Rise in STDs Attributed Almost Entirely to Males
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found an 11 percent rise in syphilis and a 4 percent increase in gonorrhea cases in 2012 in the U.S. But what does the XY chromosome have to do with these sexually transmitted diseases?
Researchers believe it’s less to do with genes and more to do with social stigma aimed at gay and bisexual men, in addition to difficulties in accessing health care. Salon reports:
[Syphilis and gonorrhea] are curable with antibiotics, but many people do not get tested and so the infections remain untreated and spread.
“We know that having access to high-quality health care is important to controlling and reducing STDs,” Gail Bolan, director of the CDC’s STD prevention division, told Bloomberg News. “Some of our more-vulnerable populations don’t have access. There are a number of men who come in to our clinic for confidential services because they’re too embarrassed to see their primary care doctors.”
George W. Rutherford, a professor of epidemiology at the University of California at San Francisco, agreed that homophobia and cultural stigma are major factors in the spread of disease.
“With most of these populations, having a sexually transmitted disease from having sex with another man is highly stigmatized,” he told Bloomberg. “They’d rather not get tested for HIV, syphilis, or whatever. They don’t want it to show up on their records.”
The CDC’s full report reminds us that the problem does not just affect men, however, as “all Americans have an interest in STD prevention because all communities are impacted by STDs and all individuals directly or indirectly pay for the costs of these diseases.”
—Posted by Natasha HakimiWait, before you go…
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig
There are currently no responses to this article.
Be the first to respond.