SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES
Section I. GENERAL INFORMATION
A staggering amount of money, time, and effort is being spent on the control of
sexually transmitted diseases, yet the number of cases of these diseases is still on the
rise. Sexually transmitted diseases, also known as STDs, include infections formerly
called venereal diseases (VD) as well as various other infections that are sometimes
transmitted by nonsexual routes. You will be able to diagnose and treat these diseases
and manage many of the common complications with the knowledge acquired through
a. The most common and most efficient route of transmission of some infectious
diseases is by sexual contact. As sexual behavior has changed over the past years, the
frequency of these infections has increased. Some infectious diseases (herpetic and
chlamydial genital infections, for example) are now recognized as being primarily
transmitted by sexual contact. Also some rectal and pharyngeal infections are caused
by sexual contact.
b. Whether the agents are bacteria, spirochetes, or viruses, the infectious
agents that cause sexually transmitted disease flourish when in contact with mucous
membranes. Early in the infection, lesions may occur on the genitalia or other sexually
exposed mucous membranes. The infection spreads, however, to nongenital tissues
and organs and may seem to be any one of several noninfectious disorders. In the later
phases of all venereal diseases, the patient may appear to be recovered from the
infection but still be able to transmit the infection through sexual contact.
c. A patient with a sexually transmitted disease usually has one or more sexual
contacts who must be diagnosed and treated. Some venereal diseases must be
reported to public health authorities. The most common of the sexually transmitted
diseases are the following:
Condyloma (wart-like growth).
Chlamydial genital infections.