Sexually Transmitted Infections in the United States

As infectious diseases are a significant concern in the United States, it is vital to enhance patients’ awareness of the significance of prevention and testing. This report presents a case study that features a female patient concerned about white vaginal discharge. The paper presents the primary diagnosis, as well as states three differential diagnoses. It also suggests the strategies for educating patients on the condition and concludes that it is vital to increase individuals’ knowledge about sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

Case Study 2 Discussion

The selected case study features a 31-year-old woman, whose chief complaint is white vaginal discharge. The woman notes that she has used an over-the-counter treatment method for this condition in the past, which was not effective for the current episode. The reported symptoms allow suggesting the presence of an STI. The priority diagnosis for this case is chlamydia, the most prevalent STI diagnosed in the United States (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015b).

The reasoning for this diagnosis is that one of its primary symptoms is white discharge; the patient was not able to relieve it with cream, which means that it is most likely not a common yeast infection. Moreover, the woman shows no other symptoms, which is typical for this condition. The following diseases are noted as differential diagnoses:

  1. Trichomoniasis, one of the most commonly diagnosed STI in the United States, which symptoms include vaginal discharge with or without irritation. However, more than 70% of infected individuals do not show any signs of condition (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2016).
  2. Vaginal yeast infection, the condition characterized by abnormal vaginal discharge, vaginal itching, and discomfort during urination and sexual intercourse (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2017).
  3. Bacterial vaginosis, which is not considered an STI but is also characterized by white vaginal discharge, as well as malodor (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 2015a). The condition may increase patients’ risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease (STD).

The plan for treatment and management for the condition is a single dose of 1g azithromycin orally. The alternative therapy is erythromycin base taken 500 mg four times a day for seven days. The chosen treatment strategy is suggested and approved by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (2015b); it shows 97% of efficacy rate for this condition. It is necessary to note that erythromycin frequently has gastrointestinal side effects, which does not allow for its choice as a primary regimen. The patient will be advised to make a follow-up visit in two weeks after the treatment plan is completed.

The strategies for educating patients on chlamydial infections are similar to those that may be used for other STIs. First, caregivers should initiate the discussion about the factors associated with the condition; for chlamydia they include multiple sex partners, irregular use of barrier contraception methods, and the history of prior STIs (Schuiling & Likis, 2017). A nurse should stress the significance of regular screening and abstinence when the symptoms occur.

It is vital to address the patient’s questions and concerns regarding risk factors, possible complications, and effects on their partners. Second, a caregiver may provide the individual with educational materials that should be easy to read and include information about the prevalence of the disease, the significance of screening and treatment, as well as the possible adverse health effects. The presented measures will allow enhancing patients’ awareness about the condition and potentially decreasing its prevalence among individuals in the United States.

Conclusion

The presented discussion features a patient, whose priority diagnosis is chlamydia. The selected treatment plan includes the use of azithromycin and erythromycin as an alternative measure. The rationale for it is the high efficacy rate of these medications. Strategies for patient education include discussions about STI-related risk factors and health complications and addressing individuals’ concerns, as well as educational materials that feature necessary information about the disease.

References

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015a). Bacterial vaginosis. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2015b). Chlamydial infections. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2016). Trichomoniasis. Web.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2017). Vaginal candidiasis. Web.

Schuiling, K. D., & Likis, F. E. (2017). Women’s gynecologic health (3rd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers.