According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the US STD Rates continue to rise for the fourth consecutive year. The most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) with increasing rates of infections among different people include gonorrhea, syphilis, and Chlamydia.
In 2017, about 2.3 million cases of STDs were diagnosed in the US and the trends of preliminary data show a continuous upward pattern of infections. It is high time America declares STDs a public health crisis. It is also crucial that all Americans have access to the necessary healthcare they want or need.
Sexual Transmitted Disease (STD) – What Is It?
The sexually transmitted diseases involve, the three infections namely gonorrhea, syphilis and Chlamydia constitute millions of infections in the US. For instance, Gonorrhea increased by about 67 %, syphilis 75 % and Chlamydia rates are also on a steady increase.
Chlamydia is the most common STD among young women from the ages of 15 to 24 years. It is caused by bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis, and it easily transmits during sexual activity. It can lead to pelvic inflammatory in women and can lead to permanent damage to the reproductive system if left untreated. In men, the condition affects the sperm duct, and it causes pain and fever.
Syphilis is a result of men engaging in sexual intercourse with other men. The disease also affects women who engage in unprotected sex with infected partners. The cause of the illness is bacterium Treponema palladium, and it affects the nervous condition and heart if left untreated. The long-term effects of the disease can be severe.
Women exchanging sex for drugs are responsible for transmitting syphilis in some instances in the US. While it is transmitted through sex in most cases, it also infects other people through other ways like the mother to child, congenital syphilis.
Gonorrhea is another form of STD whose infection rate is also rising among different people in the US. It is caused by engaging in unprotected sex with an infected person. It can lead to permanent and severe health issues if left untreated. Women can experience infertility issues while men often suffer from problems with testicles and prostate.
The treatment for gonorrhea involves two antibiotics namely ceftriaxone and azithromycin. The threat of resistant disease to antibiotic treatment persists across the whole country. Gonococcus, a bacterium which causes gonorrhea seems to have developed resistance to antibiotics over time.
The other issue is that development of antibiotics has also slowed down over the past two decades. As such, cases of rising STDs in the US are a cause for concern. A holistic approach is necessary to address the situation before it goes out of hand.
Why Are STD Rates Rising?
Sexually transmitted diseases as the name suggests are a direct result of unprotected sexual activity with an infected person. In most cases, people who do not know that they are infected are the ones who usually transmit STDs to others. Many people generally fear aspects like voluntary testing and studies show that very few people go for testing.
As a result, many people especially the young ones who are sexually active do not know their status according to CDC. For example, current data shows that less than half of the women go for STD testing. The trend is also similar among males who also seem to shun STD testing due to various reasons.
Some people lack awareness about the importance of STD testing merely because they have a feeling that they are safe. However, some types of STDs are hidden, and they do not show any symptom. You can only know about it when you go for testing. Therefore, regular screening is vital so that you always remember your status even if you do not have any symptoms of STD.
Measures To Address The Challenge Of Rising Cases of STD
Practical solutions to the problems of rising cases of STDs lie in increasing funding for testing and treatment services. It is also essential to improve the financing of surveillance programs as well as prevention initiatives. The resources for CDC prevention programs for STD have been declining over the past 15 years.
The public health clinics form the safety net for the majority of Americans who do not have access to other primary sources of care. Such people can only get meaningful care from public health institutions. However, due to limited funding of STD initiatives, these individuals are left with no other alternative.
It is also essential to raise awareness among the citizens to go for routine testing at a clinic or home std tests work great, too. For instance, Chlamydia trachomatis is prevalent among women who are under 26 and sexually active in the US. It is, therefore, recommendable that the people who belong to this age group go for testing so that they know their status.
People who know their status are likely to change their behavior positively and engage in safe sex. A person who goes for STD testing regularly does not behave carelessly. If you know that you do not have an STD, there is no way you can act recklessly and risk contracting the disease.
Prevention is the best solution to combat the prevalence of STDs in the US. There is a need to continually raise awareness among the people about the significance of practicing safe sex. It is crucial that those who are sexually active practice safe sex. It is either they abstain from engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners, or they use protection like condoms.
It is vital to teach primary health care providers to talk more about STDs to their patients. Teaching sexual health to young people is also very important since it helps them to understand the dangers of the disease at a young age. Teaching good behavior skills is important since they support young people to live healthy lifestyles.
The good thing about sexually transmitted diseases or STDs is that it is preventable. Indeed, antibiotic treatment can be effective, but people should not ignore the cost factor and the antibiotic resistance issue. Raising awareness to prevent this disease is the best solution for all individuals because then they do not need medicine or any treatment.
Source: Fox News