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STD’s, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, those moments when you are glad to be in a monogamous relationship…. this is the not so delicate topic I would like to talk about today. Allow me to rephrase that: This is the not so delicate topic no-one wants to speak about, but I now feel as though there is no option but to discuss this…today.

I’ll begin by saying that I am a numbers person. I’m a nerd, this I do not deny. I enjoy looking at annual statistics and thinking about them in relation to the times that we live in. So, I was doing some stat surfing since we’re in the new year and I happened across something quite terrifying. That something was the Center for Disease Control statics on STD’s. How I found myself here, I have no idea, as I was actually looking at economic data. But then, the rise in healthcare costs per household and I found myself here.

This is the following data for the USA via the CDC and world Gov websites:

  • ‘1,7 million cases of Chlamydia – a 22% increase since 2013’
  • ‘555,608 cases of Gonorrhea – a 67% increase since 2013’
  • ‘30,644 cases of Syphilis – a 76% increase since 2013’
  • ‘918 cases of Congenital Syphilis – a 154% increase since 2013’
  • According to HIV gov, there were 36,9 million people globally living with AIDS in 2017.

Doesn’t this scare you? It should. It scares me.

I will spare you my puzzlement on the matter, as I am sure you are asking yourself the same questions I am.

Now look, I get it. It’s baffling. It’s frustrating. And with all of the information available around the world about how to prevent STD’s, it is mind boggling that there is a constant increase in the number of cases in this day of instant global access to information. It’s also tricky. Given that the ‘S’ in STD is the abbreviation for Sexual, we tend to automatically make the assumption that these diseases are spread by sheer carelessness in that moment of passion. Not necessarily so. There are actually STD’s than can be contracted without unprotected sexual contact. For instance: Hepatitis, Mulloscum contagiosum, Trichonomas v, trichomoniasis, mono, scabies and those ever-feared creepy crawlies can all be contracted without direct skin on skin or bodily fluid contact. (oh yea….can you feel the anxiety level changing? Amazing how that happens…)

I remember, many years ago, when I helped at a charitable donations center. I would spend my Saturdays sorting donated clothing for people in need. All good. However, the problem arose when every once in awhile a hastily packed bag would find itself in front of you. You would find serviettes in the pockets, needles, medications and all sorts of interesting items crammed in along side business suits and dresses. Now that was a panic mode for me. We kept a bottle of vodka on hand for those types of ’emergencies’. (No, not for drinking, but for disinfecting.) And it was at this time that I realized that I should test regularly, just to make sure that nothing unexpected came my way. And I did. Many of us did; 1-2 times annually.

Although the statistics are horrifying in their intensity, it is possible to help keep those numbers from climbing further by being proactive and aware.

Please, I cannot stress this enough…. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, please remember to get an STD screening at least once annually – just to make sure all is well!

Thank you for reading!

-Mliae


*These Statistics are based on 2017 information. 2018 stats have not yet been released.

*Photo sourced via Pixabay

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