#LetsTalkSex: What Are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
Sexually transmitted diseases are mainly spread by sexual contact, including oral, vaginal or anal sex.
Sexually transmitted diseases/infections (STDs/STIs) are more common than we think and very serious yet treatable illnesses, but because talking about sex is taboo, only one-third of all detected cases of STDs are treated.
As per a recent World Health Organisation report, the “total estimated burden of STDs was 376.4 million in 2016. There were 127 million new cases of chlamydia, 87 million cases of gonorrhoea, 6.3 million of syphilis and 156 million of trichomoniasis.”
So statistically, one in every 25 people in the world has at least one STD while some have more than one.
More than just the stigma, it is the ignorance about STDs, even among the educated, that has led to an increase in infections, especially in urban India.
What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
As the name suggests, sexually transmitted diseases are mainly spread by sexual contact, including oral, vaginal or anal sex. But many STDs like syphilis, hepatitis B, HIV can also be transmitted from a mother to her child during pregnancy and childbirth.
The chances of having an STI increase if you’ve recently found a new sexual partner, have not always used condoms, have had more than one sexual partner in the last year, are a man who has sex with men or have previously had an STI.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on understanding STDs:
Doctors recommend that men and women get at STD test at least once a year, with women getting an addition Pap test once every three years.
As of 31st August 2016 across India, there were 20,756 Integrated Counselling and Testing Centres (ICTC), mainly located in government hospitals that conducted extensive tests for STDs and HIV-AIDS along with one-to-one, confidential counselling at affordable costs.
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