There has been a troubling development in the war against STI’s. Increased public awareness had seen rates of sexually transmitted infections drop from around 2006 in the USA. However, recent studies have shown that the reported cases of STI’s in North America has begun to climb again with 20 million Americans contracting one annually.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that recent years had seen STI’s like Chlamydia become more common with millions of incidents. This rise has been reflected in most other forms of STI’s such as gonorrhea. It is though that this is a similar trend in other major countries around the globe.
This is a disaster for public health. STI’s are very serious and can have a very real impact on your health if untreated. Not only can they make you physically ill but can also lead to fertility problems.
Why are STI rates rising?
This poses one big question: Why are STI rates on the rise again in modern times? We take a look at some of the potential explanations:
- A generational issue – the study by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention also found that it was the age group 15 – 24 that were most affected by STI’s. That seems to signal that the rise we are seeing is down to people in that age group not being careful or as concerned about their sexual health. It may be that they are too concerned with having fun to worry about getting an STI or that they are the first generation not to have been bombarded with information about staying safe.
- More education needed – this follows onto the next potential reason. Is the education that the public now get on STI’s lacking? Does more need to be done to engage the younger generation in understanding sexual health and convince them how important it is. Rising STI rates would seem to suggest that we could all do with a reminder about sexual health and the importance of doing all we can to avoid contracting one.
- Privacy – one barrier to being able to effectively treat STI’s and thus keep them from spreading has always been privacy. If you have an STI then you simply might not feel comfortable in going to get tested and treated at your doctor’s. One simple solution to this issue is to use online STI testing kits that anyone can order. These kits allow you to complete the test in the privacy of your own home and then get the results processed at a professional lab without anyone knowing. There is lots of free STD information online and many ways to find out more about free STD testing if you need to via health testing websites.
- Lack of personal responsibility – apart from the symptoms you might experience the only way to find out for sure if you have an STI is to get tested. It would seem that many people do not fulfil this responsibility though, which is what leads to STI’s being spread by people who are unaware they have one.
How to prevent and treat STI’s
Preventing an STI is actually pretty simple. Firstly, it is advisable to only have sexual relations with someone you are in a committed relationship with. Sleeping around having unprotected sex is asking for trouble. When you do decide to have sexual intercourse then use a condom. By doing this, you are protecting yourself from STI’s and keeping healthy. Also, be aware that it is not just intercourse that you can get an STI from! Body fluids are exchanged during other forms of intimate sexual activity and that can cause an infection to be passed on.
But what if you are unlucky enough to contract an STI? The best thing to do at first is to order a home testing kit to find out if you are infected. That will give you a discreet way to test for which STI you may have and then follow it up further with your doctor. If you do get a positive result back from any test, don’t ignore it!
It is vital to get an STI properly treated by medical professionals to cure it and avoid passing it onto others. Be warned though – many modern STI’s are becoming harder and harder to treat as some are showing signs of resistance to antibiotics. That is why it is far better to not get one in the first place rather than relying on medicine to help you out if you do.
Help to get STI rates lower
The recent rise in STI rates should be concerning to everyone. With so many people contracting one each year, this can put you at risk if you are sexually active. By doing all you can to test for potential STI’s and stay sexually healthy then you are helping to stop the spread of the diseases.