Sexual diseases are more commonly known as venereal diseases. Venereal is derived from “Venus,” the Latin name for the goddess of love. V. D. is as old as mankind because the organisms which cause Sexually Transmitted Diseases can only survive in humans and cannot live long outside the body.
Today, medicine can correctly diagnose V. D. 100 percent of the time. Almost all V. D. can be cured with penicillin and other antibiotics. We have the means to eliminate V. D. from the surface of the earth. This goal was accomplished for small pox through vaccination. Despite means to eradicate V. D., this objective has been impossible to attain. Sexually Transmitted Diseases are caused by three different groups of infectious organisms.
a) Herpes: Type I — Type II
b) Viral warts.
c) Clamydia (‘‘Intermediate’’ Clamydia Trachomatis)
a) Gonorrhea (“clap”) (gonococcus)
b) Syphilis (Treponema Pallidum)
c) Hemophilus Vaginalis (Corynebacterium)
d) Chancroid (Ducrey Hemophilus)
a) Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas Vaginalis)
b) Candidiasis (Candida — yeast infection)
c) Crabs (Pubic lice)
d) Scabies (Sarcoptes scabei)
HERPES comes in two types. Type I causes blisters above the waistline, appearing as cold or fever blisters, affecting lips, mouth and nose. Type II or genital herpes, causes blisters below the waistline: on the penis, urethra, and in the vulva, vagina and cervix. Lately Type II has increased in reported frequency because of more widespread practice of oral sex. Herpes II does not kill adults, but some experts believe it can cause cancer of the cervix. If an infected pregnant woman has a vaginal delivery, the baby will develop meningitis and die.
VENEREAL WARTS are not the same as those appearing on the hands or feet. They are spread sexually by a different virus, are highly contagious and do not disappear by themselves. Venereal warts must be removed by a physician.
GONORRHEA or “clap” is the most common of all V. D. after Herpes II. Among infectious diseases, it is third in incidence to the common cold! It occurs most frequently in the younger population and is always contracted through intercourse. It has an incubation period of 2-7 days, but a high percentage (up to 80 percent) of infected individuals do not show severe symptons of this disease. Because of this, extra precaution is mandatory!
SYPHILIS is a paradoxical term! The word syphilis means “to make love together!” To better understand how the word syphilis was developed we describe first how Philadelphia was named.
In 1681, William Penn obtained a royal licence to establish a village at the mouth of the Delaware River. Searching for an appropriate name, Penn borrowed the Greek word “phylos,” which means “love,” added to it another Greek word, “deiphos,” which means “brother,” the City of Philadelphia, “Brotherly Love,” was born!
One hundred and fifty years before, in Veneza, Italy, the name Syphilis was created by the famous physician, Girolamo Fracastoro, who was also an excellent poet. In a poem in Latin rhyme, Fracastoro described the signs and symptoms of Syphilis. His poem is the most famous in medicine having been used as a text on Syphilis for many years!
At that time (1530) this disease was known in Italy as the “French disease” and in France, went by the name of the “Italian maladie.” Each nation named this venereal disease after its enemy. In Portugal it was named the “Spanish disease” while “Portuguese disease” was the term used in Spain.
In this immortal poem, Fracastoro described the story of a shepherd who travelled to the city to make love but the gods chose to punish him with venereal disease. Fracastoro, instead of naming the shepherd Anthony, John or Joseph, preferred to create a new name reflecting his protagonist’s story. Thus, using poetic-medical liberty, he borrowed the Greek prefix “syn” which means “together” and added to it “phylos” which means as we know, “love.” In this manner, the shepherd was named Syphilis which means “to make love together!”
In 1563, Thomas Gale, an English surgeon used the word syphilis for the first time in the English language. Later, in 1905, Drs. Schaudinn and Hofmann (Germans) discovered the microbe which causes syphilis. It was called Treponema Pallidum and has the shape of a corkscrew. In 1929, Sir Alexander Fleming discovered Penicillin, the cure for all cases of syphilis. Caution! Caution!
The following list describes many of the more alarming signs and symptoms of venereal diseases. You should be alert to them and not hesitate or procrastinate in seeking help at a clinic or with your family physician, if you encounter any of these signs or symptoms.
(1) Burning sensation during urination.
(2) Discharge from the penis.
(3) Inflammation of the head of penis especially under foreskin.
(4) Blisters, sores or warts around penis and genital area.
(5) Bumps or lumps around penis and groin.
(6) Pain in the testicles and lower abdomen.
(7) Itching, especially in pubic and groin areas.
(8) Anal itch, pain with defecation.
(9) Body rash.
(10) Itchy and gummy eyes.
(11) Sores or ulcers on body, lips and mouth.
(12) Swollen glands (lymph nodes) with fever.
(1) Vaginal discharge.
(2) Itching and inflammation of the vulva (external genitalia)
(3) Burning sensation during urination.
(4) Swollen vaginal lips.
(5) Blisters, sores or warts around the vulva.
(6) Painful intercourse.
(7) Bumps or lumps around vulva.
(8) Lower abdominal pain.
(9) Itching especially in pubic and groin areas.
(10) Anal itch, pain with defecation.
(11) Body rash.
(12) Itchy and gummy eyes.
(13) Sores or ulcers, on body, lips and mouth.
(14) Swollen glands (lymph nodes) with fever.
In the U.S. there are 2.5 million individuals who suffer from gonorrhea and half a million who have syphilis. They are all in need of treatment! They could all be cured, but instead they continue to be carriers of this preventable epidemic disease.
Prevention The simplest and most practical way to prevent V. D. is have ONLY ONE uninfected partner or the man or woman must insist on the use of the condom. Remember that V. D. also means VERY DANGEROUS! Venereal Diseases can damage the vital organs and even KILL YOU!!!
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