7 Of The Most Commonly Transmitted STD’s in Africa

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) also called venereal diseases are infections that are spread primarily through person-to-person sexual contact.

Available data show that sexually transmitted diseases constitute great medical, social and economic problems in Africa. and Apart from the heavy affliction of urban dwellers, there is rapid excursion of these diseases to the rural areas as well.

There are at least 20 different STDs in circulation in africa, many of them capable of causing permanent damage to the human body. Below are 7 of the most commo0mly transmitted STD’s in africa.

1. Gonorrhea

gonorhea in africa


Gonorrhea, also called the clap or drip is an infectious sexually transmitted disease of caused by a bacteria called Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It causes inflammation of the genital mucous membrane, thereby causing a burning pain when urinating, and a discharge. Gonorrhea is almost always spread through sexual contact with the vagina, penis, anus, or mouth, of an infected person.

If left untreated, gonorrhoea may cause permanent damage to the sex organs, sterility (the inability to have children) and swollen and painful joints.

Symptoms are usually present two to seven days after infection, they include a burning sensation when urinating or a yellowish penile discharge in men

More than 1,000,000 cases of gonorrhea are reported each year, but health officials estimates that at least as many cases go unreported.

2. Syphilis

syphilis in afica

Syphilis is an STD that is caused by a type of bacterial infection of the genital tract, known as Treponema Pallidum. It is transmitted when direct contact is made between the small, painless sores on the rectum, vagina, or around the genitals in areas of an infected person.

Syphilis symptoms are rare, sometimes not even visible. However, the most telling are sores or lesions on and around the genitals, as well as hair loss, sore throat, fever, headache, and a white patchy skin rash.

The rash/boil causing plague is responsible for the infection of up to 12.2 million people in the world every year with a staggering quarter – 3 million – of these cases occurring in Africa due to poor sexual health education and proper hygiene.

3. Chlamydia


chlamydia in africa
photo source: www.newkidscenter.com

Like Gonorrhea, Chlamydia affects a man’s penile urethra and a woman’s cervix. However, oftentimes those who’ve contracted Chlamydia don’t show symptoms for months or even years, which explains why it’s the most Ubiquitous STD not only in Africa but in other parts of the world as well.

Symptoms  include pain during intercourse, discolored, thick discharge from the vagina or penis. It is transmitted via sexual penetration with an affected partner.

Infection is largely under-diagnosed in Africa and remains a silent disease in the apparently healthy population.

4. Crabs (public lice)

crabs (pubic lice) in africa

Crabs is a parasitic louse resembling a tiny crab that infests the pubic hair of humans, causing inflammation and itching of the skin. It is transmitted through sexual contact with the vagina, penis, of an infected person.

The symptoms include crawly, itchy sensation in your genitals, genital itching, burning,

Statistically speaking the transmission of pubic lice occurs at the highest rate during sexual activity, as high as 80% of the cases reported are contracted from sexual contact.

5. HIV

hiv in africa
photo source: sciencedaily.com

HIV is transmitted via the exchange of body fluids—such as semen, vaginal secretions, blood, or breast milk. Within a month or 2 of contracting HIV, about 40 to 90-percent of those afflicted suffer from flu-like symptoms including fever, fatigue, achy muscles, swollen lymph glands, sore throat, headache, skin rash, dry cough, nausea, rapid weight loss, night sweats, frequent yeast infections (for women), cold sores, and eventually, pneumonia.

Sub-Saharan Africa has the most serious HIV and AIDS epidemic in the world. In 2013, an estimated 24.7 million people were living with HIV in the region, accounting for 71% of the global total. In the same year, there were an estimated 1.5 million new HIV infections and 1.1 million AIDS-related deaths.

6. Candidiasis (yeast infection)

Candidiasis also called yeast infection is caused by fungus: an overgrowth of a fungus in the vagina, intestines, skin, or mouth and like the others in this list, it is a sexually transmitted diseases.

Signs and symptoms include white patches on the tongue or other areas of the mouth and throat, genital itching, burning, and sometimes a white “cream-like” discharge from the vagina. Less commonly the penis may be affected, resulting in irritation, itchiness and swelling.

Experts say that in Nigeria, alone more than 28million men and women suffer from candidiasis.

7.  Chancroid

Chancroid is a sexually transmitted disease (STD) -transmitted through vaginal, oral, and anal sex- caused by Haemophilus ducreyi. It is characterized by painful necrotizing genital ulcers that causes open sores on or around the genitals of the infected and It occurs most frequently in developing regions such as Asia, Africa, and the carribeans.

Symptoms include burning or painful sensation during sex, urination or bowel movements, open sores etc.

An estimate of far more than 2,000,000 new cases of chancroid, crop up every year all round africa.




Uzonna Anele
Uzonna Anele
Anele is a web developer and a Pan-Africanist who believes bad leadership is the only thing keeping Africa from taking its rightful place in the modern world.


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