St. Louis had a pretty good reason to celebrate in 2017 after finally giving up the title of the County with the highest number of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) in United States. The county came second to Etowah County after a decade of reigning the top position.
Despite the good news, there is still need to do so much work encourage sexually active people to have protected sex in order to prevent STD transmission.
There is still much need for improved sex education, increased public awareness on STDs as well as increased STD testing and treatment. Continued education on the importance of safe sex and use of condoms while having sex, especially among teenagers, is still necessary.
Birth Control Blamed for Increase STD Rates
Medical professionals have blamed contraceptives as part of the problem when it comes to STD transmission. Though one of the most efficient and readily available birth control therapy, contraceptives seem to fuel the transmission of STDs.
Women using contraceptives are less likely to visit health care centres and are more likely to skip STD testing especially if no symptoms are witnessed. This then means that STDs in such women take longer to be diagnosed putting their lives and those of others at high risk.
Though most STDs can be cured by taking antibiotics, late diagnosis and treatment leads to severe STDs that can lead to infertility, mother to child transmission during birth and other serious health conditions.
STDs at a Tipping Point
The CDC reported that there were over 2 million new cases of chlamydia, syphilis, and gonorrhoea in 2016. This is the highest rate of new STD infections in the US to ever be recorded.
These are the only three STDs that physicians are legally required to report meaning that if taken in totality, the number of STDs annual rates could be more than 20 million in the United States if all other unrecorded STDs are included.
According to the CDC, most of these STDs are recorded among young people aged between 15 and 24 years. The most serious STD reported is syphilis because it can lead to death if left untreated.
Chlamydia carries the highest number of new cases and is more likely to go untreated because patients don’t display symptoms.
Gonorrhea symptoms can also be subtle leading to more untreated cases. Both chlamydia and gonorrhoea can cause infertility in women.
More Causes of Increased STD Transmission
Budget cuts for STD education, prevention and treatment is one more cause of the increased rates of transmission. Another common cause of the skyrocketing rates is the rise of casual sex due to the popularity of dating sites and apps that make sex more easily available.
Medical professionals are encouraging people, especially those that are sexually active, to take charge of their health and be proactive in discussing health issues as well as sexual expectations with potential sex partners.
It’s important that people talk about their sexual history before they engage in any sexual act. Sex education is also important because it will encourage young people to have this discussion without fear or stigma.
Seek Advice From a STD Specialist in Singapore
If you like to know more about sexually transmitted diseases and the steps that you should take to prevent them as well as treat them, contact us at Shim Clinic. We have STD vaccines available and when it comes to the big one, HIV, we have both HIV PEP (to be prescribed within 72 hours of a suspected exposure to the virus) and HIV PrEP.