Viagra, Valtrex, Vancomycin, Vitekta, Viread… look, you mess around and fuck enough strangers, and you will most likely end up being prescribed a pill with a “V” on it. Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are nasty and if left unchecked and untreated can lead to serious health complications. STDs are either bacterial or viral, the two are very different, and you may be wondering why?
Well, today’s blog is not only focused on explaining bacteria from viruses, but why the viral five typically warrant the most dread and horror: Herpes, Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), and Hepatitis B & C.
Bacteria are single-celled organisms belonging to the prokaryotic domain of life. Bacteria, not always bad, live in different environments of varying temperaments, and function to either mutualistically benefit the host's health or cause harm as pathogenic parasites. Harmful bacteria like the sexually transmitted infection chlamydia, cause damage to the host, but can easily be remedied through the use of antibiotics. Good bacteria, such as the gut bacteria Bifidobacterium Longum, found in the intestines prohibit the colonisation of harmful bacteria.
Essentially the reasoning as to why bacterial infections are better than viral is because bacterial infections are curable with medication, whereas the sexually transmitted infections that are viral are not.
Viruses, unlike bacteria, belong to no domain of life. Viruses are smaller than bacteria and require host cells, from humans, to survive. When a virus, such as HIV is contracted, it takes over a cell and a cell's machinery to produce more virus. This cycle tends to occur until a point where either the immune system locates and destroys the viral infection, or the virus integrates into healthy cells, remaining in the host in a dormant state.
The Viral Five: H’s
HIV known to many is a deadly virus that has remained in the media spotlight for decades. Without treatment, those who have contracted HIV are at risk of acquiring immune deficiency syndrome, where one loses the ability to combat infection and disease. Early detection of HIV is imperative to ensure that the virus is contained, and progression is prohibited.
Herpes, either caused by strain HSV-1 or HSV-2, is a virus that causes lesions and sores on the genitalia. Herpes, like the other viral five, is usually spread through the exchange of bodily fluids such as semen or vaginal secretions. Herpes, like HIV, can be contained using antiviral medication prescribed by your doctor.
HPV is now commonly vaccinated against. However, those who have contracted HPV face either one of the three outcomes: (i) no symptomatic problems; (ii) genital warts or; (iii) certain types of cancers.
Hepatitis B and C are both viral infections that affect the liver, resulting in flu-like symptoms, and jaundice. There is no cure for hepatitis B virus, but 90% of healthy individuals should naturally clear this virus. Hepatitis C virus can be treated with direct-acting antiviral drug therapies, with cure rates of more than 90% with 12-week treatments. Individuals suffering from chronic hepatitis infections are at risk of liver cirrhosis, liver cancer and liver failure.
If you do share any concerns regarding your sexual health, feel free to get in contact with the team at Well Revolution. With our wide range of STI tests and professional health providers, we aim to help you stay in control of your sexual health from the comfort of your own home.
Learn your STD status today! Don’t wait until it’s too late. Take control now.
Did you know that many STI's don't have symptoms? If left untreated they can seriously damage your fertility, health and life.
If you’re unsure what to do or if you’re worried about an STI, we’re here to help with safe and easy tests you can do at home.
Don’t risk your health!
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