Sexually Transmitted Diseases - Research Paper on Sex Education

2021-07-16 07:40:57
7 pages
1906 words
University/College: 
Harvey Mudd College
Type of paper: 
Research paper
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Sexually transmitted diseases are illness passed from one person to another through sexual activities. STDs are transmitted when people engage in unprotected sex with an infected partner. Sexually transmitted diseases are caused by parasites, viruses, fungi, and bacteria. There are many sexually transmitted diseases for examples; Human papillomavirus, gonorrhea, genital herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, and HIV/AIDS. STDs are transmitted through anal sex, oral sex, and vaginal sex. Some STDs such as HIV/AIDS have proved to be fatal over the past years. However, most of the infections are curable. The infections can also be spread through body fluids like discharges blood transfusion, sharing of unsterilized cutting and piercing objects (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015). Breastfeeding can also be dangerous for infected mothers to their newborn babies, and during childbirth, a mother can pass the infections to the child. These infections affect men and women as well as children exposed to them; however, in most cases, some of the sexually transmitted diseases tend to be more harmful to the women than men. There are also those diseases that will delay in showing any symptoms more so in men than in women.

Research purpose

In this paper, different causes of STDs have been discussed as well as the factors associated with their increase. The purpose of this research is to find out how much the public knows as far as STDs are concerned. The research also looks into the methods being put in place to help in the control of STDs.

History

Sexually transmitted diseases are not new to humankind because they have existed for centuries. STDs were there even before modern medicine was discovered. The spread of these infections was encouraged by the absolute lack of awareness especially bearing in mind that there were no treatments made specifically for the STDs. During the middle age around 1500s, the most common STDs were gonorrhea, and syphilis especially in Europe (Mandal, 2013). It was believed that voyage crew contracted the diseases from the US and then spread them to their partners in Europe. Similarly, sailors were accused of spreading STDs mostly gonorrhea to New Zealand from Tahiti.

Some STDs can have severe outcomes to the patient. For example, syphilis is a dangerous infection, and its impacts on a person can be vast. It can lead to brain and spinal cord damage. When this happens, the patient risks suffering from serious conditions such as body paresis, hallucination, mental instability and also affect their speech ability. During the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, physicians used chemicals such as sulfur, mercury, and arsenic to cure diseases. This would kill many people especially due to mercury poisoning. In 1910, arsphenamine was introduced for treating syphilis, and it was the first effective treatment (Mandal, 2013). As time went by, health care services got better. The discovery and usage of antibiotics took place in the twentieth century. The antibiotics were effective in treating bacterial STDs. It was also in the twentieth century that sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV/AIDs and herpes began to spread.

There is a lot of stigmas associated with STDs, and this served a great contribution in scaring away patients from seeking early medication. People living with the STDs would shy off from getting any medical help and instead continue to spread the infections to those who had no idea about their health status. Lock Hospital in London offered medication and advice to those who were willing to be assisted in the year 1746 for the first time. As years passed, a lot of effort was put in creating awareness on STDs, and some states went a step further to pass acts that condemned people who failed to seek medication for STDs as well as those who infected others knowingly.

In most cases, individuals would go alone to seek treatment for STDs. However, in the early twentieth century, the health caregivers began to put into practice the tracking of a patients sexual partners (Mandal, 2013). This procedure of tracing a patients partner would treat the disease in both of them and prevent chances of being re-infected or spreading the infections to others. In the mid-twentieth century, sexual activities among the adolescents rose, and this increased the transmission of STDs among the young people.

Antecedents

Studies and researchers have been conducted to determine the major factors that led to high chances of contracting STDs such as the number of partners one had, environmental antecedents and a persons character. The studies showed that chances of one getting infected with infections were more dependent on the number of sexual partners they had than in the age at which they started engaging in sexual intercourse. Some people start having sexual intercourse at younger ages than others of their same age group. Others begin taking alcohol and other drugs and end up engaging in sex while under the influence of alcohol and drugs.

In the United States, STDs are the most occurring diseases. Annually, over 20 million STD cases are reported in which half of them are young adults who are aged between 18 and 24 years (Burg, 2012). However, there are preventive measures that have been put in place, but these numbers do not reduce as expected which means that the measures put in place are not sufficient enough. Preventive measures focus more on the people who start having sex at an early age to prevent infection and spread of the diseases. Abstinence and delay in sexual debut have been used as a preventive method; however, it does not necessarily translate to reduced rates of STDs. Some methods that have worked significantly are using condoms correctly, and decision making (Burg, 2012). More sustainable measures may be discovered if the relationship between early sex and the contracting of sexually transmitted diseases later is well examined. Some people are more responsible than others, and that brings the whole difference to their sexual engagement and behaviors in general.

Factors promoting the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Many aspects of life affect the transmission of sexual diseases. They may range from what people hear, see, or even perceive to be true. These factors that promote the spread of STDs are a good target for the control programs. They can target on banning adverts and information that encourage sexual intercourse especially among the young people or use the media to pass information on the ways and the importance of STD prevention and control.

Media

Digital media is currently a major influence in the current escalating rates of sexually transmitted diseases. This platforms influence is taking a central role as almost every person can own a digital gadget which they use to access the internet and other technology services. The Media range from the internet, text messaging, social networking sites, and mobile applications which are common among adolescents and young adults. This enables them to access information quite easily on sexually related behaviors (Gilliam, Chor & Hill, 2014). Access to sexually explicit information can be risky. Most of the youths always want to practice what they see which could be dangerous to them. For instance, if youths watch pornographic content together, if there is no self-control, they may end up engaging in unprotected sexual intercourse.

Family

One's family in some way influences their sexual behavior. For instance, some parents are never keen to realize that their children are already grown and can easily learn some sexual acts from what they observe them do. This mostly happens in the cases where the children are allowed to have a lot of freedom within the house to the extent that the couples don't have full privacy amongst themselves. The kids will always be quick to learn from what they see, and since most of them have their parents as their role models, they may end up practicing what they see as they try to emulate their parents. This will trigger them into early sex debut (Paton, 2006).

Peers

Peer influence has from time to time been a major factor contributing to high rates of transmission of sexually acquired infections. This is common among the adolescents and young adults who are curious to experiment almost all the aspects of life. For instance, in academic institutions where the students have a lot of free time during their breaks, they end up engaging in sexual adventures. Those that have already indulged themselves in sexual activities end up encouraging others to try it out. Others may just involve themselves in sexual acts to avoid being bullied and intimidated by their peers (DiClemente, Hansen, & Ponton, 2013).

Genetics

Some genes like dopamine D4 receptor (DRD4) regulates the brains response to dopamine, which is a hormone involved in the brains reward system. Such a reward system is likely to affect sexual urges in human beings. Those that carry high arousal version of the genes sometimes may have strong feelings which would tempt them into sex which may lead to the contracting of some diseases. Especially if their sexual libido is out of control, they will have multiple sexual partners who make the risk of contracting STDs even higher.

Effects of STDs

The impacts associated with sexually transmitted diseases have left great effects on the persons affected, their community, the state, their country, and world in general. In most cases, persons infected with diseases such as HIV have a lot of stigmas that they experience if they haven't accepted the reality of their status. This may lead to depression which in return affects one's performances at work leading to low incomes and affecting the gross domestic production. Self-esteem is also lost in some instances where one is infected in the genital parts releasing some bad odor. This affects the social aspect of an individual since they are unable to mingle with their friends freely. This may lead to loneliness and rejection making it even harder for the patient to seek professional help.

When STDs are not diagnosed and treated in their early stages, they can end up causing death as well as irreversible damages. In most instances, STD patients do not have the confidence to visit health facilities for health checkups and treatment. If someone succumbs to death, this becomes a loss to the community. If the person suffering from STDs is the family's sole breadwinner, their demise leaves the family in a difficult state where they will struggle to make ends meet. This can have adverse effects like children dropping out of school and getting exposed to child labor.

There are many health consequences associated with infections that are transmitted sexually such as infertility and ectopic pregnancy; this could result from blockage of fallopian tubes. STDs can also cause genital cancer to both sexes, enhance the transmission of HIV/AID, loss of pregnancy and increased death rates of newborns.

How to Create Awareness

Sexually transmitted diseases are some of the most killer diseases in the world. Spreading information and knowledge of the diseases can always be advantageous to the community as a whole. When a person is aware of the dangers of STDs and all the sufferings associated with the infections, they will take caution and live a more careful life. Creating awareness can be done through an exposition of community members to events like video shows in which people get to watch detailed movies on sexually transmitted diseases (Epstein, 2013). Behavioral changes should be put into consideration as a cause of high STD rates among the teenagers. Young youths should be taught on the various aspects of STDs so that they may know the dangers that they are prone to.

Prevention

It...

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