The rate of sexually transmitted diseases caused by viruses is very high. Viral STDs are commonly caused by oral, anal or vaginal contact and sharing of bodily secretions from one individual to another. Most STDs are incurable, but viral STDs can usually be prevented by the use of condoms. Hepatitis is also one of the most important kinds of Viral STD.
Hepatitis is usually caused by different kinds of viruses. Hepatitis is of following types:
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis D
- Hepatitis E
- Herpes simplex
- HIV/ AIDS
- Human Papilloma Virus
- Molluscum contagiosum
Some of the most common are described in detail as follows:
Hepatitis A is an acute inflammation of the liver, previously known as infectious hepatitis. Hepatitis A is transferred from one individual to another. It is mainly spread by direct contact with an infected person, or by ingestion of infected water or food. By coming in contact with contaminated blood or stool or oral, anal or vaginal sex with an infected person can cause Hepatitis A. 3600 people are diagnosed with Hepatitis A each year.
Cause- The cause of Hepatitis A is the hepatitis A virus.
Symptoms- Hepatitis A symptoms are mild which includes fatigue, nausea, yellow skin (jaundice), appetite loss, itching, dark urine, clay or pale colored stools and low-grade fever. Signs of Hepatitis A usually appear after 2-6 weeks of being infected by Hepatitis A virus.
Treatment- There is no precise treatment for Hepatitis A. People suffering from chronic hepatitis A should avoid alcohol, fatty foods or toxic substances that are contagious for the liver; they should also eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated. To prevent complications associated with Hepatitis A, therapy is given by agents such as Analgesics, Antiemetics, and Immune globins.
Complications-One in a thousand cases of Hepatitis A becomes infected by fulminant hepatitis which is lethal.
Hepatitis B Virus is transmitted from one individual to another via unprotected oral, anal, or vaginal sex with an infected person. It is also transferred by the use of contaminated hypodermic syringes used to inject drugs and also from a mother to her infant during vaginal delivery and breast feeding. Hepatitis B virus is present in vaginal secretions, semen, breast milk and semen. It is not transferred from one person to another through everyday contact of shaking hands, hugging, by touching door knobs, sharing utensils, and sitting on public toilets or by drinking water from the same glass.
Causes- Hepatitis B is caused by Hepatitis B virus which causes inflammation of liver called hepatitis.
Symptoms- Hepatitis B is characterized by fever, loss of appetite, aches and fatigue which are the signs of mild flu. While some people will experience no symptoms at all and are asymptomatic .Temporary Jaundice (yellowing of the skin) is also one of the symptoms of Hepatitis B. Excretion of dark urine, pain in the abdominal region and nausea are also signs of Hepatitis B.
Complications- Hepatitis B is a cause of chronic infection, and cancer of the liver and cirrhosis (scarring) in the genital tract.
Treatment- There is no cure for Hepatitis B. But there are certain drugs which can prevent the virus from multiplying and reducing the liver damage. Seven medications have been licensed in the United States for Hepatitis B treatment. These anti viral drugs include adefovir (hepsera), lamivudine (epivir), tenofovir (Viread), Entecavir (Baraclude), telbiyudine( Tyzeka) and modulators of the immune system such as PEGylates interferon alpha 2a(Pegasys) and interferon alpha-2a.
Hepatitis C is a syndrome which affects the liver. This infection leads to inflammation of the liver. It is usually transmitted by blood to blood contact. 270-300 million people are diagnosed with Hepatitis C each year worldwide.
Cause- The major cause of Hepatitis C is Hepatitis C virus (HCV).
Symptoms- Most patients diagnosed with Hepatitis C are asymptomatic. However symptoms include fatigue, dark urine, nausea, appetite loss, itching, scrapping, jaundice, abdominal swells. These symptoms occur due to ascites fluid, fever, pale or clay-colored stools, or bleeding from esophagus or stomach which is due to dilated veins in stomach called varices or esophagus. Other symptoms are vomiting and abdominal pain.
Prevention- Hepatitis C can be prevented by avoiding contact with blood and blood products. The partner should be tested against Hepatitis C before sexual transmissions. Blood should be handled with great care by health care workers. It is very important that contaminated syringes and needles should be discarded immediately. One should also be careful when getting tattoos and body piercing.
Complications- Hepatitis C present in a person for many years can lead to a permanently disfigured and damaged liver, which is known as cirrhosis.
Treatment- Hepatitis C can be treated by pegylated interferon alfa and ribayirin (an antiviral medicine).
Herpes simplex is a persistent infection of the skin in which sores appear on the mouth or genitals. Herpes is transferred from one individual to another via physical contact during unprotected oral, anal or vaginal sex with an infected person or also by kissing. Herpes can not be transmitted by usual hugging, shaking hands, sharing eating utensils or clothes, sharing food and using public toilets, touching door knobs and drinking from the same glass.
Causes- Herpes simplex is caused by both Herpes simplex virus type 1 and herpes simplex virus type 2.
Symptoms- Most individuals diagnosed with Herpes simplex are asymptomatic- that is they don’t show any symptoms or they have subclinical herpes. Some signs of Herpes may include some sores, blisters, pimples, rash, bumps, or cutes in either the genital area or the mouth. Herpes is also characterized by burning, itching, tingling, scratching, or tickling feeling in mouth and genital regions.
Prevention- Herpes simplex can be avoided y several ways. The use of condoms can lessen the risk of getting Herpes by 50%. Suppressive antiviral therapy also reduces the risk to half. However, condom usage is more efficient for preventing females from getting Herpes Simplex as compared to males.
Treatment- There is no cure yet found for Herpes. Antiviral medications are used to decrease occurrence of outbreaks and increase the rate of healing.
In 2009, AVERT estimated that there are 3.3 million people suffering from HIV/AIDS worldwide, with 2.6 million new HIV patients each year and 1.8 million annual deaths due to HIV/AIDS. This Human Immunodeficiency Virus is the major cause of AIDS (Acquired Immune deficiency syndrome or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome). HIV/AIDS is an infection of the immune system which weakens the ability of human body to fight infections and make individuals vulnerable to opportunistic infections, cancers and tumors.
HIV is transmitted through unprotected anal, oral and vaginal sex with an infected person. It is also caused by contaminated hypodermic syringes used to insert drugs, blood transfusion, vaginal delivery and breast feeding to infants. HIV is transmitted by direct contact of mucous membrane or body fluid containing HIV, such as blood, vaginal fluid, breast milk, preseminal fluid and semen. Like Herpes Simplex, HIV is not caused by casual contact with others.
Symptoms- HIV/AIDS patients also show no symptoms and are asymptomatic. The symptoms of AIDS are of other syndromes such as cancer or opportunistic infection. These signs are chills, sweat, chronic fatigue, fever, weariness, diarrhea, weight loss, loss of appetite, inflamed lymph nodes, skin sores, ever lasting sore throat, yeast infections, and joint and muscle ache.
Prevention- HIV/AIDS can be prevented by using both male and female condoms. To avoid getting HIV/AIDS by contaminated blood, individuals should use masks, gloved, protective shields or eye ware, aprons and gowns so that skin or mucous membranes do not come in contact with infected blood. Washing hands after dealing with contaminated blood or other body fluids lessen the chance of getting HIV/AIDS. Needles and syringes should be disposed right after their use to help save oneself from getting infected.
Complications- HIV/AIDS cause opportunistic infections which include Kaposi’s sarcoma, tuberculosis, cancer, Herpes Simplex disease, Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) and meningitis.
Treatment- HIV/AIDS is not curable. Some dugs, however, can allow infected people to live a longer life such as cocktails.
Human Papilloma Virus
HPV- Human Papilloma Virus is transmitted from one individual to another through sexual contact with an infected person or during vaginal delivery from mother to an infant. It affects the anogenital region. Approximately there are 100 strains of HPV. Genital warts are also caused by Human Papilla Virus. These warts grow on vagina, cervix, vulva, urethra, anus, penis or scrotum regions. HPV can also be transmitted when no warts are present.
Symptoms- HPV is also an asymptomatic infection, i.e. the people infected with it experience no signs at all, or warts may appear in cervix or other regions they can not see. These warts are usually of whitish or flesh colored.
Prevention- HPV can be avoided by the use of condoms. Vaccines such as Gardasil and Cervarix can also be used to prevent Human Papilloma virus from spreading.
Complications- Human Papilloma Virus cause abnormal growth of cells on the cervix, leading to cervical cancer, and “high risk” HPV are also a cause of precancerous lesions and invasive cancer.
Treatment- Like other viral ailments, HPV is also not curable. These viruses disappear by themselves in 90% of the cases within two years.