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Viruses That Cause STDs
Sexually Transmitted Diseases


Author:   Peter Sedesse MD

Four Major STDs Caused by Viruses

Viruses are the cause of four STDs (sexually transmitted diseases). Hepatitis C, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) are the four responsible for the disease transmissions. These viruses are currently incurable, but have treatments that can be used to surpress symptoms. Also simple, common preventive measures such as wearing a condom have shown to be very effective at preventing the spread of these viruses.

HIV is a virus that causes the sexually transmitted disease AIDS

AIDS is caused by the HIV virus which can stay dormant in the body for months or years. There will not by any signs or symptoms seen during this time. In less than half a century HIV became one of the most lethal STDs the world has ever seen for this very reason. People that do not show symptoms or have any idea they have been infected are responsible for the majority of HIV transmissions. The immune system begins to weaken as vital CD4 white blood cells begin to be destroyed following infection. The body becomes unable to fight infections causing secondary infections to become fatal without medical intervention. Immune system destruction is slowed with the use of current medications that have the ability to impair the reproduction of the virus.

Herpes Virus is a transmittable STD

Sexual activity transmits the Herpes simplex virus which results in open sores on the genitalia of both sexes. The anus, genitals and mouth can all be infected by Herpes which will lie dormant in nerve cells once present in the body. An extreme outbreak typically occurs in individuals two weeks following infection with the virus. The virus will then remain dormant for an unspecified time frame before additional symptoms occur. The virus can be kept in a dormant state and symptom severity during outbreaks diminished with the use of antiviral medications. An infection person can still spread Herpes even when visible sores are not present on the body.

Hepatitis C can be transmitted as an STD

Sexual activity transmits Hepatitis C which can damage the liver both long term and permanently. The transmission of Hepatitis C occurs through the genitals but the virus’s major symptoms can be seen all over the body while destruction of the liver occurs.

HPV causes genital warts and is a sexually transmitted disease

Genital warts are the result of the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). Generally both the virus and resulting warts are not harmful to an individual with only slight irritation resulting. However, HPV is the leading contributor to women experiencing cervical cancer. Yearly pelvic exams that include pap smears should be had by women with HPV. The virus is not treatable although the warts are removable with surgery, lasers or freezing the same as other warts.


Protection against viral STDs


Unprotected sex with someone that has the virus is the common method of contracting all sexually transmitted diseases. The skin covering the sexual organs being broken or impaired increases the risk of an infection occurring. Sores resulting from another STD or sexual behavior considered traumatic like anal sex are often the cause. There is currently no cure for any of the four viral STDs. Treatments are targeted toward reducing frequency and severity of symptoms.

Summary of STDs caused by viruses

Four of the most dangerous and significant sexually transmitted diseases are caused by viruses. These STDs are not curable due to the viruses’ nature. The STDs are treatable to reduce symptom severity and duration. There are similar characteristics between Herpes, Hepatitis C, HIV and HPV which are all easy to transmit through unprotected sex, especially when traumatic sex results in contact with blood.













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