From the beginning of time man has been plagued with epidemics associated with sexual conduct although the public perception has changed somewhat over time. Reportedly mentioned in the Old Testament, diseases of this nature were considered to be an individual’s punishment for immoral sins. However, due to advancements in microbiology and chemistry in the late 19th and early 20th century, the threat of disease from sexual contact was brought to the forefront of modern day medicine and became an important public health issue. While there are still many misconceptions to change, STD’s and the public’s knowledge of them have evolved by removing any stigmatism associated with a diagnosis. San Francisco STD Clinic.
Sexually Transmitted Disease. Evolving terminology
During the early ’70s, sexually transmitted diseases were commonly referred to as Venereal Diseases or VD. Venereal diseases are caused by microorganisms that can survive on the skin or in mucous membranes. They can be transmitted via semen, vaginal secretions or blood during intercourse. Bacteria, viruses, and yeasts have the ability to thrive in the moist, warm environment of the genital area. Despite being untrue, over time the term became synonymous with individuals who were promiscuous and lacked moral standards thus making most individuals embarrassed to request any type of testing.
Additionally, the name venereal disease seemed only to include individuals who practiced vaginal sex. The result created a scenario where individuals were unknowingly putting themselves at risk while engaging in other types of sexual contact, specifically oral sex. To help combat this social misconception, medical professionals decided to define diseases associated with any sexual behavior as an STD or sexually transmitted disease. Once again, knowledge of STDs and how they affect each person has made further clarification a necessity.
STD’s vs. STI’s
A medical condition where normal body functions or structures are disrupted is a disease. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is the most common term used for individuals who have been infected via sexual contact. Unfortunately, that’s where the misunderstanding comes into play. Even though someone was exposed doesn’t mean they will experience any symptoms nor will it always develop into a disease. The more modern term sexually transmitted infection (STI) was chosen to make that clarification.
Often, an infection is the first step of the disease process and occurs when either bacteria or viruses enter the body and begin multiplying. When you are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, it means that an individual has been infected but that it has not developed into a disease. Some infections may never become a disease if they receive prompt treatment. Once the infection becomes a disease, then the terminology changes and STD is once again used. An example of this distinction could be the human papillomavirus (HPV). Usually, women who have HPV do not develop any symptoms although they carry the virus. If the infection is detected upon testing, she would be diagnosed with an STI. If the HPV develops into cervical cancer, a disease, her diagnosis will then change to a sexually transmitted disease.
Once again it seems that the term commonly used to describe someone who has been infected with a sexually transmitted disease has become a source of embarrassment. To help eliminate the negative connotation attached to the term, most doctors, and health care professionals are now using sexually transmitted infection as the preferred diagnosis. Additionally, the stigma of having an infection as opposed to a disease is generally preferable and less likely to trigger specific adverse psychological effects.
STD Testing San Francisco
Compliance to the screening and testing guidelines provided by the CDC is one of the best ways to prevent infection. Since many STIs produce no symptoms at all, individuals may not know they are infected. Bacterial infections usually can easily be cured with STD antibiotics if they are caught early. Unfortunately, untreated infections can cause dangerous long-term health conditions such as cancers, infertility and even death.
Testing for STDs and STIs is dependent upon the type of sexual intercourse. Blood and urine samples are always completed, but throat and anal swabs may also be necessary if you participate in oral or anal sex. Discuss your sexual habits with your physician to ensure that proper testing is completed. Omitting pertinent information can result in a missed diagnosis or ineffective treatment. Visit EzCare Medical STD Clinic for STD treatment and testing in San Francisco. Schedule STD appointment here.
Ways to prevent STIs and STDs.
The only sure way to prevent STIs or STDs is not to have sex. If you and your partner have decided to engage in any form of sexual activity, the next best option is to follow a specific set of rules. The first rule, of course, would be complete honesty. Knowing the complete sexual history of your partner will help you make an informed decision. Next and probably just as important as knowing each other’s sexual history is to know the status of any testing. If none has been done, it is strongly advised that each seek a medical professional to conduct any appropriate testing. If the tests are negative, your doctor may recommend you to wait six months before engaging in any activity.
While latex condoms are recommended to prevent the spread of diseases as well as limit the chance of an unwanted pregnancy, there is no guarantee. It is essential that any options be discussed with a qualified medical professional.
Services provided by EZCare Clinic
EZCare Clinic is a multi-specialty practice serving the San Francisco area. With numerous physicians, clinicians, therapists, and their support staff all specializing in different areas of health, you can rest assured that your complete healthcare needs are being met. Dedicated to offering non-judgemental and confidential patient care, EZCare Medical Clinic should be your number one choice when seeking medical treatment. Although we encourage patients to schedule an appointment, they are not required. Walk-in patients are accepted. Call today or stop by our dedicated staff is here to help you navigate any health concern. Click here to schedule an appointment for STD treatment