s. It is recommended that a condom is used every time you engage in anal, vaginal or oral sex.

And lastly, it is important to know your own STD status. By testing yourself often, you can know your own health. If you do have an infection, you can be active in protecting yourself and your partner from possible transmission. The CDC recommends you ask your health care provider to test you for STD´s. You can´t be certain you have received the correct tests unless you specifically ask for them. Also, encourage your partner or partners to do the same.

With the knowledge you gain through testing, you will find that many STD´s are easily diagnosed and even treated. If you find that either you or your partner has an infection, it is important that you both receive treatment at the same time in order to prevent re-infection.

STD´s are not the end of the world or of your sexual life. Choosing the responsible route of diagnosis and treatment can still allow you to have a meaningful and fulfilling sexual relationship with your partner or partners.