STD Rates Rising

December 14, 2012

The CDC is reporting that STD cases are up this year—8% for chlamydia, 4% for gonorrhea. Mostly, young people and homosexual men are affected, but the numbers are up across the board.

STD symptoms can often go unnoticed, especially in women. Over years, they can cause scarring, sterility, lead to secondary infections, and potentially spread to other parts of the body (depending on the type of infection). Some STD symptoms can even, in the long term, affect the brain, causing changes in personality, memory loss, and other problems (this is after decades of being otherwise asymptomatic).

People with weakened immune systems are more likely to contract an STD once exposed. Having an STD will also weaken your immune system (hence the increase risk in a secondary infection).

Safe sex can prevent most STDs, but prevention is only certain when abstaining (STD testing is also good, but some won’t show up on a blood test immediately after infection). Skin based STDs, like herpes and HPV, can be transmitted even with the use of a condom through skin to skin contact (rather than fluid/blood contact).

What’s also concerning is that many STDs are becoming antibiotic resistant, and traditional treatments aren’t working as well.

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