Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are a group of medical conditions that started getting huge media and public attention after the first cases of the HIV virus. They have become a major issue, both medical and social, since these diseases interfere with sexual activity, making some people reluctant or even afraid to engage in it at all. Thanks to the constant breakthroughs in modern medical science, some of them can be cured or at least have their symptoms suppressed; however, there are still some that can be very dangerous and even fatal.
Besides the progress of modern science, the number of infections is rising. In fact, 2015 was a record setting year. During that year, there were more reports of STDs than any other year in modern history. According to the Center for Disease Control, there were about 1.500.000 reports of chlamydia infections, 24.000 reports of syphilis, and almost 400.000 reports of gonorrhea.
How is this possible? Why does the number of reports rise despite all the advances of contemporary medicine? There are two main reasons for this paradox:
Even though it is hard to believe that there is even one person who is not aware of the huge importance of using a condom as a preventive measure during sexual intercourse, there is still lack of sex education among youngsters even nowadays. There are people, mostly teenagers, who have falsely connected the spreading of STDs to the contact between a vagina and a penis only. This is not only wrong but also dangerous because just contacting the partner’s sexual fluids can also transmit most of STDs, just like regular sex with penetration.
People who belong in this group (again, most of them under 20 years old) feet threatened only by HIV. Since many patients manage to survive and live their lives by taking the required drugs, some think that nothing unchangeable can happen when having unprotected sex. It’s either that or they tend to believe that for some reason they can notice the symptoms when their partner is infected and avoid having sex with him/her. Both of these assumptions are totally wrong and extremely risky. First of all, HIV treatment is not 100% successful; besides, there are other dangerous STDs that can be transmitted. Secondly, some infections (in fact, most of them) do not have any visible symptoms until the disease has progressed a lot - so, no, you cannot notice any symptoms in most cases.
These two reasons combined with the well-known problems of funds cutting applied to hospitals and medical centers create the situation described earlier. However, we have the ability to eliminate it. Being properly informed and using all the available protection methods are the two parts required to start diminishing the rising number of STD patients.