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Infections Spread Through Sexual Contact

Infections Spread Through Sexual Contact

Infections Spread Through Sexual Contact


Sexually transmitted diseases are a significant public health issue in America and continue to be a critical public health concern. despite the fact that it is largely avoidable. Sexually transmitted diseases, according to Healthy People 2020, refer to at least 25 infectious organisms that are spread primarily through sexual contact. Human immunodeficiency viruses, chlamydia infection, hepatitis B, gonorrhoea, syphilis, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, and chancroid are the most common. Because sexual contact is one of the most common ways for these infections to spread, they are grouped together. Major chronic STD sequelae include genital and other cancers; reproductive health issues; pregnancy-related complications, including transmission to offspring; and a variety of other chronic infection-related complications such as chronic liver disease, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, and tertiary syphilis.


Healthy People 2020 recognises the importance of STDs and has taken various policy and medical steps to reduce the number of new infections while addressing current infections to ensure a healthy American society free of sexually transmitted diseases. These efforts will go a long way toward ensuring that the American health-care bill is reduced and that more people are productive in terms of work productivity and economic activity.


STDs in the past


Sexually transmitted diseases were long recognised as being transmitted through sexual contact and were thus referred to as “venereal diseases.” Syphilis was the first STD to be identified, and people who were infected were shunned. Until the 1960s, the only STDs known were gonorrhoea and syphilis. Chlamydia tranchomatis was identified as the causative agent of urethritis, cervicitis, and PID in the early 1970s. HSV-2 became epidemic in the 1980s and was incorrectly thought to be the etiological cause of cervix cancer. The AIDs virus was also discovered in the 1980s, with the human immunodeficiency virus identified as the causative agent. Since 1980, other types of STDs have been identified, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have taken various steps to address these infections.


Data on STD prevalence


According to the World Health Organization, more than one million people acquire an STD every day, and 500 million become infected with one of the STDs (World Health Organization, 2013). According to Healthy People 2020 statistics, 19 million new cases of STDs are reported in the United States each year. Young people aged 15 to 24 account for half of all cases. 1.1 million American citizens are infected with the HIV virus, and one out of every five people infected with HIV are unaware of their status (Healthy People 2020, 2014).


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, chlamydia is the most common STD, with 1,401,906 new cases reported in 2013, a rate of 446.6 infections per 100,000 people. However, the CDC notes that chlamydia rates in 2013 were 1.5% lower than in 2012. Gonorrhea is the second most common STD, accounting for 106.1 infections per 100,000 people in 2013. This represented a 0.6% decrease in new gonorrhoea rates overall. These decreases in infections can be attributed to the various STD prevention initiatives that were implemented. In 2013, however, there were 17,375 reported cases of syphilis, both primary and secondary strains, representing a 10% increase. On the other hand, congenital syphilis has seen a 4% increase in new reported cases since 2012. It is worth noting, however, that the increase was only among men, specifically bisexual and gay men. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2014), the majority of STD cases occur in young men and women aged 15 to 24 years. This means that the majority of people in this age group are sexually active, do not use protection, and do not seek medical attention, resulting in the spread of STDs among this age group. If new cases of STDs are to be reduced, it is critical that health efforts be directed toward people of this age group.


Current Preventive Measures


With rising rates of new STD infections, Healthy People 2020 has outlined prevention efforts aimed at lowering the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases in the United States. The prevention efforts include: the establishment of sexually transmitted diseases treatment guidelines, which provide a framework for how STD cases should be handled; the establishment of a gonorrhoea screening initiative for men and women at low risk; the use of quadrivalent HPV vaccine in males; syphilis screening for non-pregnant people; and the development of a clinical guide for sexually transmitted infections counselling. Currently, people try to stop the spread of STDs by doing things like speeding up partner therapy and teaching more people about STDs.


The STD Assessment, Assurance, Policy Development, and Prevention Strategies (STD AAPPS), which provides funding to various states to reduce the burden and long-term health effects of sexually transmitted diseases, is another important STD prevention effort being undertaken by the CDC division of STD prevention. This programme has been combined with the STD-Related Reproductive Health, Prevention, Training, and Technical Assistance Centers programme, which is a network of centres that provide STD-related reproductive health, prevention, training, and technical assistance to various American states with the goal of strengthening programme management and STD service delivery and improving reproductive health-related STD services.


Future Prevention Objectives


Healthy People 2020 has established a number of objectives aimed at addressing sexually transmitted disease-related health issues. The goals are to reduce new and current cases of Chlamydia tranchomatis infections among adolescents and young adults aged 15 to 24; to increase the number of sexually active young adults enrolled in Medicaid plan screening programmes; to reduce the prevalence of gonorrhoea among young adults; and to reduce the domestic spread of secondary and primary syphilis. Other STD-related goals of Healthy People 2020 include reducing the proportion of women with HPV infections and the number of people aged 15 to 24 who have genital herpes infections caused by herpes simplex.


The future goals of STD prevention are divided into two categories: technical and advocacy. The technical strategy focuses on channels to promote healthy sexual behaviour; effective and accessible STI care; protective barrier methods; and improving monitoring and evaluation of STI control programmes. This strategy focuses on a public health approach that is based on solid scientific evidence and cost-effectiveness. The goal of the advocacy strategy is to get high-level politicians to take action, which will set the stage for a quick response.


The Role of Nurses in Education and Prevention


STD rates in the United States have reached epidemic proportions, posing a significant financial burden on the health-care system. Healthcare providers, particularly nurses, see patients in a variety of acute and community settings, putting them in a unique position to lead the fight against STDs. They have a unique opportunity to talk about STDs and how to prevent them. As a result, it is critical that nurses maintain current knowledge of each of the diseases. They have to take the lead in figuring out how likely it is that people in their community and among their clients will get STDs and coming up with prevention plans that fit their needs.


Nurses are critical in detecting and preventing STDs. They have a unique opportunity to educate the public about this serious public health issue by communicating the methods of transmission and symptoms associated with each condition, keeping up with the latest CDC treatment guidelines, and offering clients strategic preventive measures to reduce the spread of STDs. Regardless of the obstacles to STD prevention, nurses must continue to educate and meet the needs of all women in order to promote their sexual health. Hoeman (2008) says that effective teaching methods include giving clear, accurate messages that are age-appropriate and sensitive to culture.


It is not enough to screen for and treat infections to prevent the spread of STDs; community nurses must also be able to help individuals change their behaviour by counselling on how to prevent infections and reinfections. Screening and treating infections are effective for current infections, but unless individuals are assisted in changing their behaviour, they may continue to act in ways that put them at risk for further infections. Nurses can play a variety of roles in STD prevention, including increasing patients’ adherence to medication and cooperation with efforts to notify their partners of possible infection; lowering the rate of partner change; and reducing the number of sex partners (Thomas, Schubert, & Hitchcock, 2003). A nurse can also help patients use condoms more consistently and correctly, as well as provide effective counselling interventions aimed at behaviour change (Blue & Ivanov, 2008).


programs, organizations, or support groups in the community.


The development of public health initiatives requires the support of the community. They play an important role in educating, informing, and empowering communities. Community partnership mobilisation is critical to public health. One of the most visible effects of STD prevention programmes is the increased collaboration between community-based organisations and local public health agencies. Community-based organisations have played an important role in defining how STDs are controlled. Empowering community-based organisations has been an STD prevention strategy, and their value is increasingly being recognised and felt, increasing their role in the community (Smith & Maurer, 2012).


Many STD control programmes have community advisory boards and community partner groups that advise and shape STD control policies and programmes, in addition to collaborations with community groups. Some programmes necessitate the review of educational and promotional materials by community-based committees to ensure that the images and messages are appropriate for the target community. The participation of community members on advisory boards, planning groups, and review committees in STD control programmes is intended to ensure that STD prevention strategies can meet the needs of the community and, to some extent, reduce STD cases.




STDs account for a sizable portion of the federal budget. This, combined with the loss in individual productivity, implies that the overall economic loss caused by STDs is massive. It is therefore critical that efforts be directed toward reducing the current prevalence of STDs while also ensuring that no new infections are reported. This can be accomplished through increased public education and prevention efforts led by community nurses who have first-hand knowledge of the community and infected individuals.

Infections Spread Through Sexual Contact

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