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 and contact with blood. Likewise, a child can get it from their mother, during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding.
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 a common sexually transmitted infection caused by a parasite. Women who have trichomoniasis may experience pinful urination, genital itching, and found-smelling vaginal discharge. Men don’t often develop symptoms.
Genital Herpes and HSV
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.
Herpes Simplex Virus 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 can be transmitted in the genitals through oral sexand, and HSV-2 which causes genital herpes.
Genital Warts and HPV
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.
Though usually harmless and goes away by itself, the human papillomavirus or HPV can cause genital warts or lead to cancer at times.
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.