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What Happens During an STD Screening?

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Cases of sexually-transmitted diseases or STD have been on the rise globally in recent years. Even Singapore is not spared from such cases, that is why there is a campaign to raise awareness of these diseases. Most of these infections can be treated at hospitals when detected early. One way to determine if you have sexually transmitted disease is to get an STD testing.

Do I Need STD Screening?

An STD screening is done to determine if you are infected with any of the common sexually-transmitted diseases. It’s important to get an STD test for the following reasons: you are sexually active; you have had more than one intimate partner; you and your partner are planning not to use contraceptives like condom; when you’re planning to have a baby; or if you see symptoms of STDs.

Testing Procedures

There is no one test for all STDs. Some of the infections need specific STD testing. To determine which STD tests you will need, you have to talk to your doctor or health care provider in Singapore about the options available. The doctor will interview you about the symptoms, your health history, your sexual practices and other information. STD screening is done using physical exams, blood sampling, urine sampling and tissue/cell/discharge/saliva sampling. For example, if you suspect that you have HIV-AIDS, blood testing and oral swab testing are recommended.

What is an STD?

Sexually-transmitted diseases are sometimes called sexually-transmitted infections or STIs. The word “infection” describes the very nature of STDS—they can be transmitted through sexual contact with another person. An STD that can be tested at http://www.kensingtonfamilyclinic.com/std-hiv/hiv-testing in Singapore is acquired through intimate contact or placing your hands, mouth or genitals on the sores or genitals of another person who has an infection. A lot of STDs don’t have symptoms until they affect other organs in the body. You will know if you need an STD testing if you have a lot of intimate contact with more than one person. Any sexually-transmitted disease should be given serious attention because you are placing your life and your partner’s life in danger.

What is HIV?

One of the most dreaded STDs is HIV-AIDs. HIV means human immunodeficiency virus. It’s a disease that targets your immune system, that is why patients with this condition are prone to other diseases. The virus attacks the T cells or CD4 cells which are supposed to help the body’s immune system. If left untreated, HIV can lead to AIDS. AIDS is the final stage of HIV. HIV in time will destroy most of the T cells and in turn, your body will not be able to fight off diseases and infections effectively. While HIV is destroying the CD4 cells, it continuously makes copies of itself. Unfortunately, HIV cannot be cured but the symptoms can be treated. The only sure way to find out if you have HIV is to get an STD test.

What is AIDS?

AIDS means acquired immunodeficiency syndrome. Not all HIV patients progress to AIDS, considered the final stage of HIV. By the time the person has AIDS, the body’s immune system has progressively weakened that you can no longer fight off infections and diseases. A person who undergoes STD screening and has a CD4 cell count of below 200 cells/mm3 has AIDS. It’s not HIV-AIDS that is going to endanger the life of the person, but an opportunistic illness that cannot be warded off by the body’s weak immune system. Unfortunately, the life expectancy for HIV-AIDS patients with an opportunistic illness such as pneumonia is short.

Common STDs

The following are the most common STD cases in Singapore within the last decade according to various studies.

1. Gonorrhea. This sexually transmitted disease can affect both men and women. It is acquired through genital contact with someone who is infected. A pregnant woman can also pass gonorrhea to the baby, so it’s important to get STD screening if you experience the following symptoms: pain when urinating, discharges, itching around the anal area, painful bowel movements, and swollen testicles in men.

2. Non-Gonococcal Urethritis. NGU is a sexually-transmitted disease that affects the urethra. It is caused by other STDs except gonorrhea. The symptoms are almost the same as gonorrhea, however. There is discharge, pain when urinating, itching or tenderness in men, pain and vaginal bleeding in women, and sore throat if it’s an oral infection.

3. Syphilis. This disease is spread when you become intimate and come into contact with your partner’s syphilis sores. Some people, however, don’t notice that they have sores and unwittingly pass the disease to their partners. Mothers can also pass this to their unborn child. There are no noticeable syphilis symptoms except for the sores which can occasionally be mistaken for other conditions like pimples or ingrown hair.

4. Chlamydia. Like syphilis, chlamydia doesn’t have noticeable symptoms, that is why it’s important to get tested. You might experience some of the following symptoms, however; discharges in men, pain when urinating, bleeding after an intimate contact, and pain in the testicles or pelvic area. Chlamydia can cause infertility and pelvic or testicle pain when left untreated.

5. Genital Warts. The flesh-colored warts are usually found in the genital area or around the mouth. Some might be too small to be visible. These warts appear because of the human papillomavirus or HPV which has more than 40 different strains. When HPV is untreated in some cases, it might develop into cervical cancer and can cause problems during pregnancy.

6. Genital Herpes. This disease is caused by one of either two viruses called the herpes simplex viruses type 1 and type 2. Infected persons develop blisters. Some of these can disappear after time but that doesn’t mean you’re no longer infected.

For the Love of Jeans

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Jeans never go out of fashion. Styles and cuts may come and go but jeans will always look good with almost any outfit. Even faded denim is considered fashionable by some people.
The word jeans refer to the type of fabric and is also sometimes used to mean the type of trousers called blue jeans. Jeans is the word used for this type of trousers because they were first made in Genoa, Italy.

Denim and Dungaree

Jeans are made from denim or dungaree, a weave of cotton. Denim comes from the term “serge from Nimes.” The weavers made it accidentally while trying to copy another fabric. The difference between denim and dungaree is in the dyeing process. The cotton in denim can be undyed, warp dyed or dyed after weaving. Dungaree on the other hand comes from the Hindi style of dyeing the warp thread of a cotton cloth with indigo. In that sense, dungaree is a type of denim.
In 17th century Europe, the jean fabric was common among the working class. Dungaree, called dungri, was also popular among the poor in India. It was later exported to England to make affordable clothes.

Trends and Popularity

The blue jean overalls were invented and patented by Jacob W. Davis and Levi Strauss & Co. This type of clothing was reinforced with copper rivets in the button fly and pocket areas. Later, Henry David Lee introduced the first zipper fly. Levi’s, Lee and Wrangler remain the most preferred and trusted brands today.
Blue jeans were made originally for miners and cowboys, but they became popular among Hippies and punk and metal sub-cultures. There was even a time when jeans were banned in public areas because it was a symbol of rebellion. In the USSR, people were executed for trafficking jeans. By the 1970s however, jeans became a staple for casual wear.

Fits and Styles

The first two types of jeans that were marketed were the brown cotton duck and the indigo blue. Today, jeans come in different fits such as straight, fit, slim fit, loose fit, boot cut, wash, skinny, bell bottom, cigarette bottom, narrow bottom, anti-fit, low waist, flare, and stretch.

Rise refers to the distance from the bottom of the crotch to the tip of the jeans’ waistband. There are four types to choose from. These are low rise, low-medium rise, medium rise and high rise.

There are two types of denim used for jeans. Washed denim is washed after the fabric is dyed, while raw denim isn’t washed after production. Faded jeans are considered art and people have come up with names for patterns such as honeycombs, stacks, whiskers and train tracks for the faded parts.

Colored denim has also gained popularity. Indigo dyeing creates the traditional blue jeans, while sulfur dyeing creates jeans with the following colors: pink, red, grey, black, purple, rust, green and mustard.

The 5 Most Common Fatal Diseases in Singapore

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Although Singapore’s health and mortality rate is considered good, according to several health-related studies, the most common causes of death are related to lifestyle practices. These are diseases that are non-communicable and may be acquired by people through heredity or bad eating and drinking habits.

In a 2015 survey, external causes like accident came in only at 5th among the causes of death. The following diseases are the common culprits.

1. Cancer

The common types of cancer in the country that affect the women are breast, colo-rectum, lung and corpus uteri cancer. For the men colo-rectum, lung, prostate, liver and lymphoma cancer are prevalent. This is regardless of ethnic and economic background. There are types of cancer that can be cured, but statistics in different studies are conflicting.

2. Pneumonia

The symptoms of pneumonia resemble common colds so most people overlook the condition until the damage becomes too obvious to ignore. Pneumonia is a viral or bacterial infection of the lungs that causes inflammation from mucus and pus. The person will experience difficulty breathing, high fever and shoulder and chest pain.

3. Ischaemic Heart Diseases

This is also known by the name coronary heart disease or coronary artery disease. The blood flow and circulation of oxygen in other parts of the body is constricted. The arteries become narrower and affect the heart in the long run. The problem with this condition is that a lot of people aren’t aware that they have this until they experience a heart attack.

4. Cerebrovascular Diseases

When the blood supply to the brain is limited or restricted, the brain becomes inflamed. This could lead to a stroke or impairment and dementia. The person will experience an intense headache at first. Cerebrovascular diseases include thrombosis, hemorrhage, embolism, atherosclerosis, and aneurysm.

5. Hypertensive Diseases

These are conditions caused by high blood pressure. If hypertension isn’t managed, it could result to the thickening or enlargement of the heart, narrowing of the arteries, arrhythmia, ischemic heart disease, heart failure, stroke and cardiac arrest. People with this condition are advised to lose or maintain the right weight, exercise, and minimize intake of cholesterol, fat and sugar.

Other diseases to watch out for:

Diabetes Mellitus

When the body has high sugar levels for an extended time, the person has diabetes. Hyperglycemia is the result of lack of or the failure to use the insulin hormone produced by the pancreas. Type 1 diabetes is common among young people. The immune system destroys the insulin-producing cells. Type 2 diabetes manifests among older people and is characterized by the body’s inability to properly use insulin.

Kidney and Liver Diseases

When the kidney can no longer function properly, the body cannot clean the blood, filter extra water and control blood pressure. Kidney diseases are usually complications of diabetes, high blood pressure, and viral diseases. Liver disease on the other hand can cause vomiting and nausea, abdominal pain, jaundice, fatigue and weight loss. It is caused by alcohol abuse, different types of hepatitis, and cirrhosis.

Starting a Personal Blog

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If you have a lot of things in mind that you want to share or you want a record of important events in your life, starting a personal blog might be a great idea. It’s an alternative to a written journal if you hate your penmanship or you’re too lazy to scribble.

What Should I Write?

It could be a lifestyle blog that talks about fashion, food, health and travel. With a personal blog, you can write about anything. You can post reviews of books or comics, movies, music, television series, and video games. You can even talk about politics. There are also blogs that showcase art, photography and short fiction.

 

What If I Don’t Want to Write?

You blog does not have to contain only text. You can post your photos and art if you want to show your work. You can also share personal moments so you can revisit them in the future. There are also blogs that specialize in tutorials. Some of these have videos.

 

Can I Earn by Blogging?

You might even consider earning through your blog. For example, there are book reviewers who receive copies from publishers long before the release date. Some also earn through advertisements in their blog. Not only do you get to keep doing what you want, but you are also paid while doing it.

 

Where Do I Start Blogging?

There are sites where you can create blogs for free. Among the most popular are WordPress, Blogger (Blogspot), LiveJournal and Tumblr. Pick the site that suits you best. WordPress and Blogger have a reputation for popularizing blogging, while LiveJournal has a community that’s been around for years.

What Do I Get by Blogging?

Some people use it as a medium for sharing their works and their opinions. It’s one way of practicing your writing skills. You will get the same fulfillment in blogging as if you’re writing a traditional journal. Editing your own work is easier and you can share it to the public.

 

What Should I Look Out For?

It has disadvantages though. Blogs don’t usually have editors, even a group blog. Some writers do not verify their information. Opinion blogs are mostly unreliable because no one is telling the writer how to do it. Treat blogs as an alternative source for news, but be very critical.

 

What Do I Need to Remember?

If you have to quote from other works or use photos and artworks that you did not create yourself, don’t forget to cite your sources. This will make your blog look legitimate and the readers will trust you more. Using artworks in particular can be a sensitive issue. Respect other people’s work.

 

How Do I Attract Followers?

You will get more readership if you post more often. Promote your blog by using appropriate tags in your post and by posting links to your blog. Visiting and writing comments on other blog posts is also a good exposure.

Tips on How to Wake Up in the Morning Pronto

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The hardest part in getting to work is waking up in the morning. The moment you survived the struggle and dragged yourself to the shower, the rest will follow easily. The temptation to snooze the alarm clock is just too powerful but you have to wake up if you do not want another late.

If the struggle is too real, you have to make changes in your lifestyle. You have to make sure though that the changes will resolve the difficulties you are having especially when it comes to waking up. Here are some tips on waking up in the morning pronto:

  1. Move the alarm clock far back. If your phone serves as your alarm clock, make sure that it is out of reach. If you can reach it, the tendency is that you can just switch it off or hit the snooze button. If you place it far back or at the other side of your room, you will have no choice but to get out of bed and turn it off. The moment you are out of bed, it is easier to get going.

 

  1. Develop a sleeping pattern. When developing a sleeping pattern, you have to make sure that it is regular. Remember that the body is your natural alarm clock. Once you have this regular sleeping pattern, the body will wake at the same time with or without the buzzing of your alarm clock. To do this, try to sleep and wake up in the morning at the same hours every day (including weekends).

  1. Let natural light in. When it is dark, the body will continuously release sleep hormone. If you let natural light come in the morning, the body will stop releasing such so it is easier to get up. The best thing that you can do is to adjust the blinds for natural light to come and this will instantly stimulate the body.

 

  1. Get moving as soon as you wake up. The natural light will stimulate your body but it will be wasted if you do not get up. You should get up and get moving. Activities can stimulate your brain and it will dismiss sleep. You can for instance go for a run or any exercise. You can also freshen up to “rinse off” the sluggish feeling.

If you want to keep up here in Singapore, you better follow your alarm clock strictly. Remember while you are sluggish over there, many people are actually getting more and more productive by the minute. Should this continue, you will find yourself left out.

How to Get Rid of Head Lice

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Causes and Types

 

Head lice, or Pediculus humanus capitis, are more common than you think. These are tiny bug-looking things that live and breed on your head. There are other types of lice that live on the human body. Pubic lice, also called crabs or Pthirus pubis, can only live in the pubic area and not on you head. Another type is the body louse or Pediculu humanus corporis. Their source of food is your blood so it won’t matter if you wash your hear regularly or not.

You can get lice if you come in contact with people who have head lice. It’s common among children. Head lice cannot fly so it takes head-to-head contact to get lice. You can also get them if you share personal items like combs, hats or caps, towels, hair accessories, pillows, and anything that your head comes into contact with. You cannot get them from pets because they can only survive on humans.

 

They make your head very itchy. If you keep scratching, it will leave your scalp irritated and reddish. Some people can also feel the lice crawling. They also lay eggs or nits that stick to strands of your hair. There are others who get swollen lymph nodes and eye infections.

 

Management and Prevention

If you suspect that you have head lice infestation or pediculosis, there are ways to determine this without going to the dermatologist. You can start by inspecting the scalp and strands of hair for lice eggs, especially the areas behind the ears. You can also use a fine-tooth comb. Comb the hair by small sections. In extreme cases, it is advised to get a haircut to minimize infestation.

 

There are over-the-counter lice shampoos you can use. Look for shampoos with any of the following active ingredients: pyrethrins, dimethicones and permethrins. Follow directions on the label. These medicated shampoos usually cannot be used as often as regular shampoos. Keep the contact with other parts of the body as minimal as possible when using the medicated shampoo. Don’t use more than one type of product. There are also shampoos made specifically for children. If you have an infant with lice, it’s not advisable to use medicated lice treatments. Remove louse by hand. Some are advised to use prescription drugs such as malathion, spinosad, benzyl alcohol, and ivermectin.

 

Don’t use conditioner, hair sprays, essential oils and blow-dry your hair when you use lice shampoo.

 

It’s also important to keep monitoring if the shampoo is working. Use the fine-tooth comb regularly until the lice disappear. Wash your bed linens, towel and clothing regularly. Dry clean items that cannot be washed. Clean and then soak your hair items and accessories. You might have to replace some items. Keep your house clean as well.

 

The best way not to get lice is to not share your personal items with other people.

Introduction to Metal Music

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When Black Sabbath debuted in 1968, they were the first successful group to blend blues, jazz and rock n’ roll with lyrics about war, social upheavals, vices and politics. Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple also debuted within the same year and the rest, as they say, is history.

What is Metal?

Metal was distinguished from the earlier form of rock for its themes, extended guitar solos, poetic lyrics with a variety of themes, and reliance on bass and drums. Two examples of the diversity of the earliest form are “Smoke On the Water” and “Soldier of Fortune” by Deep Purple. The first song is faster and more upbeat, while the second is slower.

 

Metal bands are also known for their getup and theatrics during performances. Long hair, tattoos and piercings seem to have become common. Japan even has a sub-genre called visual kei where the artists wear costumes, outrageous hairstyles and makeup. Just watch the videos for “Filth in Beauty” by The Gazette and “Clever Sleazoid” by Dir en Grey.

 

Too cheap for your taste? Well, try listening to “Concerto Suite for Electric Guitar and Orchestra in E Flat Minor Op.1” by Yngwie Malmsteen. Some scholars think metal and classical have a lot in common.

What Should You Listen To?

If you’re new to this genre, you’ll soon discover that not all the songs are about screeching vocals and rebellious youth. Just listen to “Windowpane” by Opeth and Disturbed’s version of “The Sound of Silence.” Still, the most prominent themes are alienation, sorrow, and death in society. Examples are “Smells Like Teen Spirit” by Nirvana, “Balls to the Wall” by Accept, and “Linchpin” by Fear Factory.

 

Some bands also sing about love and family. Examples are “Nothing Else Matters” by Metallica, “Ghost Love Score” by Nightwish, “My Immortal” by Evanescence, “Love Me Forever” by Motorhead and “Sweet Child o’ Mine” by Guns N’ Roses. Songs like “Wind of Change” by Scorpions also deliver a message.

 

What’s New in Metal?

Today metal bands incorporate other elements in their songs. Metal’s influences can range from hip-hop to classical. Notable subgenres are black metal, death metal, nu metal and thrash. Examples are “The Number of the Beast” by Iron Maiden, “Where the Slime Live” by Morbid Angel, “Freak on a Leash” by Korn, “Toxicity” by System of a Down, and “War Ensemble” by Slayer.

 

There are also symphonic metal songs like “Emerald Sword” by Rhapsody of Fire, “Wolf & Raven” by Sonata Arctica and “Storm the Sorrow” by Epica.

 

Sometimes there are debates on how to classify some artists. Bands like Linkin Park are sometimes considered metal but others would disagree.

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