Do you know how many people have chlamydia? Syphilis? No?
Me either. But it’s a lot. Depending on the group evaluated, chlamydia rates among young women range from 7-15%. And with STDs, there is always at least one other victim.
The holidays tend to be a time of seeing old friends and drinking with them. I see a lot of STDs after the holidays.
Both men and women can carry STDs without symptoms, but in women, these infections can ravage the reproductive organs leading to ectopic pregnancies, infertility, and other long-term health problems.
If infertility doesn’t sound so bad, you might want to think about the other STDs that travel with gonorrhea and chlamydia. HIV doesn’t go away. Syphilis often isn’t discovered until it’s caused significant damage to the nervous system and blood vessels.
All of these illnesses can be easily avoided by proper use of latex condoms and by seeking appropriate health care. Men with penile discharge should see a doctor immediately. Women with vaginal discharge should as well, and they should make sure to ask their doctors for yearly gonorrhea and chlamydia screening when they get their pap smears.
Look, I don’t mind stamping out disease—it’s lots of fun. But the best way to deal with disease is to prevent it. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and when you run to the store for more booze, don’t forget the condoms.