Brace yourself, brothers and sisters.
For what you are about to witness will (or should) forever change your perspective on bumping uglies with strange people. If you don’t know them well enough to be able to ask for STD test results, they’re strange.
Now, we know body no be firewood.
But before you go and meet that sweet boy or sweet girl, better find out their status. Ask to see the results, even. Some people have horrible STDs. Our ancestors call unwanted and unexpected ‘gifts’ like that ‘double wahala.’ Be advised.
First off, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are the literal worst.
STDs are infections/diseases caused by having sexual contact with infected people either through oral, anal or/& vaginal intercourse. Most STDs show no symptoms and may last for years which is additionally scary. By the time it shows symptoms, a great deal of damage could have been done.
Most of them are curable, but there are a few that can only be managed.
Those are the ones we’re focusing on today. The manageable ones. They are unsightly, painful, expensive and potentially deadly. Infected people have to depend on medicine to suppress symptoms for the remainder of their life, or until scientists figure out a cure.
So stay woke.
Gonorrhea is one of the most common STDs in Nigeria. In fact, a study done by WHO showed that Lagos in 1963 had the highest gonorrhea rate in the world! It’s most common among young people between 15 to 24 and it infects parts of the body that are warm and moist eg the eyes, mouth, urethra, vagina, anus etc. Oddly enough, gonorrhea used to have a complete cure, but the infection-causing bacterium Neisseria gonorrhea has become resistant.
Gonorrhea can cause rectal infections, anal itching, sores, discharge or bleeding. It’s pretty nasty. If treatment doesn’t start right away, it can have dire consequences such as obstruction of the fallopian tubes, infertility and ectopic pregnancy. Men may feel pain in their testicles, and be unable to father a child.
These are sexually transmitted diseases that lead to liver inflammation and, in serious cases, to death. There is no cure for hepatitis A & B, however, there is a vaccine for these two types and your body usually clears both Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B within a few months. Unfortunately, some people end up with chronic Hepatitis B, which means their body didn’t get rid of it within six months. At this stage, you can only take medication to slow down the liver damage.
When Hepatitis is contracted, first symptoms can include a general feeling of unwell, vomiting, nausea, fever and dark-coloured urine. In serious cases, Hepatitis develops into cirrhosis and can lead to liver cancer.
This is a viral infection that is passed through skin-to-skin contact. Most people get HPV through direct sexual contact, such as oral sex. It can affect your mouth, genitals or throat, giving you warts. Warts associated with most HPV infections go away on their own, but the virus remains in the infected person’s body. As a result, that person may still pass HPV to sexual partners.
When the virus doesn’t go away on its own, it’s a big problem. Complications include genital warts and warts in the throat. HPV may also cause cervical cancer and cancers of the genitals, head, neck, and throat. However, the types of HPV that cause warts are different from the types that cause cancer.
Herpes is a viral infection characterized by periodic outbreaks of painful sores. It can be contracted through sex, kissing or touching an affected area. Although condoms can prevent herpes transmission during intercourse, oral contact with genitals or open sores anywhere can spread the disease.
Herpes usually shows up as cold sores or blisters. Symptoms can also include pain when urinating, lower back pain, flu-like symptoms and a burning sensation in the genitals. Small red bumps may also appear around the genitals or on the mouth.
Nobody likes living with STDs of any kind. The good news is, if you have any of these STDs, they can be managed well with modern medicine. Don’t beat yourself up about it. If you don’t have any STDs, take care to keep it that way. It is important to choose your sexual partners very carefully and use protection. Abstinence, however, remains the best way to protect yourself.