So many adults in this part of the world do not care enough about their sexual health as long as they are able to wake up in the morning and go about their dailies, they assume all is well.
As far back 2003, World Health Organization (WHO) found Lagos, Nigeria to be the highest carrier of gonorrhea in the world.
Decades after, it has been made known through available data that the rate at which sexually transmitted infections spreads in Nigeria is alarming.
Although one would like to think that this should be a thing of concern to only city dwellers, it suffices to say that there is a rapid movement of these diseases to rural areas as well.
As a matter of fact, it can be argued that owing to lack of proper orientation with regards to STDs, the situation in rural areas is as worse as it is in urban areas.
However, if we are serious as a people in any way whatsoever, this issue should have been taken seriously enough to attract government attention to initiate necessary control measures to prevent those consequences that cannot be separated from these diseases.
But we also know that to depend on government is to leave the lives of both old and young Nigerians at risk, that’s why we’re taking it upon ourselves to create the awareness of the most prevalent STDs in Nigeria.
What are Sexually Transmitted Diseases?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), are viruses, bacteria, or parasites that are spread by sexual contact.
The spread may be by contact with skin, mouth, genitals, or bodily fluids, from vaginal, anal, or oral sex.
Some STDs have no cure, and only symptoms can be treated; others may be cured with a simple course of antibiotics (for bacterial infections).
Common Sexually Transmitted Diseases in Nigeria
Listed as one of the most common diseases that can be transmitted sexually, chlamydia is a bacterial infection that is caused by Chlamydia trachomatis.
Early-stage of this disease usually comes with no sign or symptoms, therefore, making Chlamydia difficult to detect.
And when they do occur, it takes one to three weeks after you’ve been exposed to chlamydia.
The signs and symptoms seem to be always mild and passing, making them easy to overlook.
Gonorrhea is not only a common infection in Nigeria, it is also one of the serious STDs that threaten our wellbeing.
Caused by the bacterium Neisseria gonorrhoeae, gonorrhea is a bacterial infection of the genital tract.
Surprisingly, the bacteria can also grow in the mouth, throat, eyes, and anus.
Usually, gonorrhea symptoms start appearing within ten days after exposure.
But various studies have shown that there are rare cases of people experiencing signs and symptoms, months after infection.
Syphilis is another serious transmitted disease that has the tendency of becoming deadly if not treated beforehand.
Caused by the bacterium known as Treponema pallidum, research shows that syphilis has increased over time.
And this is believed to be happening because the starting of this disease goes undetected.
Syphilis is likely to attack the heart, brain and nearly all internal organs as time goes on.
Trichomoniasis is an infection of the vulva, vagina, cervix for women and the urethra for men.
It is caused by microscopic parasites called Trichomonas vaginalis.
It is mostly contracted through sexual intercourse.
Although symptoms of the disease vary, most people who have the parasite cannot tell they are infected.
The parasite is capable of living outside the body for hours.
And when trichomoniasis causes symptoms, they may appear within five to twenty-eight days of exposure and range from mild irritation to severe inflammation.
Additionally, it can be spread by bathing suits, towels, and washcloths shared by an infected individual.
And if you don’t get treatment, it raises your chances of getting or spreading other STDs, including HIV.
Genital Herpes is a common sexually transmitted disease (STD) that can be gotten by any sexually active person.
Usually, the herpes virus causes sores that appear on the vaginal area, and/or the anus.
It can, sometimes, appear around the mouth.
Herpes can only be suppressed but it never goes away.
It can return, and it is contagious even when there are no visible sores.
Upon observation, a patient can have from four to seven flare-ups each year.
HIV which is the most dreaded of them all is an infection with the human immunodeficiency virus that interferes with the body ability to fight off viruses, bacteria, and fungi.
Most times, if not properly managed, it can lead to AIDS, a chronic, life-threatening disease.
The Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) is the most commonly transmitted STI in the world and yet people here do not even know about it.
Thing is, 70% of people who have been, are, or will be sexually active, have at one point or another gotten this infection.
They are very small, non-enveloped, epitheliotropic (spread by skin contact) double stranded DNA viruses.
Like I said, chances are you reading this now, if you have at any point in time been really sexually active especially if you do not take the utmost precaution (and I don’t mean condoms, lol), you possibly have had HPV.
In fact, the prevalence is thought to be much higher.
It is sometimes advised that when two people want to get married, they should do so with a positive assumption that both of them already have HPV.
Furthermore, there is a 99.7% correlation of most cervical cancer cases with this HPV.
Meaning, almost every case of cervical cancer can be traced to HPV.
More often than not, it does not lead to cancer.
The strands of the virus that cause cancer are not as easily passed as the others.
The most notorious strands are the S16 and the S18, both of which can cause genital warts which are a pretty common presentation in young people above 18.
These warts appear on the mouth, the bumbum close to the hole, the scrotum, the penis and any other place really; they are usually painless, just plain embarrassing.
- Use condoms as often as necessary.
- Please cut down on giving head. Only give to people you know take care of their health fantastically.
- Periodically, get curious. Examine your body and go for checkups even when you feel alright.
- Read stuff during your spare time or at night if you can’t sleep, just pick your phone, read about health stuff, increase your information depth.
What I have shared today is to encourage us to take our general health and sex life serious.
More serious, much more serious…
If we lose it, we lose all….
I can remember when I was seriously ill.
I can’t remember the last time I felt that way…
Because I don’t usually fall sick.
My desk was dusty for day…
The work had to leave when I return to leave it…
My PC RAM was silent all through…
No shrieking sound, no blue light…
At the hospital, all I was crying for was the chance for the next day…
Not one of my projects…
I just want that chance to live…
To be able answer when someone calls…
YOUR HEALTH MATTERS.
DO NOT TRADE IT FOR ANYTHING…
Strike that balance…
I just want you to have mercy on yourself…
Pay attention to your Number 1 Asset…
Invest in your most valuable asset in life – your health.
I hope this message of mine resonates well with you.
Share this post for your loved ones to see this.
It’s very important we all get educated on this.