Sexually transmitted diseases (STD) or venereal diseases (VD)
are diseases spread by sexual contact. They include more than
20 diseases, caused by organisms as diverse as bacteria, viruses,
fungi, protozoa (one-celled organisms) and even insects
How common are STDs?
STD are one of the most common communicable diseases in the
world.Unfortunately, accurate statistics are not available because
STD are not notifiable in some countries or because a significant
number of cases are treated by private physicians who do
not report all the cases that they see. Nevertheless, the statistics
below should give some indication of the size of the problem:-.
On a global scale, the World Heawlth Organisation (WHO) has
estimated that gonorrhoea affccts 200 million people and syphilis,
about 40 million people each year. WHO has also estimated that
5% of teenagers and young adults have STD each year. STD
are now occurring in younger individuals because of earlier sexual
maturity and more needs to be done about educating the young
How are STDs transmitted?
One of the most important concepts to understand about STD
or indeed any other communicable disease is what doctors call
the mode of transmission. This is the way iinfections are trasnmitted.
The common cold virus for example, is transmitted through
drioplet infection. It is carried in tiny droplets of saliva
expelled from a persons mouth when he coughs, sneezes and even
when he speaks. These may be inhaled by another person, resulting
in an infection. you can catch the common cold through simply
walking through a crowded department store. STD are different.
They are spread through the air but through sexual contact. There
are some instances where STD may be spread non-sexually
such as from an infected mother to her child or through blood
contact as in the case of Hepatitis B and AIDS, but these are
much less common in comparison with sexual transmission. Therefore,
if nothing else, you must remember that STD are spread primarily
through sexual contact. Accordingly, you can minimise the risk
of contracting STD by taking precautions during sex.