Posted by: frroberts | November 20, 2015

Close to half of the adult population in the US has an STD

Back in the day, there used to be a very effective way that we dealt with STDs.  It was called abstinence until marriage and fidelity for life.    Boring perhaps, but very effective.  While few were 100% successful, but there were fewer abortions, less single-parent families and divorce and generally happier children.

The news in this year’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report on sexually transmitted diseases is not good.

The number of cases of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the United States increased between 2013 and 2014, after being on the decline for several years. Cases of syphilis, which have been on the rise for the last decade, shot up in 2014.

Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are the three most common STDs in the United States that are also notifiable, meaning health departments are required to report new cases to the CDC. (HIV and shigella are also notifiable STDs.)

“Syphilis is a continuing trend among men who have sex with men, and it’s really a crisis in this group,” said Hayley Mark, associate professor of community-public health at Johns Hopkins School of Nursing. “One thing that is very new in this report is the increase in syphilis among women,” she added. Women who are pregnant can pass syphilis onto their babies. It is known as congenital syphilis, which can be deadly if not treated.

Part of the reason for the increase in gonorrhea and syphilis could be that men have condom burnout, or are less likely to wear condoms because infections such as HIV are more treatable and do not seem as scary, Mark said.

The video that accompanies the entire article notes that hook-up apps  on smart phones and social media in general has something do with the increase.

What is the solution proposed? Get tested.  Use a condom.  Hmm…

In 2008, there were 110 million sexually transmitted infections, with 20 million new cases every year.   Of those 110 million, there were 79 million cases of HPV, which indicates a bottom number of total people infected with at least one STD.  To get a sense of proportion, in the same year, there were approximately 226 million adults in the US, which means that somewhere between 34% and 49% of adults in US had an STD in 2008.  The Department of Health and Human Services indicates that 4 in 10 sexually active teenage girls have an STD.

How is “safe sex” working out for us as a country?


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