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How to spot an STD: a must read for all sexually active individuals

Dr Freeman Osonuga



If you are sexually active, this is a piece you shouldn’t ignore. Every individual should be well informed about their sexual health and how to keep safe.

A sexually transmitted disease or infection (STD/STI) is any of the various diseases or infections that can be transmitted by direct sexual contact. The organisms that cause STDs may pass from one person to another via blood, semen, or vaginal and other bodily fluids. Some examples include Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia, Genital herpes, Genital warts, Hepatitis B, AIDS and more though the individual details of these diseases is beyond the scope of this post.

A sexually transmitted disease is a common cause of fear and panic among sexually active people for the many dangers its poses to an individual’s health. So how do you know if you have contracted one of the dreaded sexually transmitted diseases or infections?
In males, the symptoms of an STD aren’t too hidden or hard to decipher, if you are having painful urination with bloody, pus-like or greenish discharges from the penis, watch it! you might have an STI.

However in females, an STD may go unnoticed more often than in males though not without its many damaging effects. If you have some or a combination of the following signs and symptoms, you might have an STD:

-Copious, awfully smelling vaginal discharge
-Pus-like or colored vaginal discharge
-Painful or frequent urination
-Pain during sexual intercourse whether on light or deep penetration.
-Ulcers which may be painful or painless, single or multiple around the genitals, thigh and mouth
-Lower abdominal pain which might be mild or severe
-Vaginal bleeds during or after sexual intercourse


Any symptom that suggests the likelihood of an STI must be properly investigated and adequately treated.
The presence of an STD might also signal search for other co-existing infections, however, treatment of most STIs are usually straightforward.
So you had some of these complaints and you visited a roadside chemist or some quacks and now you think all is well? all might not be well as poorly treated or untreated STI leads to infertility and increases a person’s tendency to contact HIV/AIDS.

There is a noteworthy relationship between STDs and HIV, people with untreated STDS are more likely to be infected with HIV than those who don’t have STDS and an HIV positive person with STDs is more infectious than other HIV positive people without STDs.
Very importantly, the treatment of a person with an STI isn’t complete without treating their partner or partners as the case may be, if not the person will soon be re-infected and the cycle of infections continues. So in the effective management of STDs it’s very important to do contact tracing of all that might be exposed sexually and ensure everyone gets treatment.


If you think you have a sexually transmitted disease or infection, please make sure to visit accredited hospitals and seek professional attention because you don’t want to joke or be careless with your precious life.
Stay Healthy and be Safe!

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Dr Freeman Osonuga is a multi-award winning Humanitarian, Social Enterprise Consultant, International Public Speaker and Medical Professional. An Associate Fellow of the Royal Commonwealth Society, a One Young World Ambassador, a WIRED 2015 Innovation Fellow, 2014 TIME Magazine Person of the Year and One of the 2013 Ten Outstanding Young Persons in Nigeria. He is also a recipient of Meritorious Service Award from President Bai Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone and One of the Fabulous and Inspiring People of Colour of the Year 2015. Dr Freeman advocates for health care services to be fully accessible and affordable by all. He can be reached on the following social media platforms. Instagram: freemanosonuga, Twitter: @freeman_osonuga, Facebook: Freeman Osonuga, Website: