Never far from the periphery of the American consciousness, STDs have again made headlines over the past few months. Indeed, given the recent “outbreak” in Milwaukee, where no fewer than 125 people were infected with HIV (some were high-school students), it’s no wonder that people are again concerned about STDs and their possible mass proliferation. Additionally, STDs remain as prevalent as ever, and given the current climate, it’s time again to go over some worrying STD trends and facts.
STD Facts and Figures
It should be of great concern to most people that around 19 million Americans get an STD every year. Indeed, it’s reaching the point where picking up at least one STD seems almost an inevitability for sexually active individuals over the course of a lifetime. What’s more, the nature of STDs themselves is changing. For the uninformed, STDs are often split into two different categories: bacterial and viral. Typically, doctors in the past have been able to treat bacterial STD cases by simply administering antibiotics. However, certain strains of gonorrhea (a bacterial disease) have recently developed a resistance to antibiotic treatment. This is alarming for a number of reasons, especially since if left untreated, gonorrhea and other bacterial STDs can prove extremely harmful.
STD Tips and Prevention
The good news about STDs is that unlike other diseases, they don’t spread in a highly contagious manner. So despite the bevy of crazy rumors regarding STDs and how they can transmit from person to person, note that you can only contract an STD from a very limited range of activities. That means that most people won’t have to alter their day-to-day lives, fitness regimens, or eating habits to remain STD-free. Still, there are a few things that everyone should know about STDs:
Condoms do not prevent STDs. Though they severely reduce the risk of spreading STDs, they are not 100% effective as a means of prevention.
All expecting mothers should visit an STD testing clinic at some point during their pregnancy. That’s because STDs can cause a host of complications both during and after pregnancy.
STDs are often asymptomatic. Thus, it can take weeks –– if not months –– before an infected person might begin to notice outward symptoms.
Given the recent spike in HIV cases in Milwaukee and other U.S. cities, it’s never been more important for the average citizen to get educated about STDs. Otherwise, STD rates will continue to rise –– in more than just a few isolated areas.