According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, there are more than 15 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases reported in the US each year. With rising divorce rates and incidences of infidelity, it is no wonder that the number of sexually transmitted infections is on the rise. The best way to protect yourself is to always use a condom, screen potential partners, limit the number of partners you are intimate with and see a gynecologist every six months.
According to medical information, the most dreadful sexually transmitted disease is a killer. The number of people with HIV (the sexually transmitted infection that leads to AIDS) worldwide has risen from 8 million in 1990, to more than 33 million, according to “AVERT”. More than 2.1 million people died from HIV/AIDS in 2007.
The symptoms often do not emerge immediately; therefore, many people don’t realize they have the disease until it has already spread. In the US, there is a disproportionate amount of African Americans and gay men with AIDS, statistics reveal. In addition to AIDS, experts say even treatable STDs like HPV can lead to cancer if left undetected.
Other diseases like chlamydia, crabs, gonorrhea and trichomoniasis can be cured with antibiotics. Syphilis is another of the curable sexually transmitted diseases, but has been known to affect the nervous system and brain if left untreated. Sometimes, trichomoniasis, or trich, is mistaken for a yeast infection, causing women to use the wrong type of medication for treatment. Even though these STDs can be treated, the shame and disappointment one feels is often the worst symptom that takes the longest to heal.
The best way to stay safe from sexually transmitted diseases is to visit your health care professional every six months. There you will undergo a few simple tests that are over before you know it. A pap smear will check women for cervical cancer, but do not assume that you will automatically be tested for STDs as well.
Usually, you have to ask for a chlamydia/gonorrhea test separately. Finding out you have something is an incredibly terrifying feeling initially, but once you understand your treatment options and undergo some counseling on how to tell your partner and how to prevent future occurrences, you will feel much better. Hopefully, it won’t come to that, but if you are one of the unfortunate ones to contract an STD, then you will learn your lesson the first time and always wear condoms thereafter.