The rise in STD rates in the U.S is worrisome despite the fact that STDs are easily preventable. A report released on the state of the rates in the states ranked the ten most affected states using data from the CDC, state health data, local county, and social media surveys. Here’s how the list looked like:
- South Carolina
- New Mexico
- North Carolina
Utah, New Hampshire, Wyoming, New Jersey, Massachusetts, West Virginia, Connecticut, Maine, Idaho and Vermont are among the states reported to have the least issues when it comes to STDs.
Reasons Behind the Rise in STDs
Researchers believe that the rise in the number of people using dating applications could be to blame for the rise in the numbers of STDs. The dating applications (Tinder and Grindr) are said to encourage casual sex which may not necessarily be protected providing the opportunity for transmission of the infections.
Dating applications are however not the only reasons behind the rise. Advancements in research on HIV have made it possible for the formulation of drugs such as HIV PrEP and HIV PEP. With the new drugs in the market, people are no longer afraid of HIV because they know they have options for prevention as well as treatment.
Unfortunately, these prevention options do not include the use of condoms which largely prevent transmission of STDs. Additionally; there is a visible trend on preference for oral contraceptive, sidelining the use of condoms.
Furthermore, there are an increased number of people who engage in risky sexual behaviours under the influence of drugs or alcohol which impairs one judgment. Having sex under the influence reduces the chances of the participants to make correct judgments such as whether to use condoms or not and when they do use condoms, they may not do so appropriately.
In addition, cases of men having sex with men and people having multiple partners are on the rise. This translates to higher numbers of STD transmission especially when protection is not used.
Finally, people do not like to test for STDs. This means that a lot of people may be infected but may not know that they have STDs until the symptoms start to kick in. And because these people assume that they are safe to have sex with others, imagine the number of transmissions that go around that would otherwise be thwarted by a simple STD test.
What can be Done to Salvage the Situation?
It is not surprising to find people who have no clue on the various STDs out there and their consequences. A lot, therefore, needs to be done to educate the public on methods of transmission for the STDs, the symptoms, as well as how to prevent them and lastly, how to get treatment for them.
The public should also be made aware of the importance of STD testing and how frequent one should go for the service. Moreover, the appropriate and consistent use of condoms should be emphasized in order to prevent new cases of STDs.