Reproductive Tract Infections (RTIs) refer to infections of reproductive organs. These illnesses may occur due to poor genital hygiene, for example, poor menstrual hygiene among girls. RTIs include the illnesses that are transmitted from one person to another during sexual contact and are known as Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs).
These infections may be transmitted during vaginal or anal intercourses, or genital skin contact. Gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, chlamydia, warts and chancroid are common STDs. Human Immuno-deficiency Virus (HIV) can also be transmitted through sexual contact.
Symptoms of STDs include:
Some infected persons may not show any symptoms and may pass on infection to their partners unknowingly. Untreated STDs can lead to infertility. The sexual partner of the infected person should also seek medical advice and treatment. Unless the infected individual is cured, she or he should avoid sexual intercourse. STDs can be prevented by:
Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) causes Acquired Immuno-Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). HIV is a retro virus, i.e., its genetic material is RNA. It destroys vital cells of the immune system making the body vulnerable to several infectious agents.
It infects T-lymphocytes and makes thousands of copies of the virus. HIV-infected individual may remain asymptomatic for 10-15 years. Gradually, the number of T-helper cells of the immune system decrease in number to a low when the victim loses resistance against other diseases. This is the stage of full-blown AIDS.
HIV may be transmitted from one infected individual to another individual by the following mechanisms:
HIV transmission can be prevented by:
In addition, HIV transmission can be prevented by:
Anti-retro viral therapy is available to check the progression from HIV infection to full-blown AIDS and has been shown to be effective.