Health can be defined as the absence of disease but this is basic. Health
is not just physical but mental and emotional well being is also important.
To achieve this humans need access to shelter, fresh food, clean water,
income and social justice. To achieve good health people must be living in
stable ecosystem with sustainable resources. To achieve this people must
live in an organised society with a fair legal system that is ideally not
The healthier a nation the more productive it is and the more economically
efficient because of this the government invests money in Health
Promotion. Health promotion is the process of enabling individuals to
increase control over their own health and discourage behaviours that might
be harmful to health. This is done by encouraging consumer behaviours that
are most likely to improve their health. It involves the population as a
whole in the context of their everyday lives, rather than focusing on
people at risk for specific diseases, and is directed toward action on the
determinants or causes of health.
The issues discussed in this paper are about sexual health. Sexual health
is defined by the World Health Organisation as “the state of physical,
emotional, mental and social well-being related to sexuality; it is not
merely the absences of disease, dysfunction and infirmity.
requires a positive, respectful approach to sexuality and sexual
relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe
sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For
sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all
persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.” (WHO 1975)
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are infectious diseases passed from
one person to another during sexual contact. STDs are transmitted by
infectious agents, these agents can be microscopic bacteria, viruses,
parasites, fungi, and single-celled organisms called protozoa. These
organisms thrive in warm, moist environments in the body, such as the
genital area, mouth, and throat.
Most STDs are spread while having sex, but other forms of sexual contact,
such as oral sex, can also spread disease.
Some STDs are passed from a
mother to her child before birth, when the disease enters the baby’s
bloodstream, during childbirth as the baby passes through the birth canal,
or after birth, when the baby drinks infected breast milk, this is known as
Some viral STDs, especially AIDS, may be transmitted by blood contact such
as open wounds, between people who share infected needles or received
through a transfusion of infected blood. Some people mistakenly believe
that STDs can be transmitted through shaking hands or other casual contact,
or through contact with inanimate objects such as clothing or toilet seats.
STDs that are bacterial in origin can be cured, this to say they infection
can be completely removed from the body, with a single dose of antibiotics.
A few such as Herpes and Acquired Immunity Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
cannot be cured because they are viral. People with these diseases remain
infected for their entire lives.
Those most at risk for contracting STDs are people who have unprotected sex-
that is, sex without using some form of contraceptive, those who have
multiple partners, and those whose sex partners include drug users who
share needles. Studies like the Journal of Paediatric and Adolescent
Gynaecology (2004) have shown that young people between the ages of 16 and
24 have the biggest risk of catching STDs than older adults do, because
younger people are more likely to have multiple sexual partners rather than
a single, long-term relationship. Young people may also be more likely to
have unprotected sex and may be embarrassed to tell their sexual partners
they are infected. Young people may also be embarrassed or unable to seek
medical attention for STDs. This means that they are not only more likely
to pass the disease to other young people and they also have a greater risk
of suffering the long-term consequences of untreated STDs.
People who do not know they are infected risk infecting their sexual
partners and, in some cases, their unborn children.
If left untreated,
these diseases may cause debilitating pain or may destroy the person’s
ability to produce children. One trait of this disease is it can present no
symptoms until well established or not at all. Only 12% of the people who
are infected experience symptoms so individuals who are infected are often
unaware they have Chlamydia and pass it on.
In Wales Chlamydia is the most common STD, it is a bacterial infection
caused by the Chlamydia Trachomatis bacterium. Not only is it the most