STDs aren’t the easiest thing to talk about openly, but their diagnosis and treatment are crucial to prevent future cases and keep others safe.
What are STDs?
Known as sexually transmitted diseases, STDs can be transferred from person to person during any type of sexual activity. It’s even possible that STDs don’t cause any noticeable symptoms or discomfort, but once they do treatment is imperative. Some bacterial STDs like gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia can be cured with antibiotics, but HIV, HPV, herpes, and hepatitis have no cure, only treatments to alleviate symptoms.
With that said, HPV and hepatitis do have vaccines to prevent infection, just like the chicken pox or the whopping cough. All children are recommended to receive these shots around the age of 11.
STDs on the Rise?
In their most recent report on STDs, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention stated that certain sexually transmitted diseases are once again on the rise after several years of decline. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis presented themselves as the frontrunners for unexpected increases. If left untreated, chlamydia can damage a woman’s reproductive system, gonorrhea will cause infections, and syphilis may lead to blindness.
More concerning with this trend is the fact that the statistics only indicate the bare minimum of the number of infections occurring in the United States since so many cases are either not reported or not realized.
The rise in rates of chlamydia could be explained by the fact that more people than ever are getting tested, meaning that the rates haven’t soared, only the ability and willingness to discover the disease has increased. Gonorrhea and syphilis, on the other hand, demonstrate distressing numbers, especially for men.
Compounding this problem is the fact that STD testing centers have experienced funding cuts that have limited their hours of operations. When dealing with sexually transmitted diseases many people are only willing to see doctors who provide culturally sensitive services.
Of course, the CDC’s official recommendation is for all women and men to get screened annually to prevent any future problems from manifesting themselves.