Or at least you have been in the past. Or maybe you hooked up with someone who had a reputation for sleeping with every third person in the phone book. Perhaps you freaked out and rushed to get tested the next morning. It must be an early onset of AIDS.
The real world experiences and probabilities are absent. As a result, people start getting paranoid and some serious social stigmas develop. I still remember the night a girl I was dating told me that she had HPV. I felt like I was going to vomit.
Or the time one of my best friends told me over the phone that he had what appeared to be a herpes breakout. I nearly cried for the guy. What was he going to do? No woman would ever date him again. But as I learned more, got tested more, spoke to more doctors and did more research, I realized that the truth about STDs is more complicated than previously assumed, and that getting many of them would be a far more benign experience than I ever imagined.
I know that sounds crazy, but seriously, relax. Stay away from the people with crack habits. For instance, about 1 in people is diagnosed with syphilis in the United States each year. And the difference is syphilis can be cured with a little penicillin.
Car accidents are another story. We do a dismal job of sex education in our culture. And one product of ignorance is fear. What I aim to do with this article is to break down the most common STDs in the most realistic way possible. Statistics, symptoms, and treatments are listed. The RAW Score is a rough estimation of the average number of single Americans you would have to have unprotected vaginal sex with to contract that particular STD.
For STDs which are curable, I did this by taking the estimated number of cases per year which is higher than the reported number, obviously , and then factored it into the number of single individuals in the US approximately million 2 to get a percentage of single individuals who contract said STD each year.
I realize this method is ridiculous and flawed, but the numbers are so stark that it gets the point across nicely: And finally, I will say this again and again: Use protection, get tested regularly. Yes Weeks US Prevalence new cases annually: Yes Chlamydia is a relatively minor bacterial infection, mostly transferred through intercourse.
Symptoms include burning pee and, dudes, your balls might ache. Hope for no pus. Yes within a month US Prevalence new cases annually: In fact, the two often occur together. The difference is that gonorrhea can be transferred via any orifice: Yes, that was pus coming out of your genitals. The good news is that since gonorrhea is a bacterial infection, it can be treated with antibiotics. There are only two antibiotics left that can treat it, and while the resistant strains are still fairly uncommon, health officials are concerned that it could become an issue in the not-so-distant future.
Syphilis Living With It: Then 15 years later you go insane and kill yourself… no, seriously. Yes US Prevalence new cases annually: No The famous philosopher Nietzsche was a bit of a lush and had a fondness for prostitutes. Somewhere along the way, he contracted syphilis and his body began to wither from the inside out. Syphilis plays itself out in stages.
The first stage is you develop a sore or sores usually just one, but not always. This happens a few weeks after contracting the infection and the sore is generally painless. From there, after a few months, you break out into rashes. These rashes go on for weeks or months and eventually subside. From there, you have no symptoms. Then years later your internal organs start bleeding, you lose control of your motor functions, and you start losing your mind.
So the moral of the story? Get tested sometime in the next 15 years…ya know, whenever you get a chance. Anything from a temporary nuisance and some awkward conversations to hopefully just one painful operation for women. No, but it typically leaves on its own after a few years. There is also a vaccine for women and men now 9 get it! Nearly 80 million people in the US infected right now, with 14 million new infections each year. HPV spreads by skin-to-skin contact and can also be on skin not covered by the condom.
HPV is where things begin to get interesting. This is all true. And here it is: Only some of those strains can cause symptoms: However, most people never develop any symptoms, even if they do come in contact with the virus. These strains are called low-risk because they only cause warts and do not cause cancer. There is a number of treatments available to get rid of them, from laser surgery to applying a cream for a few months.
The high-risk strains can lead to cervical cancer in women, as well as some other types of cancer like throat and anal cancer.
A Pap test or Pap smear is recommended for all women between the ages of 21 and Drink less alcohol 14 , stop smoking 15 , eat healthy, and take some supplements. Women should get regular screening for HPV once they reach a certain age.
Unfortunately, there is no HPV-screening for men. Men can only be diagnosed with HPV when they have genital warts. Either way, it sucks, ruins your week, causes a lot of awkward conversations… but you move on and everything ends up being fine.
Genital Herpes Living With It: No, but who cares? No So I have good news and bad news. The bad news is that a shit-ton of people have herpes including probably myself. Then I started researching it for this article and realized I probably already have it. And chances are you have it too! See, there are two types of Herpes: HSV-1 usually causes breakouts around the mouth — we just call them cold sores or fever blisters. HSV-2 causes breakouts around the genitals. My friend who has had a breakout said that he originally thought his was just a bug bite.
In fact, even if you do get breakouts, most people stop getting them after a couple years. Not worried about herpes anymore… After all, I probably already have it, and so do many of you. Yes HIV is no longer the death warrant it once was. But you would live. I just hope you have good health insurance. As of , the life expectancy of someone who contracts HIV is 40 years from the day they contract it.
When in doubt, just look at Magic Johnson. There are some demographics which are far more likely to catch HIV than others, primarily gay men and drug users. But anal sex seems to be the big culprit here. Also, I hate to say it, but HIV positive cases are predominantly lower income classes. The symptoms of HIV are flu-like symptoms a couple weeks after contracting it. From there, your immune system slowly shuts down over the period of years.
There are a lot of therapies and treatments available and most people who contract it are able to live functional, mostly normal lives, assuming they get the proper medical care. So the news on the HIV front over the past few decades has actually been mostly good. Pregnancy Living With It: Completely and irreversibly life-changing Curable: Uhh… err… US Prevalence: Your mom had it at least once RAW Score: Notice the 1 in sexual encounters.