Reproductive health is about enabling people to have a satisfying and safe sex life while having the ability to reproduce—should they choose to do so—and giving them the freedom to decide on the if, when, and how often. It is also about empowering them to fight against sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).
Sexual Health in the Philippines: Facts About STDs
In order to better define the state of sexual health in the Philippines, we can look to some of the most prevalent types of STDs. Sexually transmitted diseases, also known as STDs, are spread most of the time through sexual intercourse. There are 8 known types of sexually transmitted diseases: some forms of hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, syphilis, chlamydia, trichomoniasis, genital herpes, genital warts, and gonorrhea.
HIV is a potentially fatal virus that attacks immune cells. It can be passed on through blood transfusion of contaminated blood or through sexual intercourse.
AIDS is a life-threatening condition caused by HIV. This condition is also known as a late-stage HIV infection.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection that starts as a painless sore, which typically starts in the rectum, mouth, or genitals. It spreads via skin or mucous membrane contact with the sores.
Chlamydia is a bacterial infection. Women can get it in the cervix, rectum, or throat. Men can get it in the urethra, rectum, or throat. A woman can also pass chlamydia to her baby during childbirth.
This is the most easily treated bacterial infection passed through sexual intercourse.
Herpes involves small blisters that are painful found in the genital area. These blisters pop and leave sores that bleed or ooze with pus. This is normally accompanied by fever or headache. This can be managed but it is not curable.
These are the most uncomfortable of the STDs, but they are also the most harmless and treatable. They are normally found on the entrance of the anus and genitals.
Gonorrhea is an infection that causes a burning sensation when urinating. This is accompanied by a white or yellow discharge from your genitals. This is a serious complication but it can be treated with the right medicine.
This is an infection of the liver that spreads when people come in contact with the blood, body fluids, or open sores of someone who has the hepatitis B virus. This is treatable and goes away if you get it as an adult.
Though usually harmless and goes away by itself, the human papillomavirus can cause genital warts or lead to cancer at times.
Herpes simplex virus
This is an infection that causes herpes and appears in various parts of the body, mostly the genitals or mouth. There are two types of this virus: HV-1 which causes oral herpes and HSV-2 which causes genital herpes.