Sexually transmitted diseases are scary, but strangely enough, a lot of people seem to view them as a thing of the past. With groundbreaking new innovations in HIV treatment and other general advancements in healthcare, it's easy to assume that STDs are easily controlled and on the way into a time capsule. The unfortunate reality, however, is that STDs are still sticking around and, in many cases, they are stronger than ever.
STDs are on the rise, and the increase in sexually transmitted diseases is causing many medical professionals to panic. The Center for Disease Control's annual STD study showed in 2016 that we may be in a new golden age of sexual diseases brought on by dating apps like Tinder and a general lack of information regarding safer sex. Cuts to funding for programs like Planned Parenthood are also a reason why STDs are so prevalent, and this issue will only get worse if it's not addressed.
Talking about sex can be uncomfortable for many people, whether they're sexually active or not. But if you don't want to catch a case of super gonorrhea, you might need to start taking sexual safety more seriously and open yourself up to regular testing. It certainly won't hurt you, and it might end up saving your life.
More Than Two Million New STD Cases Were Reported In 2016
The scary news is that STDs are on the rise, and there are no signs of the epidemic slowing down. In the year 2016 alone, two million diagnoses of the world's most common sexually transmitted diseases were made in the US alone. This number is record breaking in its scope, and the most ever for the United States. The report claims that 1.6 million of said cases were chlamydia, 470,000 were gonorrhea and about 28,000 cases were syphilis.
Chlamydia Cases Are Through The Roof
Out of the two million cases of STDs reported in the US, 1.6 million of them were cases of chlamydia. This disease is actually a bacterial infection that is notoriously hard to diagnose. Most cases have very few early symptoms, but that doesn't mean it isn't a dangerous disease. Women can suffer irreversible damage, including fertility loss, and men can expect to experience some serious testicular issues. Chlamydia is a highly infectious sexual disease that is able to spread via oral, vaginal, and anal sex.
Gonorrhea has been around for a long time: the New Yorker reports that back in the days of the Tudors, gonorrhea was not-so-affectionately nicknamed "the clap," and recounts the tale of James Boswell, who in the 18th century notoriously endured getting the infection 17 times. But centuries later, the STD has not gone away.
One of the most worrisome trends arising from this STD epidemic is the spread of a "super" gonorrhea, a drug-resistant form of the disease that is wreaking havoc on the American population. This strain of harmful bacteria has evolved to be resistant to many types of antibiotics, according to the World Health Organization, which makes it extremely difficult to treat. Gonorrhea is a nasty and uncomfortable sexually transmitted disease that can lead to a burning feeling during urination and irritation of the gonads. Women are also at risk of permanent damage to their reproductive systems that can make pregnancy impossible. According to the New Yorker:
"Gonorrhea is commonly thought of as a painful genital infection. But the microbe also grows robustly in the pharynx, at the back of the throat. With hairlike structures that extend from the cell surface, it scavenges DNA that has been cast loose by the death or dissolution of other microbes, and incorporates them into its own genome. This turns out to be a highly efficient way of acquiring resistance to antibiotics."
Syphilis is one of them most deadly bacterial diseases you can catch. It can have critical impacts on organs like the brain, heart, and reproductive system. This bacterial infetion often goes undiagnosed, since most cases tend to produce symptoms that are similar to "everyday" diseases like the common cold. Sores around the genitals are an early warning sign that you might have this disease, although symptoms can remain latent for some time. The second level of syphilis includes skin rashes, swollen lymph nodes, and a mild fever. Full-blown, third-level syphilis, however, is much more dangerous.