In 2017, reported cases of sexually transmitted diseases were at an all-time high, prompting adults to purchase at home STD test kits. Infections caused by Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis reportedly outnumbered those in 2016, making officials take a more urgent look at controlling the diseases.
On The Rise
The consequences of sexually transmitted diseases can become severe. Take Chlamydia for example; it’s an infection, spread by an infected person during sex. The disease remains on the list as the most common STD, with a little more than 70+ million cases occurring around the world. Just in the United States alone, more than 5+ million cases have been reported annually and continues to grow. While it is transmittable through sexual contact, it can also be spread to babies during delivery.
Because about 75% of women and 50% of men have no symptoms, most people that become infected with STD’s remain unaware they have gotten an infection, and they negate to get any medical attention. Thus one of the reasons for home STD test kits has become popular.
Symptoms in men are typically burning when they urinate, and in many cases, they notice small discharge from the penis. Female symptoms almost always include painful urination, and as the infection becomes worst there is typically vaginal discharge. From the moment a person becomes infected with chlamydia, they continue to transmit the disease and will continue until they receive adequate treatment. Previous infections do not make a person immune to getting the disease again.
If a person does not receive treatment for chlamydia, complications can occur. Frequently, women develop the pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which can produce sterility (inability to get pregnant), pain in the pelvis that becomes chronic, pregnancies occurring within the fallopian tubes, and a continuous increase of the disease. In men, untreated chlamydia can cause urethral infections and complications, such as swelling and pain in the testicles.
Syphilis is another common bacterial infection and can be spread in several ways: vaginal, or anal and even oral sex and this disease is on the rise. The disease is easily cured with antibiotics, but it can cause permanent damage if left untreated.
Syphilis causes sores in the genital area, called cankers. Usually, these sores are not painful, but they can easily spread the infection to other people. You can get syphilis when you come in contact with the sores. Many people with syphilis do not notice the sores and feel well, so they may not know they have the infection.
Syphilis can infect the vagina, anus, penis or scrotum and, in many cases, the lips and the mouth. You can prevent syphilis if you use condoms or oral latex barriers, and although sex education is prevalent in most schools, the numbers still increase because people forego using condoms. The disease is curable with antibiotics when doctors treat it early, however, if you don’t receive treatment, it can lead to serious conditions like brain damage, and even blindness.
Syphilis can be spread even when there is no ejaculation. It is spread by skin-to-skin contact, so coming into contact with the sores or cankers could infect you. And although it is less common to be spread through oral sex, it can still occur. Syphilis is very contagious at the beginning when the sores appear, but many people do not even know they have it because they do not notice the sores on themselves or their sexual partner.
A Resistance To Antibiotics
Another common STD is gonorrhea, which is becoming difficult to treat because the strain has some resistance to antibiotics. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), resistance to older and cheaper antibiotics is widespread. Gonorrhea will affect the genitals, anal area, and the mouth and throat. Even worse, officials report that women are typically the ones affected, causing PID disease, and tubal pregnancy.
The decrease in the use of condoms, the increase in urbanization and travel, the low detection rates of the infection, and the inadequacy or failure of the treatment for this disease are factors that contribute to this increase in numbers.
In recent years, the WHO has begun tracking the evolution of drug-resistant gonorrhea, and while there is a development of new antibiotics for this disease, there has never been a more vital reason to invest in at home STD kits. These kits are one of the best interventions to prevent any STD because you can test yourself and a sex partner in the privacy of your residence before becoming intimate.