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There is a big problem in the United States when it comes to controlling sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and helping the public combat these in their daily lives. For women, certain kinds of cancer are even tied into these illnesses, making STD testing more vital for them to remain healthy over the long term. There are conflicting ideas, though, on how best to monitor for these issues.
More targeted testing options... Full Story
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and HIV are serious business and, if left untreated, can cause serious problems such as infertility or even death. Unfortunately, many people may not even know that they have an STD until it has already progressed. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one out of every five people with HIV is unaware that they have the virus, underscoring the importance of regular testing. While increased testing is one way to help curb the rate of STDs and HIV among high-risk populations, recent research suggests that social networking technologies may also help.
Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles recently set out to determine how Facebook and other social media tools could be used to help reduce STDs and HIV in high-risk populations.
Combating infections with the internet ... Full Story
Sexually active individuals need to understand that it's important to regularly get tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) to help ensure that they are healthy. Furthermore, community leaders and health advocates need to stress that the most effective ways to prevent the spread of STDs while engaging in sexual activity is to wear a condom and utilize STD testing services after each new partner. Unfortunately, studies have shown that some populations are less likely to engage in safer sex practices than others. For example, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 have the highest rate of STDs.
Furthermore, African-American women also seem to have a greater chance of contracting STDs and HIV than other populations. In response to this, researchers from the University of California, Berkley set out to determine what motivates these women to engage in sexual activity and when they are more likely to use protection.
What encourages people to be safe?... Full Story
This Valentine's Day, couples across the U.S. will be exchanging many things - gifts, loving words, playful smiles and many other wonderful moments. However, if these couples aren't careful, then another thing they may be exchanging during this holiday is sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). There is a serious STD problem among Americans, and, unfortunately people continue to engage in risky sexual behaviors, which increases their chances of contracting an infection or virus such as HIV.
Aside from abstaining from sexual activity altogether, the best way a person can protect themselves against STDs is to use a condom. However, some people claim that sex is not pleasurable if they use a condom, a myth that's helped to proliferate the spread STDs. Researchers from the Indiana University School of Public Health-Bloomington set out to determine if this view is commonly held and true. They found that despite what people may think, sex remains pleasurable whether a condom is used or not.
People don't mind condoms ... Full Story
Women who are pregnant or are attempting to conceive have a lot on their minds. They're probably busy getting their homes ready for their new additions, trying to choose a name and looking at potential daycare or nannies. However, one thing that may not be a prominent concern is testing for sexually transmitted diseases. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, STDs such as such as genital herpes and bacterial vaginosis are surprisingly common in pregnant women. Furthermore, infections such as syphilis may be passed on to a baby and can cause serious side effects such as blindness. As such, women should look into STD testing services before they attempt to get pregnant, or early on their pregnancy.
Recently, researchers from Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine discovered that if women go to the emergency room with symptoms of an STD, they may not get the treatment they need, which is all the more reason for women to utilize STD testing before their pregnancy.
Difficult to tell... Full Story
Sexually transmitted diseases can impact anyone who doesn't practice safer sex or abstinence, and they continue to grow in prevalence throughout the U.S., underscoring the need for STD testing services.
Recently, NBC News reported that researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released two new studies detailing the STD problem in the U.S. According to the news source, the scientists called this problem a "ongoing STD epidemic."
Startling results ... Full Story
When it comes to preventing sexually transmitted diseases, the only effective form of contraceptive is the condom. Because of this, some would assume that most parents would be most comfortable with their daughters having access to condoms rather than other types of contraception, which may protect against unplanned pregnancy, but not STDs. However, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of California, San Francisco, that is not the case.
Researchers found that parents are most accepting of their daughters using birth control pills than other forms of contraception, including condoms, implants and the intrauterine device. This is a problem for health officials, considering that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that teens between the ages of 15 and 19 fall within the age group of individuals most likely to contract an STD. This is one of the reasons why sexually active individuals in this population need access to STD testing services.
A matter of prevention ... Full Story
When people meet a new romantic interest, they probably ask them a lot of questions such as where they went to school, what their job is and what their hobbies are. One thing they probably don't ask, but should, is about the last time they utilized STD testing services. Luckily, there is now a new website designed to help people broach this sometimes difficult subject.
The Los Angeles Times recently reported on a website called Qpid.me, which allows people to register their STD test results online in a secure way so they can put their partner's mind at ease.
How does it work?... Full Story
Sexually transmitted disease rates are on the rise in many parts of the U.S., which is why it's important for all sexually active Americans to regularly use STD testing services. In some U.S. states STD numbers have only risen slightly, but in others the increase is very dramatic. For example, according to a recent article published by KCCI 8 News, an Iowa news source, the Polk County Health Department has announced that syphilis rates are up 420 percent in the area.
Health experts stated that in 2012, there were 112 cases of syphilis in the county, compared to 27 in 2011.
Concerning numbers... Full Story
All sexually active individuals should be regularly using STD testing services, but people in certain states in particular should be cautious about sexually transmitted diseases. For example, California has been experiencing an increase in syphilis rates. This is a serious infection that can not only harm the person who has it, but can be passed on to unborn babies as well, often with devastating consequences.
The Huffington Post reported that the California Department of Public Health recently released a study which showed that syphilis morbidity rates increased between 2011 and 2012. There was a 25 percent increase in syphilis cases from 2011 to 2012 in San Francisco alone, which highlights a worrisome trend.
Challenging infection... Full Story
Currently, the only form of contraception that helps protect against sexually transmitted diseases is the condom, so people who forgo this prophylactic may want to use STD testing services often. However, according to a recent study, there may be soon be another tool in the fight against sexual infections. Researchers from the Monash Institute of Medical Research have discovered that there is a protein present in the female reproductive tract that may help prevent STDs like chlamydia and the herpes simplex virus.
While these are exciting findings that suggest there may be a natural STD-prevention system built into women's bodies, this shouldn't encourage people to go out and have sex without a condom.
An important protein ... Full Story
While all of the sexually active population could benefit from HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention programs, young Americans in particular need to be told about the importance of utilizing STD testing services and practicing safer sex. This population not only has higher STD rates than other age groups, but has also been know to engage in risky sexual practices, such as sexting - the act of sending or receiving sexually explicit text messages, pictures or videos. Recently, researcher from the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, School of Public Health set out to determine how common this practice is among young people living in an urban environment.
The scientists discovered that sexting is in fact fairly common among urban youth. This could increase the demographic's risk of contracting an STD, since previous research has shown that teens who engage in sexting may be more likely to have sex than those who do not.
A growing issue ... Full Story
It's important for people to remember that sexually transmitted diseases do not have an age limit. Sexually active individuals of all ages should use STD testing services to help ensure a clean status, or they may find themselves experiencing a host of medical problems. Some elderly people may be under the impression that STDs are a young man's problem, but they would certainly be wrong. According to a recent report by CBS Los Angeles, STD rates continue to rise in older populations, and it's time for this generation to take greater precaution when engaging in sexual activity.
The news source pointed out that study after study over the years has shown that elderly individuals may be in need of more information regarding the dangers of STDs and ways to prevent them, since they do not appear to be practicing safer sex.
Common misconceptions ... Full Story
Condoms are the only form of contraception that protects against sexually transmitted diseases, which is why people who do not use them should regularly use STD testing services. While condoms can be purchased at most drug and convenience stores, some people may not have the money to purchase them, or any other form of contraceptive, for that matter. Because of this, many health clinics provide condoms for free.
Recently, researchers from the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services and the RCHN Community Health Foundation set out to to determine what role health clinics play in family planning. According to the findings, while these places offer some forms of contraception, there is room for improvement.
Time for change ... Full Story
Sexually transmitted disease rates can be complicated. On the one hand, most people would assume that lower STD rates would be a good thing and higher ones would be bad, but that's not always the case. Higher rates can simply mean that more people are using STD testing services, while lower ones may mean that fewer people are ordering tests and getting treated for these sometimes serious infections and viruses. For example, a recent article published by BND.com, a Southern Illinois news source, reported that the number of individuals in St. Clair County appears to have dropped considerably in 2012, but health officials believe that may not necessarily be good news.
According to the news source, the county has consistently ranked in the top five for STD rates in Illinois, yet in 2012, chlamydia rates dropped 31 percent and gonorrhea rates dropped 35 percent.
Is it a good thing?... Full Story
Getting to know someone can be tricky, which is why people should always be cautious with new sexual partners and use protection and STD testing services to make sure that the new special someone in their life doesn't come with a sexual infection. While it's impossible to simply look at someone and know what his or her sexual history is, a recent study has found that examining online activity may be a good way to tell a lot about person - including certain aspects about their sexuality,
Researchers from Cambridge's Psychometrics Center and Microsoft Research Cambridge have discovered that analyzing what a person "likes" on Facebook can be a good way to determine his or her age, race, IQ, drug use, political views and even sexual orientation.
What you "like" says a lot ... Full Story
For years, it's been recommended that men who have sex with men receive regular STD testing because of disproportionately high rates of infection among this community. Now, it appears as though commitment and marriage may be one way gay men can lower their risk of STDs and HIV.
Researchers from Statens Serum Institute and Aalborg University in Denmark discovered that the mortality rate for men in same-sex marriages has dropped significantly since the 1990s.
Monogamy may mean healthier men... Full Story
The fight against sexually transmitted diseases and HIV is just that - a battle between community health officials and a public that does not understand the importance of STD testing services and practicing safer sex. Recently, the Atlanta-Journal Constitution reported on some of the people in Georgia who are on the frontlines of this battle, and the struggle they have each day to get the message of treatment and prevention out to all sexually active individuals in the state.
The news source spoke to Veronica Hartwell, program administrator with the Fulton County Health and Wellness Department, who explained that at the Aldredge Health Center in downtown Georgia, she and her colleagues are seeing 16,000 STD cases a year. She added that although this may seem like they are treating many individuals, the health department merely "has the tiger by the tail," when it comes to addressing the major STD problem in the state.
Losing the war ... Full Story
Upon entering middle-age and a monogamous relationship, many women eschew contraception and STD testing, thinking that now is the time for worry-free sex. However, a new study from Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a teaching hospital of Brown University, suggests that women approaching perimenopause may not want to ditch their birth control just yet.
Researchers discovered that many women approaching age 40 believe that their chances of becoming pregnant are lower than they are, and that birth control is actually bad for their health.
Common misconceptions ... Full Story
Towns that have high sexually transmitted disease rates need to come up with comprehensive ways to encourage their residents to use STD testing services and practice safer sex. Thankfully, many cities are taking action against dramatic STD numbers and are working to keep people healthy. For example, MLive, a Michigan news source, recently reported that the Genesee County Healthy Sexuality Coalition is working on methods to reduce STD rates in the county, which were particularly high in 2012.
The news source explained that during 2012, Genesee County had the second highest rate of gonorrhea and the fourth highest rate of chlamydia in Michigan. Luckily, the county isn't just planning on ignoring these statistics.
"A lot of times people put out the numbers and say, 'This is so disparaging, this is where we stand,'" Heather Kale, director of communications and outreach at Priority Children in Flint, told MLive. "But it's important to say 'OK, now what do we do to address that?'"
Plan of action... Full Story
When a person uses STD testing services and discovers that they have a serious virus like HIV or hepatitis C, they may feel as though their sex lives have been ruined forever. However, that doesn't have to be the case. People should know that as long as they are careful, they may be able to have a normal sex life. For example, a recent study conducted by scientists from the University of California, San Francisco found that people with hepatitis C who are in monogamous, heterosexual relationships shouldn't be that concerned about their risk of transmitting their virus to their partner.
According to the scientists, transmission of HCV from an infected partner during sex is rare.
An unlikely prospect ... Full Story
HIV and sexually transmitted disease rates are particularly high among men who have sex with men, so researchers are constantly searching or ways to encourage this population to take STD diagnosis tests and practice safer sex. Recently, scientists from the University of Michigan found that 57 percent of gay men surveyed do have a system to reduce HIV and STD rates called a "sexual agreement."
While these agreements do show promise for reducing infection and virus rates, the scientists said more men need to participate.
Possibly effective, if followed... Full Story
It's become increasingly clear in the past few years that older individuals may not understand the risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases and the need to use STD testing services, just like their younger counterparts. Baby boomers and even those who are aged 70 or older are still sexually active, and the rate of STDs is rising in these populations. Recently, The New York Times published an article searching for answers as to why boomers are contracting STDs at surprisingly high rates.
The news source explained that the number of individuals over the age of 50 seeking treatment for STDs and HIV has risen, and in 2011, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found more than 22,000 cases of chlamydia in people between the ages of 45 and 64. Furthermore, there were more than 12,000 cases of gonorrhea in these individuals, and 2,600 incidences of syphilis.
Why is this happening? ... Full Story
While it's no secret that young individuals have the highest risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases, they may not understand just how staggering the scope of this problem is among America's youth. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a report showing that of the 20 million STDs diagnosed each year, 50 percent of them are found in people between the ages of 15 and 24. Furthermore, many individuals in this age group don't utilize STD testing services, so many of them may not even know that they have an infection or virus.
The CDC reported that of the estimated 820,000 cases of gonorrhea each year, 70 percent were found in people between the ages of 15 and 24, and of the 2.9 million chlamydia cases, 64 percent affected individuals in this age range.
The danger is real ... Full Story
While sexually transmitted diseases are a concern in all parts of the country, individuals who live in Mississippi, in particular, should make sure that they have access to STD testing services. According to a recent report conducted by the Mississippi Department of Health, the state had the second highest rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea in the U.S. in 2011, which are the most recent figures available. These findings should encourage Mississippi residents to practice safer sex and get tested for these infections.
Not surprisingly, health officials found that the majority of these infections are found in people under the age of 30. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, while individuals under the age of 25 make up only 25 percent of the sexually active population, they account for 50 percent of all new STD infections in the U.S. each year.
A preventable problem... Full Story
Sexually active individuals in non-monogamous relationships should seek out STD testing services to protect against infections, particularly because the presence of one condition may increase the risk of another.
For example, a recent study conducted by researchers from the Fox Chase Cancer Center has found that women with HIV have a higher risk than others of contracting the types of HPV that can cause cancer, and current HPV vaccines do not protect against these strains of the virus.
Many strains ... Full Story
While there are several forms of contraceptives that can help protect against pregnancy, only condoms can reduce the risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. This is why women who use other types of contraceptives like the birth control pill or an intrauterine device should be sure to regularly use STD testing services to make sure that they do not have an infection or virus. In the past, there had been some speculation regarding whether IUDs are safe for teenagers to use. According to a recent study - the answer is yes.
Researchers from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston discovered that despite long-standing concerns, teenagers can use IUDs as safely as adults can.
Debunking myths... Full Story
There is an increased need for STD testing services for young people, especially since the rates of these infections and viruses continue to increase among this population, and many people seem to be reluctant to participate in activities that may protect against them. For example, a recent study conducted by researcher from the Mayo Clinic showed that a growing number of parents said they will not have get their daughters vaccinated to protect against the human papillomavirus, despite doctor's recommendations.
The researchers discovered that although a growing number of doctors have been calling for all young girls to receive the HPV vaccine, more than two out of five parents surveyed said they believe the shot is unnecessary, and they are concerned about side effects.
Parents remain unsure ... Full Story
Having a sexually transmitted disease can get very complicated because it not only affects a person's health, it can also be a source of embarrassment. Some STDs, like herpes, cannot be cleared with a simple shot or pill, and people will have to inform all future sexual partners of their condition. However, passing an STD on to someone is even more embarrassing than telling them you have one, and may put someone's life at risk, which is why people should regularly utilize STDS testing services.
To avoid this uncomfortable conversation, more people are seeking out sexual partners who have the same STD as they do. Recently, WFMY News, a North Carolina news source, reported that there has been an increase in specialty dating websites geared toward people with STDs.
Seeking others with STDs... Full Story
Over the years, doctors, nurses, community leaders and parents alike have all struggled to determine the best way to encourage young people to be safe about sexual activity. This means encouraging them to practice abstinence or use contraceptives that protect against unplanned pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and to use STD testing services. Recently, researchers from the New York University Silver School of Social Work and its Center for Latino Adolescent and Family Health released a report of 12 evidence-based principles that they believe healthcare professionals can use to encourage teens to practice safer sex.
According to the researchers, their goal was to create counseling recommendations that are based on taking everything about adolescents into mind - from their developing brains to the nature of their romantic relationships.
Teens are different... Full Story
It's time for Americans to have a real discussion about sexually transmitted diseases - what their symptoms are, how people get them, how to prevent them and the importance of using STD testing services. Recently Yahoo! News published an article on how popular culture seems to be very comfortable with talking about the youth "hook up" culture, but not about STDs, and the potential dangers this poses to public health.
The news source cited a recent episode of a television show that is popular among many people under the age of 30, specifically the way that this show treated the subject of herpes. The show stigmatized having the STD and portrayed it as something that people get because they are being promiscuous. However, in reality, estimates show that about half of all people will contract an STD before the age of 25, and this can come as the result of just one unprotected sexual encounter, it doesn't take many.
Importance of discussion... Full Story
There are only two ways that people can reduce their chances of contracting a sexually transmitted disease - they can practice abstinence or use a condom during sex. Unfortunately, many people do not use condoms, and when these individuals utilize STD testing services, they may discover that they have an infection or virus. In an effort to increase condom use worldwide, Microsoft founder and billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates is offering $100,000 to anyone who has a feasible plan for creating a condom that enhances sexual pleasure, rather than diminishing it.
The Atlantic recently reported on Gates' offer and the motivations behind it. According to the news source, most people who do not use condoms say that it is because these contraceptives make sex less pleasurable. The Atlantic explained that research has shown that only 60 percent of sexually active U.S. teenagers report using condoms, and that number actually declines as people get older.
A worldwide issue... Full Story
Over the years, scientists have developed condoms and vaccines to help prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as STD testing services that allow people to know their status. However, these testing and prevention methods are only effective if people choose to use them. Unfortunately, research continues to show that many people do not use condoms, and even fewer have been receiving the vaccine that helps protect against the human papillomavirus.
HPV is a sexually transmitted virus that can potentially cause cervical cancer. While there is now a vaccine that helps prevent strains of this virus, healthcare professionals have had trouble encouraging young women to get it. Recently, researchers from Ohio State University discovered that when doctors are discussing the benefits of the vaccine to women, they should focus on STD prevention, rather than the fact that the shot may help them avoid developing cancer.
Against the grain... Full Story
As with most conditions, HIV is most easily treated when it is caught in the early stages. This is why it is so important for people to regularly use STD testing services and get screened for HIV and other viruses and infections. Recently, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force finalized its guidelines for HIV testing, and declared that all individuals between the ages of 15 and 65 should be screened for this virus at least once.
The Los Angeles Times reported that the recommendation was made to address the fact that people respond best to HIV treatments the earlier they receive them, but this condition has almost no symptoms in the beginning. Due to the lack of early HIV symptoms, it's necessary for people to get tested regularly even if they do not feel ill.
"HIV is a critical public health problem, and there are still 50,000 new infections per year," said Doug Owens, M.D., a task force member and professor of medicine at Stanford University, told the L.A. Times. "There's very good evidence that treatment is effective when given earlier, at a time when people are often asymptomatic. So the only way they would know that they had HIV, or that they needed treatment, is to be screened."
Evidence for screening... Full Story
Health officials have been working for years to determine the best way to encourage young people to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases, but it continues to be a struggle. Getting individuals under the age of 25 to utilize STD testing services and practice safer sex or abstinence has been a major goal in the healthcare community for years, since these individuals are responsible for half of all new STD infections each year. Recently, there has been a great deal of discussion about having more STD prevention efforts online, since young people seem to spend more time than ever on the Internet.
For example, The Journal Gazette, an Indiana news source, recently reported that the local health department has been crafting pages on Facebook that are designed to spread awareness of STDs among young people.
Information is key... Full Story
Some people may think that if they need to tested for sexually transmitted diseases, they have to go to the doctor, but they may be wrong. In reality, STD testing services can be acquired in a number of different, confidential ways, without having to make a doctor's visit. Recently, MLive published an article explaining that there is insufficient access to and use of STD testing in many counties across Michigan, suggesting that residents in the state may be unaware of their screening options.
The news source reported on data from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which ranked counties across the U.S. on a number of health measures, such as smoking and alcohol use as well as access to healthcare professionals. According to MLive, the disparities in STD rates across counties were shocking.
Major differences... Full Story
In order to curb sexually transmitted disease rates among young people and encourage them to use STD testing services, healthcare officials need to understand what influences sexual behavior in this population. As the Internet has grown in popularity during the past two decades, many parents, teachers and politicians alike have expressed concerns that viewing sexually explicit materials on the web and in magazines may be directly causing young individuals to engage in sexual behavior at an early age. However, recent research suggests that may not be true.
According to researchers from the University of Copenhagen in Denmark, this material may have some impact on youth sexual behavior, it is a very small one.
Not a major influence... Full Story
When it comes to sexually transmitted diseases, it's important for everyone to research how to prevent and treat these infections and viruses. However, young people, in particular, should be utilizing STD testing services - and taking it very seriously if they discover they have one. For example, KJCT 8, a Colorado news source, recently reported that it's not enough for young people to get tested for STDs - they also need to receive proper treatment if they are diagnosed with one or they may face some serious consequences.
The news source spoke to healthcare officials in the state who said that, in the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of young people with STDs, and they are hoping to curb this concerning trend.
Needing to be more careful... Full Story
Efforts to prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases and encourage people to utilize STD testing services are only effective if people educate themselves and are proactive about fighting back against these infections. For example, in the past few years, scientists have developed a vaccine to protect young people - particularly women - from contracting the human papillomavirus, but many parents have been hesitant about allowing their children to get this shot.
Recently, Boston University School of Medicine researchers set out to explore parents' concerns and determine which demographics are most or least likely to get their children vaccinated.
"Approximately 33,000 Americans will get an HPV-related cancer each year, many of which can be prevented by vaccination," said the lead author Rebecca Perkins, M.D., professor of obstetrics and gynecology at BUSM. "Solid communication between parents and providers is the key to improving HPV vaccination rates, which is what this study seeks to measure."
Discrepancies are clear... Full Story
Efforts to reduce sexually transmitted diseases in the U.S. are only effective if people are aware of them. This is why community leaders and healthcare workers are often working to spread awareness of the importance of practicing safe sex and utilizing STD testing services. For example, the Orlando Sentinel, a Florida news source, recently published an article explaining why STD testing is important for people in all parts of the state, but particularly those living in Orange County.
According to the news source, in 2010, there were more than 8,000 Orange County residents diagnosed with new STDs, which a higher rate than Miami-Dade, Broward, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and other major counties across Florida. Furthermore, the Sentinel reported that it's likely that these numbers will increase, rather than tamper off.
Serious consequences... Full Story
Sometimes, the stigma surrounding sexually transmitted diseases may keep people from utilizing STD testing services. This is why people need to know that there are ways they can get tested that are confidential, without ever having to step foot in their local doctor's office. This may be particularly important for people living on the Navajo Indian reservation in New Mexico, since researchers claim that HIV numbers are up in the area, and social stigma may be keeping residents from getting tested.
According to The New York Times, a report released in April by the federal Indian Health Service discovered 47 new cases of HIV in 2012, which is a 20 percent increase from 2011. This lead to health officials discovering that, since 1999, there has been a five-fold increase in HIV cases on the reservation.
An alarming trend... Full Story
No one wants to contract any sexually transmitted diseases, since most of them can seriously impact a person's life if left untreated. This is why everyone needs to utilize STD testing services to make sure that they do not have one. While all STDs are dangerous, some are worse than others. For example, HIV can claim a person's life in a few years if not treated, and there has also been talk in the healthcare community in the past year about a super-strain of gonorrhea that is not responding to antibiotics.
Recently, the Boston Globe published an article discussing this strain - what people need to know about it, and what to do to keep from contracting it.
Closer than you think... Full Story
It's important for people to understand that no matter where they are from or what their financial situation may be, they are at risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease. However, people from certain areas may be in more need of STD testing services than others, since some parts of the U.S. tend to have a higher rate of these infections and viruses than others. For example, researchers from Ohio State University recently determined that individuals who grew up in poor areas - even if they were not poor themselves - may have a high risk of contracting an STD.
The scientists found that people who lived in a poor area as a teenager may have an increased risk of getting chlamydia in their 20s, compared to those from more affluent areas. This was regardless of whether the people grew up in poor households.
Problem lies in neighborhoods... Full Story
All sexually active individuals should make sure that they do not have any sexually transmitted diseases by regularly utilizing STD testing services, but there are some populations that need to go out of their way to make sure they are tested regularly. For example, individuals who have a sexual partner that has tested positive for an STD need to be tested to ensure that they have not contracted the infection themselves.
However, there was recently good news for people who have a partner with the human papillomavirus. According to research from Johns Hopkins University, partners of people with HPV-related oral cancers appear to have no increased risk of oral HPV infection themselves. Regardless of these findings, the researchers stressed that this does not mean individuals who have a partner with HPV-related oral cancer should assume they don't have any risk of HPV.
"While we can't guarantee that the partners of patients will not develop oral HPV infections or cancers, we can reassure them that our study found they had no increased prevalence of oral infections, which suggests their risk of HPV-related oral cancer remains low," said researcher Gypsyamber D'Souza, Ph.D., M.P.H.
A concerning rise... Full Story
In the battle against the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, there are many weapons. For example, people can abstain from sex or practice safe sex and regularly use STD testing services to help eliminate or reduce their risk of contracting or transmitting an STD on to others.
For years now, researchers have been working to determine the best ways to encourage young people to be responsible when it comes to engaging in sexual activity, but it has been a commonly held belief that in order to do this, healthcare officials have to first combat a culture that encourages kids to have promiscuous sex in order to be popular. However, a recent study conducted by scientists from Cornell University has found that among young adults, having multiple sex partners may leave people searching for friends.
It's not cool to sleep around... Full Story
All sexually active individuals should protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases by practicing safe sex and utilizing STD testing services, since not even the rich and famous can avoid the consequences of these infections once they contract one. For example, actor Michael Douglas recently battled throat cancer, and he has been quoted by news sources as saying that he believes he developed the disease after contracting the human papillomavirus.
The "Behind the Candelabra" star told the British newspaper The Guardian that he does not believe that his throat cancer was caused by smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, but rather the HPV he contracted was through performing oral sex.
"Because without wanting to get too specific, this particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from cunnilingus," said Douglas, quoted by the newspaper. "I did worry if the stress caused by my son's incarceration didn't help trigger it. But yeah, it's a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer."
After this article was published, representatives for the actor claimed that he had been misquoted, and that he hadn't in fact said that cunnilingus was the cause of his throat cancer, but that oral sex is a suspected cause of certain types of cancers, according to CBS News.
Is it true?... Full Story
A few months ago, a website was launched called Qpid.me, which was designed to help take some of the awkwardness out of asking someone if they have any sexually transmitted diseases, and when the last time they used STD testing services was. The way that this website works is that each person who signs up for Qpid.me gives the website access to his or her STD testing records and is then given a code. That code can then be given to a new sexual partner, who can look him or her up and see when the last time he or she was tested and the results.
Recently, CNN reported that this website has partnered with the Los Angeles Unified School District - the second largest in the U.S. - to teach students in the seventh grade and up how to check their STD status, show a potential partner and ask a partner for his or her own results.
A problem in LA ... Full Story
Sexually transmitted diseases are dangerous, which is why people need to utilize STD testing services for the sake of not just their own health, but of their future sexual partners as well. If they do not, they may spread a potentially life-threatening infection or virus on to others. Furthermore, people who pass on an STD to a sexual partner may have more than their wellbeing and that of the person they had sex with to worry about, they may find themselves facing legal ramifications as well.
For example, The Huffington Post reported an adult film actor was recently sentenced to jail for exposing two co-stars to syphilis. This was a controversial move that shone light on the STD laws that exist in the U.S. The news source explained that criminal prosecution of people who spread HIV has been around for more than 20 years, and many people are calling for these laws to be overturned.
"The law in most states is that a person with an STD must disclose that to their partner before engaging [in sexual activity]," attorney Matthew Blit, who specializes in discrimination suits and sexually transmitted disease law, told the news source. "Most of our clients go the civil route. But it's a very tricky area because it has to do with the disclosure of medical records and we can face a very big challenge. They are very difficult to win. The facts need to align perfectly."
Controversial laws... Full Story
Almost every part of the U.S. has experienced rises and falls in sexually transmitted disease rates at some point in time. However, some groups experience more STD swings than others, and people who live in these areas need to be sure to use STD testing services often to make sure that they have not contracted an infection during an upswing in infections. Residents of Alaska are among the population of people who should get tested often, since this state has had many troubles with STDs in the past.
For example, a 2011 article published by Anchorage Daily News stated that Alaska had the highest chlamydia rate in the entire country, and the second-highest gonorrhea rate. While health officials had believed that they had gotten these numbers under control, recent research suggests otherwise.
According to a recent article published by Alaska CBS affiliate KTVA 11, state epidemiologists are finding a rise in chlamydia and gonorrhea rates, despite a two-year decline.
Back on an uptick ... Full Story
All sexually active people should use STD testing services to regularly get screened for sexually transmitted diseases. However, college students, in particular, should regularly use these services. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, college-aged teens and young adults are among the age demographic that has the highest STD rates in the U.S., which is why students under the age of 24 should get checked often.
The Dartmouth, a Dartmouth University news source, published an article about the importance of staying safe while engaging in sexual activity and getting tested for STDs. According to the news source, the small number of students who utilize STD testing services in the school is concerning. These individuals may be concerned about being seen in the student health center because of the stigma that often surrounds STDs, especially on a small college campus. This is why it is important for there to be regular discussions about STDs in colleges and for students to know that there are ways to get tested that do not involve having to go to the health center or even their family doctor.
STDs and college campuses... Full Story
While researchers have been working for decades to reduce the prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases across the nation, a great deal of focus has been placed on lowering STD rates among college students. Nearly half of all new STD cases in the U.S. occur in people ages of 15 through 24, and since many college students fall in that age range , they may have a high risk of contracting these infections and should regularly utilize STD testing services.
One reason why STD rates may be so high among this age demographic is that some people in college tend to embrace the "hookup" culture, which encourages casual sex with multiple partners. Recently, researchers from The Miriam Hospital's Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine set out to determine what influences students to engage in these sexual behaviors, especially when they can come with the potential of serious consequences.
What plays a role? ... Full Story
The summer is here, and as people head out to enjoy all of their fun warm-weather activities, it is important that they do not forget about their health. Just because individuals are enjoying time in their beach houses does not mean that they should not use STD testing services and take precautions to protect themselves against sexually transmitted diseases. In fact, people should be even more vigilant about getting tested for STDs now that the summer has arrived, especially if they are college-aged.
According to a recent article published in the University Daily Kansan, a University of Kansas at Lawrence news source, research from the New Mexico Department of Health has shown that there is increased sexual activity among people between the ages of 15 and 24 during the summer months. Since this age group has the highest rate of STDs, this suggests that the prevalence of these infections may also increase as the warmer months go on.
The threat is real... Full Story
Nearly half of all new sexually transmitted disease cases are found in people between the ages of 15 and 24. This is why it's important to encourage young people to practice safe sex techniques and use STD testing services so that they reduce their risk of spreading infections on to others. Over the years, there have been many debates over the best ways to get teens to understand the dangers of STDs and do something to protect themselves against them.
Recently, Philadelphia School District officials implemented a program to reduce STD rates among teens that some parents are calling controversial. According to My Fox Philly, students attending 22 different high schools across the city will have access to free condom dispensers.
Getting real about sex... Full Story
A bill in the California Senate will determine whether the state will provide condoms to prisons in order to help alleviate the epidemic of sexually transmitted infections, namely HIV. The bill, AB999, proposed by Democratic Assemblyman Rob Bonta of Oakland, Calif., would compel the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide condoms, via dispensing machines donated to the state, to five prisons by 2015 and to all 33 adult prisons by 2020. Since the prevalence of HIV is approximately 10 times higher among California prisoners than the general population, according to the University of California, San Francisco, the problem is of an urgent nature.
According to the CDC, condoms - if used "consistently and correctly" - can reduce but do not eliminate one's chance of developing a sexually transmitted disease. In addition, since individuals with STDs - especially HIV - often do not exhibit symptoms, the most effective way to reduce one's risk of contracting an STD is for one and one's partner to receive STD testing before engaging in sexual intercourse.
Prison contraception in California... Full Story
A new study conducted by Elsevier discovered a possible means of detecting previously unknown types of human papillomavirus. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, genital HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection, and it can infect various areas of the body. An HPV infection often results in genital warts, but it can cause cervical and other types of cancer, as well.
The study noted that standard STD testing by a physician can lead to a misdiagnosis or negative result, referred to as virus-negative warts. The study's authors examined the DNA of samples taken from 40 patients who were shown to have this kind of outbreak. They found that multiple subjects actually did have HPV DNA in their warts.
Researchers said that this increases the complications surrounding testing for HPV, as it appears that virus-negative warts can contain almost untraceable amounts of viruses that are so distantly related that they go undetected. The viruses are previously unknown HPV types and are harbored in what were thought to be the virus-negative genital warts.
The report said that traditional means of testing may need to be altered in order to better diagnose the 23 newly discovered strains of HPV.
Who should get an STD test?... Full Story
The rise in the availability of technology has made most things in life easier - including hooking up. According to CBS Sacramento, doctors are pointing to casual encounters enabled by online dating sites to a recent rise in sexually transmitted diseases.
"It's very alarming to us because we know there are some STDs that are curable, but there are other STDs that we can treat, but cannot cure," Paolo Cancio, an infectious disease specialist with the AIDS and STD prevention program CARES, told the news source
Cancio mentioned that while doctors are not sure what is causing the uptick, he has met with patients who hooked up with someone they met online and later required treatment for a sexually transmitted disease. CBS Sacramento noted that smartphone applications are enabling people to find people to hook up based on their neighborhood.
However, Cancio and his team have launched an app of their own - one to help smartphone users find free condom dispensers set up by CARES. The dispensers are conveniently located at nearby businesses, and the app, Condom Finder, provides users with the exact address.
STD increase reflected in US... Full Story
Research from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health has revealed some possible new treatments for the drug-resistance sexually transmitted disease dubbed 'super gonorrhea.' The two treatments consist of preexisting drugs in new combinations and are showing promise in patients.
The study looked at data from more than 400 gonorrhea patients who had not yet undergone treatment. The subjects included men and women ages 15 to 60. One treatment, which combined injections of gentamicin and oral azithromycin cured all of the patients genital gonorrhea infections. The other treatment was administered in gemifloxacin and azithromyic pills and cured 99.5 percent of the subjects. When it came to throat and rectum infections, both treatments were 100 percent effective. However, both treatments caused patients to experience unwanted side effects, such as diarrhea and vomiting.
"These trial results are an exciting step in the right direction in the fight against drug-resistant gonorrhea," said Gail Bolan, director of the division of STD prevention at the CDC. "But patients need more oral options with fewer side effects."
Bolan went on to underscore how important it is that pharmaceutical companies and researchers find drugs and drug combinations that can maintain the standard of living for gonorrhea patients, without a plethora of adverse side effects. The report also emphasized the need to find a vaccine for the STD.
The study noted that since these findings are so recent, they do not change the official CDC recommendations for treating gonorrhea. The researchers did note that this provides a possible alternative for doctors who cannot use the traditional treatment in patients for whatever reason.
What is drug-resistant gonorrhea?... Full Story
According to a recent survey published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, not enough doctors are following the official guidelines for administering human papillomavirus vaccinations and screening for cervical cancer. HPV vaccines are meant to be given to women between the ages of 11 and 26 and help to prevent cervical cancer.
The survey, which received 366 responses from obstetricians and gynecologists, revealed that less than 33 percent of those surveyed vaccinate patients who fit the criteria against HPV and only 50 percent adhere to cervical cancer prevention guidelines.
National guidelines, as issued by the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in 2009, suggest that annual cervical cancer screenings begin at age 21 before slowly tapering the amount of times patients get screened every year. However, the survey suggests that it may be patients, not doctors, who are not following the guidelines.
About 90 percent of those surveyed said that they offered an HPV vaccination to patients, but only 27 percent of the patients accepted it. The respondents referenced patients and parents as the primary block to an HPV vaccination.
"In the current survey and others, providers stated that the largest barrier to HPV vaccination was patients and parents declining to receive the vaccine," said Rebecca Perkins, lead investigator. "However, studies indicate that most patients support HPV vaccination, and that a strong physician recommendation is the most important determinant of vaccine uptake in young women."
STD testing and screening... Full Story
Recently, Successful Match and Positive Singles launched Hmeet.com, a dating site for people living with the herpes simplex virus. The free service allows users to talk with and meet individuals who understand and share their condition. Hmeet.com provides herpes patients with the opportunity to date without having to bring up STD testing or their personal disease.
This is not the first dating website of its kind. According to USA Today, there are several online services to match up couples with the same, or similar, STDs. Positive Singles is one, which claims to have orchestrated 60,000 matches.
"A lot of my clients are looking for relationships and they are on dating websites like eHarmony and Match, but then the question is, 'When do I tell him or her that I have herpes? If I tell them right away, that person is going to go away. But if I let the relationship develop and wait to tell the person, is that betrayal?'" Carl Hindy, a clinical psychologist, told the news source.
Impact of STDs in America... Full Story
The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services reported that rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea have risen in the state, though syphilis rates have remained stable, according to a local news source.
The Great Falls Tribute noted that chlamydia is currently an endemic in Montana, but while gonorrhea is on the rise, it only accounts for some of the newly diagnosed sexually transmitted diseases in the state. Trisha Gardner, a community health education specialist, said that STD outbreaks usually show regional trends. However, she stated that regardless of location, chlamydia is the most commonly seen STD due to how easily it is transmitted.
STD tests show that for every 100,000 Montana residents, 387 have chlamydia, according to the news source. In 2002, there were 271 cases of the disease for every 100,000 persons. Conversely, gonorrhea was at an all-time high in 2006, infecting .02 percent of the population. In 2012, .011 percent of Montana residents were diagnosed with gonorrhea.
Gardner noted that there are income-based disparities in the rate at which citizens are diagnosed with STDs. Though the source noted that the differences weren't based in sexual activity, but rather were the result of limited access to healthcare services for those of lower socioeconomic status.
STD testing and treatment... Full Story
A recent study from the University of New South Wales in Australia found that a human papillomavirus infection may increase the risk of throat cancer by as much as threefold.
According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, HPV is linked to cervical cancer, genital cancers and oropharyngeal cancer, which originates in the back of the throat.
University researchers examined the rate of HPV patients diagnosed with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, or throat cancer, through lab tests. The disease's most common causes are smoking cigarettes, drinking alcohol or extremely hot liquids, eating a diet rich in red meat and possibly consuming a certain amount of toxins.
"This is an important new finding which resolves a previous uncertainty," said Raina MacIntyre, senior author of the study. "Given that the most common two cervical-cancer-causing HPVs are now preventable by early vaccination, this may be significant in countries where [esophageal squamous cell carcinoma] is frequently found."
MacIntyre went on to note that this type of cancer is responsible for a large number of deaths in China, so having a proven preventative measure, such as an HPV vaccine, may be of particular interest to their health authorities.
The report noted that while the team established a link between HPV and throat cancer, further research is required to determine whether HPV is the actual cause.
HPV and medical complications... Full Story
According to a West Virginia local news source, prostitution is contributing to a statistically significant rise in sexually transmitted diseases in Mercer County. Health officials noted that STDs spread by prostitutes were becoming a particularly difficult problem to tackle in the area.
The Bluefield Daily Telegraph reported that, through STD testing, the health department diagnosed 27 new cases of STDs in June alone. In a regular month, the department usually only sees about 15 patients with STDs.
"It's been especially worse since January this year," Judy Bolton, public health nurse, told the news source. "We are having a huge number of chlamydia and gonorrhea cases, which are sexually transmitted diseases. And there is treatment for those people who come in and get treatment - if they don't, they can get complications."
The local news source noted that STDs spread by sex workers are a particularly tricky situation, since it is rare that customers know their real names. Bolton said that the department's goal is to bring in the STD carriers and get them treated, but that there are many obstacles in tracking them down. The rate of STDs per citizen in Mercer County is the highest in the U.S. for hepatitis B.
Regular STD tests necessary for sexual health... Full Story
Alaska, a state that has had unusually high sexually transmitted disease (STD) rates compared to the rest of the U.S., is now seeing a decline in its new cases, though some officials are not sure that the dip will last. The new outbreaks are mainly focused in the rural areas of the state, according to STD tests.
STD outbreaks... Full Story
While rates of syphilis have gone down across the country in recent years, the rates in San Antonio, Texas, have gone up. Health officials blame the lack of lab tests required for pregnant women to reveal whether they have the disease, thus passing it onto their children at birth.
High rates... Full Story
Lab tests revealed that rates of the sexually transmitted diseases chlamydia and gonorrhea have risen in Montana. Syphilis has remained at its current rate. Low-income youth are the most vulnerable to infections from these diseases, according to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services.
STDs and income... Full Story
Rates of reported sexually transmitted diseases in Lubbock, Texas, are currently higher than last year's, according to numbers from the city's heath department. So far in 2013, the rates of reported STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea have risen.
STDs... Full Story
Testing for common sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhea could potentially lead to significantly lower rates of the diseases. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shown that rates of these STDs appear to be increasing, but experts say that the increasing numbers may be due to more thorough testing.
Rates... Full Story
Cumberland County, N.C., has experienced a huge surge in many of the most common sexually transmitted diseases this year. Chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and other STDs have become much more common than in the past decade, when there was a general decline. Officials blame a lack of STD testing for the spike.
Rising rates... Full Story
Illinois schools will include mandatory sex education in their curriculum this year in order to curb rates of sexually transmitted diseases and unplanned pregnancies among young people. The city has had some of the highest rates of STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea among people aged 15 to 19 in recent years and officials hope that more comprehensive education could reduce those rates.
Chicago youths... Full Story
A study has shown that women with sexually transmitted diseases before or during pregnancy may have higher rates for complications. The study found that women who had been infected with chlamydia or gonorrhea near or during their pregnancies were the most at risk.
Results of the study... Full Story
The results of a new study show that chlamydia rates have fallen over time, but the infection remains common among young women. The presence of antibodies revealed that many young women had had the disease at some point, even while rates for the general population have fallen in recent years.
Rates of chlamydia among young women... Full Story
A strain of drug-resistant gonorrhea has been declared an "urgent threat" by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The agency has never before classified infectious diseases with threat levels, though now has labeled the strain of gonorrhea and two other diseases as serious threats to the American public.
Gonorrhea superbug... Full Story
Racine, Wis., teens face some of the highest rates for sexually transmitted diseases in the state. The news comes from the City of Racine Health Department and the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and has prompted parents and youths in the city to take action.
Urgent need for action... Full Story
Herpes simplex virus 2, commonly referred to as genital herpes, has no cure, but a team of researchers from Cambridge, Mass., may be on the road to finding one. Genocea Biosciences announced its encouraging results at the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy in Denver.
Clinical trial results... Full Story
A press release from the United Nations revealed that rates for the sexually transmitted diseases are down 33 percent worldwide since 2001. Due to a stronger push for STD testing and treatment for the human immunodeficiency virus and the acquired immune deficiency virus worldwide, UNAIDS, the Joint United Nations Program on HIV/AIDS, has been able to drastically lower the number of new infections.
Reducing HIV and AIDS worldwide... Full Story
Two cancer medications now known to have a potential link to reactivating dormant cases of hepatitis B will receive stronger warnings from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration about this side effect. The sexually transmitted disease can be dormant in patients, but side effects of the medications may cause the disease to become active, potentially becoming a deadly complication for people already diagnosed with cancer.
Hepatitis B and cancer medications... Full Story
Broward County, Fla., has experienced a surge in syphilis rates. The sexually transmitted disease is curable in its early stages and can spread easily, prompting city health officials to urge residents to seek STD testing for the disease. The rising rates prompted the AIDS Healthcare Foundation to send out flyers encouraging STD tests for all residents.
Syphilis rates in Broward County... Full Story
A study from the University at Buffalo has shown promising results for a gonorrhea cure. The researchers found out more about how the gonorrhea infection works, and, using that information, were able to create a compound that could potentially reduce or remove infections entirely.
New information about the infection... Full Story
Cocaine use may cause the body to be more susceptible to HIV infections, according to a new study published in the Journal of Leukocyte Biology. Researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles exposed healthy cells to both cocaine and HIV and found that the cells were more likely to be infected and that the infection may even be stronger with the use of the drug. In addition, the infection may be stronger among affected individuals who use cocaine than those who do not use it.
Cocaine and HIV... Full Story
One Washington County has experienced almost double the cases of the sexually transmitted disease gonorrhea so far in 2013 than it had in 2012. Though officials are not certain of the cause, they are urging residents to seek STD tests to see if they have this curable disease.
Yakima County, Washington gonorrhea rates... Full Story
Herpes is the virus responsible for causing conditions ranging from chickenpox and shingles to cold sores and genital herpes. A new understanding of the way this virus spreads through the body could help scientists develop new treatments for genital herpes, a chronic condition, and other forms of the virus as well.
New findings in the spread of the virus... Full Story
Adams County, Ill., which includes the city of Quincy, has experienced a high rise in sexually transmitted disease rates. The county ranked 20th in the state for STD rates last year, so those living in the area may want to exercise caution and consider having STD tests to ensure their STD status.
High STD rates in Adams County... Full Story
Research has found that due to a lack of antibodies, all age groups and especially teenagers are more likely to contract genital herpes than they were in decades past. The study, published in the Journal of Infectious Diseases, found that today's teens are more likely to be less resistant to herpes simplex virus 1, which can cause genital herpes.
Changes in vulnerability over time... Full Story
A gonorrhea outbreak has been declared in Spokane County, Wash., so those in the area may want to consider being tested for the sexually transmitted disease. The Washington State Department of Health declared the outbreak after data was released showing a huge increase in reported cases of the STD.
Large increase in cases... Full Story
Risky sexual behaviors among residents in South Dakota may be causing the rise of sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis. Experts caution South Dakota residents to be wary when engaging in sexual activity with people met online, a risk factor that area experts have linked to increasing STD rates.
Anonymous Internet hookups... Full Story
While some may assume that they are safe from sexually transmitted diseases if they only engage in oral sex, the opposite is actually true. Many STDs are commonly passed through oral sex, even at times when neither partner is showing symptoms. If both partners have regular STD tests, the risk for contracting these diseases can be greatly reduced. Having multiple sexual partners can also greatly increase the risk of spreading STDs.
A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that many American teenagers underestimate the risk for STDs associated with oral sex. According to the report, many teenagers have oral sex instead of vaginal sex to prevent pregnancy and reduce the chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
The researchers commented that, "Young people, particularly those who have oral sex before their first vaginal intercourse, may still be placing themselves at risk of STIs or HIV before they are ever at risk of pregnancy. Given the higher rates of STIs among some groups of young people, it is important to understand the prevalence and correlates of various types of sexual behaviors, coital and noncoital, in this age group."
The study found that approximately two-thirds of males and females between ages 15 and 24 had engaged in oral sex, which is lower than estimated, but many of the participants were not aware of the risks involved. Young people who are sexually active should seek STD testing to be sure of their status. A lab test online can provide answers to questions about STDs.
STDs commonly spread through oral sex... Full Story
A novel mutation in the hepatitis B virus could be causing increased rates of liver cancer in men, according to a new South Korean study. Originally published in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, the study could help explain why men with HBV have such dramatically high rates of liver cancer and cirrhosis compared to women.
Liver cancer and hepatitis B... Full Story
A marked rise in syphilis cases has been tracked in Alaskan cities like Anchorage, Matanuska-Susitna Borough, Juneau and Fairbanks. The rates of the disease are predominately in men who live in the region with a median age of 35.
Urban populations with syphilis... Full Story
A young girl born with AIDS has gone into remission, igniting new hopes of finding a cure for the deadly sexually transmitted disease. The girl, now 3 years old, was born with congenital AIDS but, after undergoing 18 months of extensive treatments, now shows no signs of the aggressive autoimmune disease.
A seeming cure for the young girl... Full Story
The results of a new study have shown that AIDS antibodies from humans have been able to strongly suppress the virus in monkeys. This new research may be able to one day alter treatments given to people who tested positive for HIV or AIDS in STD testing.
Antibodies fighting AIDS... Full Story
A poll from the New York City Health Department found that the majority of New York City residents are not using condoms, making them far more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases. The poll found that roughly two-thirds of the city's residents reported that they had not used a condom in their last sexual encounter, making it less surprising that so many of the city's residents test positive when it comes to STD testing.
Condom use... Full Story
Stigmas surrounding sexually transmitted diseases may be reducing the amount of STD testing, according to a new study. The research found that many Americans, especially those who are college-aged, were resistant to the idea of STD tests because the results could potentially be embarrassing, even in the company of medical professionals.
The stigma of STDs... Full Story
An outbreak of the sexually transmitted disease syphilis in Enid, Okla., has sparked concerns among public health officials and residents alike. There have been nearly double the amount of reported cases of syphilis this year compared to last year in the city, so those in the area may want to consider getting STD tests to be sure of their status.
Syphilis in Enid... Full Story
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released new data estimating that one-third of Americans have sexually transmitted diseases or infections. The new data shows that people aged 15 to 24 are most likely to have the diseases, the most common of which is the human papillomavirus. The agency urged STD testing for all sexually active Americans, especially those who are most at risk for infection.
Rise in STDs... Full Story
A new birth control device that may be effective in preventing HIV infections is set to undergo testing. The research about the device was presented at the 2013 American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Antonio and shows promise for a device that could help prevent unwanted pregnancies as well as the spread of the deadly sexually transmitted disease.
The new birth control device... Full Story
A report released this month noted that the number of sexually transmitted disease cases in South Dakota has risen from the median average of the last five years. Published by the state's Department of Health, the results detailed the increase in cases of gonorrhea, syphilis, HIV and chlamydia.
According to the findings, HIV and chlamydia rose the least, with instances for both in the neighborhood of 22 and 25 percent increases, respectively. However, it was gonorrhea and syphilis that saw the biggest spike in cases, as their numbers were up by 76 percent and 1,050 percent, respectively.
Many STDs can go untreated, as they do not display noticeable symptoms. For instance, those infected with HIV would display symptoms equivalent to that of a flu or common cold. Because of this, these diseases are not detected unless specifically tested for.
"Sometimes you'll never know. It's simply found by screening and that's the scary part," said Melissa Shefl, a physician's assistant at the Sanford Health Vermillion Clinic in South Dakota.
"The majority of the people we see are 15- to 24-year-olds, and that is your student as far as high school student to a college student," added registered nurse Joan Beach, a member of the Family Planning department at Vermillion.
In order to spread HIV awareness on college campuses, Planned Parenthood and the Sanford Health Clinic work together throughout the year, teaching the importance of practicing safe sex and getting tested regularly for STDs.
Facts about STDs in America... Full Story
Researchers have developed a new qualitative and quantitative procedure for swift detection of chlamydia that can be easily carried out at the point of care during a patient's visit. Being able to rapidly identify one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases that affects humans is the result of successful lab tests and is a massive step forward in the treatment of STDs.
Published in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, the research was led by Ulo Langel, Ph.D., professor of molecular biotechnology at the University of Tartu in Estonia.
The procedure detects chlamydia directly from urine samples as opposed to the traditional method of purifying total DNA from samples, which is a far more tedious process. Because of this, the new method eliminates the necessity of specialized equipment, reducing the cost of chlamydia detection procedures and taking up less time. Its simplicity makes it applicable to various point-of-care environments, from private practices to large-scale hospitals.
Current techniques for testing the presence of chlamydia are only acceptable for hospital use with professionally trained staff and expensive machinery that small practices typically cannot afford. Some studies have also shown that half of patients who come in for exams do not return to receive results or adequate treatment. Even though numerous point-of-care lab tests have previously been established, none of them are as efficient as hospital exams. Analysis showed the reliability of the new procedure, with sensitivity at 83 percent and specificity of diagnosis at 100 percent.
"The alarmingly poor performance of the available POC tests for C. trachomatis has limited their wider use, and there is a clear requirement for more sensitive and cost-effective diagnostic platforms. Hence, the need for an applicable on-site test that offers reasonably sensitive detection," affirmed Langel.
Chlamydia in the US... Full Story
A county in Oregon is experiencing an increase in cases of sexually transmitted diseases, with both gonorrhea and syphilis leading all other cases by a significant margin. Public health officials in Lane County worry about the prevalence and are asking doctors and residents to be more vigilant in prevention and reporting.
According to Disease Surveillance Data from the state's Public Health Department, Oregon has seen a large increase in the number of reported syphilis cases over the last six years, while gonorrhea has remained at stable numbers in the same amount of time. However, by the end of November 2013, Lane County had more than 200 reported cases of gonorrhea, a 60 percent increase from 2012. While the number of syphilis cases is relatively small at 23, the previous pattern in the area was one or two cases per year.
"Occasionally, if you look over a 10-year period, we do have little outbreaks of sexually transmitted diseases. This one is lasting longer than we want, and it's significantly higher than we want, so it's concerning," said Paul Luedtke, Lane County Public Health Officer.
While Luedtke places blame on a few different trends, the economic recession can take a large portion of it. The unemployment rate in the area rose above 10 percent, leaving many of the county's citizens without access to affordable health care. This can have many negative implications when it comes to STD testing due to a lack of diagnoses and reporting. In order to curb this concern, Lane County restarted the practice of clinics open once a week to see patients with STDs.
Additionally, Luedtke would also like physicians to research deeper into diagnoses and treatments of various STDs, specifically gonorrhea and syphilis. The previously recommended dosage for treating gonorrhea was 125 milligrams of the antibiotic ceftriaxone, however, the number is now 250 mg, as the bacteria developed a stronger resistance to the drug.
The use of ceftriaxone... Full Story
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