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Sexually Transmitted Infections Increase in Brazil; know what they are and how to protect them Science and Health



Syphilis is the most striking case: in 2018 there were 158,000 disease reports, leading to a rate of 75.8 cases per 100,000 population – in 2017 there were 59.1 cases / 100,000 population.

But there are also indications that viral hepatitis is on the rise, a very dangerous disease because it can progress to cirrhosis and liver cancer and even lead to death.

If Brazil reported nearly 633,000 cases of these infections from 2008 to 2018, only about 43,000 were last year, plus hepatitis A, B and D.

Data from UNAIDS, a United Nations program specialized in epidemics, indicates that Brazil had a 21% increase in the number of new HIV infections from 2010 to 2018, as the world was down 16% over the same period. planet.

And it's not just these growing ISTs. Optional ones, such as gonorrhea and HPV, are also growing in the country.

According to Mauro Romero Lil Passos, STB Sector Coordinator at the Federal University of Fluminensen (UC) and founder of the Brazilian Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (SBSTST), the main reason is that many of these diseases remain silent and can last months or years. and symptoms.

"Because they do not feel anything, people do not seek a doctor and find that they are infected. Not knowing, the chance of transmitting the virus or bacteria to unprotected sex is much greater," the doctor said.

The best method to prevent HPV is the vaccine - Photo by Rodrigo Nuns / Ministry of HealthThe best method to prevent HPV is the vaccine - Photo by Rodrigo Nuns / Ministry of Health

The best method to prevent HPV is the vaccine – Photo by Rodrigo Nuns / Ministry of Health

Another important point, according to him, is the reduction in condom use, especially among young people.

To get an idea, a 2017 survey of 1,500 people across Brazil by the non-profit organization DKT International found that 47% of respondents aged 14-24 do not use sex condoms.

This neglect occurs because treatments against sexually transmitted diseases are more effective and because many people do not believe they are at risk or consider themselves to be at risk.

There are still pretexts that condoms reduce pleasure, damage erections and are difficult to put on.

"And you won't wear a condom once or until you feel safe with your partner. You have to protect yourself in every relationship," Passos added.

Other factors cited by experts on high incidence of STIs include low rates of sex education and vaccination coverage (in the case of vaccine-preventable diseases).

What Are Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs)?

STIs are caused by more than 30 viruses and bacteria and are transmitted mainly through unprotected vaginal, anal and oral intercourse, ie without a condom, to an infected person.

They can also be transmitted from mother to child during pregnancy, childbirth or lactation. Some are transmitted by contact of mucous membranes and skin with contaminated secretions of the body, contaminated blood and injecting drug use.

In general, these diseases cause damage to the genitals. But they can also cause cancer, complications in pregnancy and childbirth, miscarriage, infertility, cardiovascular and neurological problems, and even death.

"There is still an emotional and social continuation that many forget. It is not uncommon for a carrier to develop psychiatric disorders and to have problems with the connection, "Passos said.

Another worrying factor is that these conditions make patients more vulnerable to acquiring HIV. They are estimated to increase the chance of infection with the AIDS virus by 18 times.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea treated with antibiotics - partners should take the drug even if they have no signs or symptoms - Photo by BBCChlamydia and gonorrhea treated with antibiotics - partners should take the drug even if they have no signs or symptoms - Photo by BBC

Chlamydia and gonorrhea treated with antibiotics – partners should take the drug even if they have no signs or symptoms – Photo by BBC

This is because those who already have one STI are more at risk than another. "If a person has inflammation, a wound, a tumor, a nipple, a discharge or a discharge, their total or local resistance is reduced so that when they come in contact with another agent, entry is facilitated," adds industry co-ordinator SPD. from UC.

Next, find out more about growing STIs in Brazil, from symptoms to prevention:

Caused by bacteria, these diseases are linked, and both can affect the genitals, throat, and eyes.

Both diseases are almost always asymptomatic. However, when symptoms do occur, the most common for women is vaginal discharge with lower abdominal pain and pain or bleeding during intercourse. In men it is released from the penis, with or without pus, burning and hot urination and testicular pain.

If left untreated, they can progress to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) and still cause infertility, chronic pain, tubal pregnancy, miscarriage, endometritis, and early childbirth.

Chlamydia and gonorrhea are treated with antibiotics – partners should also take the drug, even if there are no signs.

During the infection period, it is advisable to avoid unprotected sexual intercourse, and the best way to prevent this is to use condoms.

4 - The best way to prevent HIV infection is to adopt prevention techniques, including condom use and reduced risk of exposure - Photo by Rodrigo Nuns / Ministry of Health4 - The best way to prevent HIV infection is to adopt prevention techniques, including condom use and reduced risk of exposure - Photo by Rodrigo Nuns / Ministry of Health

4 – The best way to prevent HIV infection is to adopt prevention techniques, including condom use and reduced risk of exposure – Photo by Rodrigo Nuns / Ministry of Health

These are liver inflammation caused by viruses and classified into A, B, C, D and E. The species transmitted by sexual intercourse are B, C and D.

The main symptoms of hepatitis B and D are abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, odor intolerance, yellow skin and eyes, dark urine, light stools, fatigue and body aches.

Both are treated with antiviral drugs, which are necessary to prevent the disease from progressing to cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Generally, silent until he reaches more serious (again cirrhosis or cancer) hepatitis C is treated with oral antivirals. The treatment is performed from three months to one year and has an excellent chance of healing, exceeding 95%.

Hepatitis B has a vaccine offered for children (four doses; at birth, 2.4 and 6 months) and adults (three doses depending on vaccination status). Anyone with some form of immunosuppression or HIV needs a special double-dose regimen.

In the case of X, because there is no vaccine, the best way to prevent it is not to share personal items and blades or punchers (such as pliers in nail salons), use a condom and, when undergoing any procedure, make sure that the materials used are sterilized and disposable not reused. In case of D, the recommendation is to avoid contracting hepatitis B as they are related.

It is caused by the herpes simplex virus (HSV) and causes lesions on the skin and mucous membranes of the male and female genitalia.

Symptoms begin with burning, itching, tingling and inflamed ganglia. Then, come in sick blisters filled with fluid. When they burst, they saw wounds that form a crust and heal.

The disease has no cure and appears and disappears spontaneously, associated with activation of factors such as stress, trauma to the genital area, sun exposure, hormonal changes, fever, infection and the use of certain medications.

There is also no specific cure for its treatment. What they use is basically antivirals to reduce the symptoms and the risk of occurrence of the outbreak of the outbreak of the outbreak of the outbreak of the outbreak of the outbreak. outbreak.

In addition, avoiding triggers may keep the genital herpes under control. When it comes to prevention, it is best to use condoms during sex.

HIV is an acronym for the human immunodeficiency virus that causes AIDS, a disease that attacks the body's defense system.

Remember that having HIV is not the same as having AIDS. The health ministry commented that "there are many HIV-positive people who have been living for years without symptoms and without developing the disease", but can still spread the virus to others.

The pathology has several stages. The first, called acute, occurs between two and four weeks after infection. Its symptoms are very similar to those of influenza, including fever and fatigue.

The following period is asymptomatic. In it, HIV is active but reproduces at a very low level, so that the patient may have no symptoms or become ill.

With the frequent attack of the attacker, the defense cells function less efficiently until they are destroyed. The most common signs at this stage are fever, diarrhea, night sweats and weight loss.

The stage of infection, AIDS itself, occurs when the immune system is seriously compromised, allowing opportunistic diseases such as viral hepatitis, tuberculosis, pneumonia, toxoplasmosis and some cancers.

The disease has no cure, but it is treated with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs), which act by inhibiting the multiplication of the virus in the body and, consequently, preventing the weakening of the immune system.

The best way to avoid contamination is prevention, including condom use and reduced risk of exposure.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is a virus that infects skin or mucous membranes (oral, genital or anal) in both men and women and can cause cancer of the mouth, esophagus, anus, penis, vulva, vagina and cervix.

In many cases there are no symptoms, latent for months to years – manifestations are often more common in pregnant women and people with low immunity.

The Ministry of Health explains that the decrease in the organism's resistance causes it to multiply and, as a result, cause injuries.

They appear as single or multiple anogenital nipples (in genital area and anus), of different size, flat or papular (erect and solid). They are usually asymptomatic, but itching is possible on the spot.

There are also subclinical lesions that are not visible to the naked eye. These affect the vulva, vagina, cervix, perianal region, anus, penis (usually in the glands), scrotum and / or pubic region. Rarely, they occur in extragenital areas such as conjunctiva and nasal, oral, and laryngeal mucosa.

The treatment, which is intended to destroy the wounds, is done according to its characteristics, such as extension, amount and location. It can be chemical or surgical. Sometimes it is also necessary to use immune boosters.

It is worth noting that these procedures do not eliminate the virus and, therefore, the lesions may reappear.

The best method of prevention is the vaccine, pointing out that it is not a treatment and is not effective against existing infections.

It is distributed free of charge by the USSR and is recommended for girls ages 9 to 14, boys ages 11 to 14, people living with HIV in the age group of 9 to 26 and transplanted in the age group of 9 to 26 years.

In addition, it is important to use condoms and make pop fat annually for women.

Caused by the bacterium Treponema pallidum, it has several clinical manifestations and different stages.

Basically, the main symptom is usually a single wound that occurs between 10 and 90 days after infection at the site of entry of the bacteria (penis, vulva, vagina, cervix, anus and mouth, for example).

The injury does not hurt, itch, burn and has no pus and may be accompanied by lumps on the groin.

In the secondary phase, the manifestations occur between six weeks and six months after the onset and healing of the initial wound. These include body blemishes, fever, fatigue, headache and tongue.

The next stage, latent, is asymptomatic and is divided into recent latency (less than two years infection) and late latency (more than two years infection). The latter is tertiary, which can occur two to 40 years after the onset of infection.

It usually involves skin, bones, cardiovascular and neurological lesions. If left untreated, it can lead to death.

The good news is that the disease can be cured by the use of benzatin penicillin (benzetacil).

Proper and regular use of female and / or male condoms is the most important preventive measure, and monitoring of pregnant women and sexual partners during prenatal care contributes to the control of congenital syphilis.

Its cause is the protozoan Trichomonas vaginalis, most commonly found in female genitalia.

The list of symptoms is yellowish, greenish or grayish discharge, with a bad smell. Sometimes itching, pain during intercourse and bleeding after and pain during urination can also occur.

In men, it is usually asymptomatic but may cause urethritis, with foam or purulent discharge.

Facilitating the transmission of other aggressive infectious agents, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia – and in pregnancy, when untreated, causing premature rupture of the pouch – trichomoniasis is treated with antibiotics (oral, vaginal cream or egg).

Treatment should be performed by the couple, whether or not the partner has symptoms. Prevention, once again, is condom use.


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