As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the cases of sexually transmitted diseases are rapidly increasing. However, there are some steps that you can follow to avoid getting infected by it. Due to the easy availability of information about sexually transmitted diseases and their prevention, people are much more aware of what these diseases are and how to prevent themselves from getting infected; even then, the cases of sexually transmitted diseases are still on the rise.
As per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s annual report done in the year 2016, the cases of certain sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, syphilis, and Gonorrhea increased exponentially between the years 2014-2015.
According to the report from 2014-2015, the cases of syphilis were 24,000, while the cases of Gonorrhea and Chlamydia were 400,000 and 1.5 million.
Those that are at an increased risk of getting infected with sexually transmitted diseases are young people, especially those who have sexual relations with men if left untreated sexually transmitted diseases can increase the risk of developing certain medical complications and even cause death.
Each year sexually transmitted diseases cost around 16 billion dollars to the United States Healthcare system. Jonathan Mermin, the Director of the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention (NCHHSTP), said in a statement, “We have reached a decisive moment for the nation. STD rates are rising, and many of the country’s systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild, and expand services — or the human and economic burden will continue to grow.”
Causes of Sexually Transmitted Diseases
As per health experts, there are many possible causes of STDs; therefore, it is very hard to blame one particular reason. Dr. Amesh A. Adalja, an infectious disease, pandemic preparedness, and Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Security spoke in a statement saying, ”Some of this may have to do with the fact that in the past, a lot of sexually transmitted infections were decreasing because of people’s general fear of HIV, and when they took steps to prevent themselves from acquiring HIV, they also would by definition have some effect on other sexually transmitted infections as well,”.
He added saying, ”And what we’ve seen, is that the de-stigmatizing of HIV over the last several years — which is a god thing because we have very effective treatments and HIV is no longer a death sentence and is a chronic illness that people can live normal lives with — has caused people to be less cautious during sexual encounters.”
Dr. Adalja also disapproved of the digital revolution, which is making it extremely easy for people to find casual sexual partners. He said, “There are many easy ways for people to have casual sexual partners, where they don’t know their sexual history. These factors have all coupled together to be responsible for this rise in sexually transmitted infections.”
Problems with Diagnosing & Treating STDs
Certain sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, syphilis, and Gonorrhea can be cured with antibiotics’ help. However, as per Dr. Adalja, some strains of the pathogens cause these diseases to develop resistance to the drugs, making treatment extremely difficult. He explained that even with proper medical care if a person is infected with a strain that is drug-resistant, treating the disease, in that case, becomes very hard, which shows how drug resistance becomes a big hurdle while treating STDs.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, antibiotic prescription in the United States has become so prevalent, leading to some strains becoming drug-resistant like, for instance, in the case of Gonorrhea. One more thing that leads to issues with treating and diagnosing sexually transmitted diseases is the fact that most people do not have easy access to treatment.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 20 clinics dedicated to diagnosing and treating sexually transmitted diseases have been closed in a year due to the decrease in funds. Dr. Adalja pointed out that this causes the whole burden of diagnosing and reading STDs to be shifted to the physicians. And many physicians have neither the expertise nor the experience in treating and diagnosing sexually transmitted diseases, which is another factor that affects proper and timely testing and treatment when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases.
Prevention is Easier Than You Might Think
All health experts agree that the simple use of a condom can be extremely effective at preventing sexually transmitted diseases and a myriad of other types of infections.
According to Dr. Adalja, practicing safe sex with the help of condoms can help prevent sexually transmitted diseases to a great extent. Along with that, people also need to be more aware of not engaging in sexual activities with casual partners because the more sexual partners one has, the more is the risk of getting infected with sexually transmitted diseases.