The Low-Down On Stds
Bona|December 2017

With the holiday season upon us, don’t be foolish and take chances. Sexually transmitted diseases can be dangerous.

Lungile Khumalo

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) have been around for hundreds of years. However, during the past 40 years, they have been living in the shadow of HIV. Today, HIV is no longer life-threatening because it can be managed with medication. But STDs continue to spread, and still pose a threat to people’s health. This is possibly due to a lack of knowledge and unsafe sexual behaviour. The Department of Health confirmed that more than one million people were treated for STDs in the country in 2016. And, this did not include treatment at private practices. “Women have an increased risk of STDs compared to men due to biological and physiological factors,” says Dr Jireh Serfontein from My Sexual Health in Pretoria. She adds that chlamydia, especially, is a major concern for young women, and that this may be because they are often coerced into having sex with older men and have no power to negotiate condom use due to the age gap.

TRANSMISSION AND TREATMENT

STDs are spread through vaginal, anal or oral sex without the use of a condom. But, some (such as genital warts) can be transmitted by skin-toskin contact during sex. “Bacteria and viruses that cause STDs can be found in blood, semen, vaginal and anal fluids as well as breast milk. They are then passed on through sexual intercourse, direct contact with infected blood, needle injuries or from mother to child,” explains Dineo Moerane, marketing and communications coordinator at Marie Stopes South Africa.

While HIV takes years to manifest, symptoms for the other STDs take between a few days and weeks to appear. Many STDs have only mild symptoms or none, and can be mistaken for a yeast or urinary tract infection. “It is important for anyone who is sexually active to be regularly screened, so that the infection can be picked up and treated,” encourages Dineo.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM BONAView All

Damage At Work: Who Pays?

What happens when you damage company property or property that belongs to your employer? Are you liable for the costs?

5 mins read
Bona
June 2020

Safety Tips When Driving With Kids

The roads we drive on can be quite treacherous. Car safety is not only limited to you as a driver, but also your passengers including your children. Vuyi Mpofu gives us six safety tips that you must abide by.

3 mins read
Bona
June 2020

The Impact Of The Coronavirus

When COVID-19 hit South Africa, it came as no surprise that the virus would impact vulnerable communities such as townships and rural areas the hardest. The frequently asked questions since then have been whether the government has given enough information and resources to the people in disadvantaged areas or not. Everson Luhanga investigates further.

5 mins read
Bona
June 2020

Financially Surviving Covid-19

Our finance guru, Sinesipho Maninjwa, shares advice on how you can navigate and survive the financial impact of the coronavirus.

9 mins read
Bona
June 2020

All I Want Is A Baby

Trying to conceive with no success, and undergoing fertility treatment can take its toll on your relationship. This is the reality for many couples, and yet it remains a taboo subject.

4 mins read
Bona
June 2020

THE TRUTH ABOUT - feminine hygiene products

Despite numerous attempts by medical professionals to debunk the need for feminine hygiene products, numerous women still use them. Lethabo Nxumalo finds out why and if they are truly putting you at risk.

4 mins read
Bona
June 2020

THREE GENERATIONS OF MTOBA women

Linda Mtoba (27) is a mom, and she’s extremely happy about it. She chats to Amanda Mtuli about her pregnancy and what motherhood has taught her thus far. She also introduces us to her beautiful daughter, Bean. We are lucky to have the matriarch of the family, Linda’s mother Celiwe Mtoba (47), present during the interview. She lovingly gushes over her first grandchild while giving us insight into what it was like raising Linda.

9 mins read
Bona
June 2020

THE OLDER SIBLING Blues

Expecting the arrival of your bundle of joy may be exciting for you and your partner, but might not be so thrilling for your older child. Experts say kids sometimes struggle to accept the changes that a newborn brings. Fundiswa Nkwanyana spoke to some of them to help you prepare your firstborn for the new family member.

4 mins read
Bona
June 2020

Owning THE SPOTLIGHT

Film and TV star Fulu Mugovhani (29), currently graces our screens as Noli on the M-Net series, Still Breathing. The former Scandal! actress talks about getting into showbiz and lessons learnt on and off the stage.

2 mins read
Bona
June 2020

Life After losing a child

A parent’s worst fear is the death of a child. And, when that fear becomes a reality, grief becomes unbearable and acceptance seems impossible. Four readers share intimate details of their journeys.

8 mins read
Bona
June 2020
RELATED STORIES

UN CALLS FOR GLOBAL DATABASE OF HUMAN GENE EDITING RESEARCH

The World Health Organization issued new recommendations on human genome editing, calling for a global registry to track “any form of genetic manipulation” and proposing a whistleblowing mechanism to raise concerns about unethical or unsafe research.

2 mins read
AppleMagazine
AppleMagazine #507

THE KOALAS OF KANGAROO

It's been almost a year since I walked down Church Road on Kangaroo Island, where the smell of death could not be escaped.

8 mins read
Lens Magazine
December 2020

Living a Better Life with HIV

AIDS is a disease caused by human immunodeficiency virus, which targets and weakens the body's immune system.

2 mins read
Women Fitness
November 2020

THE MILITARY'S WAR ON HIV-POSITIVE SOLIDERS

Don’t ask, don’t tell is dead. But America’s armed services still bar Poz recruits from enlisting and can kick out those who contract the disease while serving

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
September 28, 2020

Bitter Pill

We need covid-19 treatments asap—but a perverse incentive could slow pharma breakthroughs.

5 mins read
Mother Jones
July/August 2020

Capitalism Trumps Hate

CEOs have often been ahead of cops and politicians on gay rights.

5 mins read
Reason magazine
August/September 2020

Meet The Resistance

Renowned researcher David Ho is leading a team of aggressive young scientists racing to beat the coronavirus

10+ mins read
Bloomberg Businessweek
March 23, 2020

Do You React to Corn?

This common veggie is hidden in multitudes of food products, and if you’re sensitive to it, you can experience everything from rashes and abdominal pain to cravings and binge-eating

3 mins read
Better Nutrition
March 2020

Merce Returns For Second Season

HIV-Positive Musical Comedy Web Series Premieres January 21

3 mins read
Diversity Rules Magazine
January 2020

We're Queer! Where Do We Go From Here?

The year 2019 is now history.

5 mins read
Diversity Rules Magazine
January 2020