It is only a test.

Time for a personal MAD post. We are all adults. Let’s face some pretty startling numbers and resolve to and do the right thing. Our lives depend on it. You do Make A Difference.

More than twenty-five sexually transmitted diseases (STD) have names, classifications and some form of treatment. The most common curable STD are:

Parasite which causes Trichomoniasis

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
  • Syphilis
  • Trichomoniasis

STD are caused by bacteria and viruses which are carried and transmitted on genital skin or in genital fluids.

Most STD begin with a general malaise, much like flu symptoms and fatigue. Some of the manifestations are rashes, pustules, open sores, lesions, warts, fever and abnormal genital fluid production. If syphilis goes untreated, it causes dementia, brain and organ damage. It is potentially fatal.

While most STD can be treated with antibiotics, four are incurable.

  • Human papillomavirus (HPV)
  • Human Immunovirus (HIV)/Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS)
  • Herpes
  • Hepatitis

HPV has been linked to an increased risk of certain genital cancers (like cervical cancer). HIV is the precursor to AIDS, which compromises the immune system making patients susceptible to infection by all common pathogens and increasing the likelihood death will result.

Human Herpes Virus

Genital herpes (simplex 2) is more prevalent in women than men, and highest in black women. Hepatitis is a STD which inflames the liver, eventually causing it to malfunction and fail. The five types of hepatitis are lettered A through E.


Sexually transmitted disease is as common as the common cold. In the industrialized world, the United States has the highest incident rate of STD.

Over 65 Million

That is the number of people in the US infected with at least one STD. About 1/3 of all people with a STD are unaware they have one.

1 in 4

Teens contract STD every year. Approximately, 4,750,000 cases of STD per year are diagnosed in teens.

19 Million

New cases of STD are diagnosed each year. Of these, half are diagnosed to young people under the age of 25. The sowing of wild oats comes with a price.

1 Million

Of the million people estimated to have HIV, 25% do not know they are infected.


Half of the population will have an STD at least once in their lives.


All STD are preventable.
Abstinence is 100% effective at STD prevention.

$64 Billion

Every year, more than $14B is spent diagnosing and treating STD, excluding HIV/AIDS. More than half of the money spent comes from patients and their insurance carriers.

Annually, nearly $50B funds the diagnosis and treatment of the more than one million cases of HIV/AIDS in the US alone.

Make A Difference

Take responsibility for the transmission of STD.

1. Call your doctor. If you cannot find a testing facility in your area, make an appointment to be tested for STD and HIV. Testing is anonymous and is often free.

2. Get information. Before your appointment read about your risks based on age, sexual activity, gender and race. Counseling is available to help you assess the risks and understand your test results.

3. Do it together. Going to be tested with your partner can ease tension and quell fear. Support one another in the choice for healthy sex.

Gonorrhea Bacteria

4. Protect your negative results. Prevent infection by practicing abstinence. If you are sexually active, be monogamous with a partner who is also negative for STD. If you or your partner are not monogamous, use a condom.

5. Be responsible with positive results. If you have a STD, get treatment. Practice full disclosure by telling your sexual partner(s) so they can be tested and treated if necessary.

6. Say No to intravenous (IV) drugs. If you do use drugs, never share a needle with anyone.

7. Share the information. Many people do not know the risks of contracting a STD. They do not know they could be infected without knowing. Pass the information about getting test on to them.

You can prevent passing a STD to someone you love, but only if you know whether or not you have one. You would not knowingly pass a disease you know would inconvenience, harm and/or kill your sexual partner.

  • Each STD increases the risk of infection of HIV/AIDS.
  • Just because you cannot see symptoms does not mean you do not have an STD.
  • One partner can reinfect the other if both are not treated simultaneously and do not abstain or have protected sex during treatment.
  • Oral sex is a way to transmit STD.
  • Only herpes simplex 2 is on the decline. All other STD are on the rise.

You DO Make A Difference.

No one is immune to sexually transmitted diseases. Look at your partner. Chances are one of you has or has had a STD. Get the peace of mind of knowing you are STD-free.

Save yourself stress, heartache and money by getting tested. You could save a life…yours or your partner’s.


Do you know of a testing clinic in your area? Did you know there were that many cases of STD? Can you imagine a better way to spend the money spent on STD and HIV/AIDS diagnosis and treatment? Will you Make A Difference by spreading the word about STD testing?

(c) Ann Marie Dwyer 2012
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  1. Hepatitis C-E are transferred through Blood transfusions and can remain dormant for years, even decades. If you have had a transfusion before testing was common, get tested! While you cannot infect another person when you are not active, you can also kill the virus and prevent it from ever becoming active. The ‘cure’ is horrible but in most it is effective, even when active.

    Just my two cents.
    Valentine Logar recently posted..History isn’t Mutable, But we areMy Profile

    • Red

       /  June 8, 2012

      That dormancy is what led to the discovery of D and E. The blood had passed the tests for A-C. This is yet another reason why everyone should be tested, not just those who think they are at risk. No matter how horrible the treatment, the alternative is far worse.

  2. Wow…scary stuff, but with some good advice. I’m sure glad I’m too old to have sex anymore 🙂
    Hansi recently posted..What, More Hansi?My Profile

    • Red

       /  June 8, 2012

      LOL! So many people say that. Given the dormancy and latency of some of the bugs, it is not enough to say I have not had sex in XX years. Hepatitis can lie in repose for decades. And the test does not hurt!

  3. Just heard you might have to add Gonorrhea to the not curable ones as the disease has been mutating to untreatable strains.
    Bearman recently posted..Charity Challenge Guest ComicsMy Profile

    • Red

       /  June 8, 2012

      There are quite a few drug-resistant strains of the clap. The biggest problem with gonorrhea is so many people never treat it. Those who are consistently reinfected develop their own defense mechanisms to protect the germ. Fortunately, there is great promise in the lines of Cipro and Septra. The problem lies in the artificial nature of them because it makes for smarter germs.

  4. I heard what Bearman was talking about too…
    how disturbing is that!? Sometimes it seems like for every new advancement that is made/discovered there are two more setbacks, etc. too…
    kind of depressing.
    And scary.
    spilledinkguy recently posted..FlamingoMy Profile

    • Red

       /  June 8, 2012

      The setback is with the people, SIG. All of the curable ones could be wiped out if there was a concentrated effort to eradicate them. Education is lacking. In our quest not to introduce sex to children, we have completely foregone telling them the risks involved in having sex. If the entire country would get over the fact sex is not immoral, it would help.

  5. Red, this is an excellent and informative post. The statistics about #s of STD’ cases are horrific–but not nearly as horrible as the facts of the diseases themselves. Every0ne from teens on up in age should educate themselves about this plague –which is exacerbated by irresponsible, risky and at times, immoral, yes, it may be politically incorrect * to say so, but immoral behavior and lack of common sense.
    The fact is, with changing societal mores, STD transmission has skyrocketed -and will continue to do so.
    *sits in the corner office ,waiting for the hate mail … Thanks for posting this controversial and sensitive, embarrassing and all-important topic for discussion, Red. ~R
    Raymond Alexander Kukkee recently posted..Weather, Pinfeathers and FoxesMy Profile

    • Red

       /  June 8, 2012

      Yes, this is information everyone needs. To be frank, there is nothing immoral about sex. In order to assume morality, one has to decide there are only certain acceptable circumstances for sex. Truly, the only thing embarrassing about this topic is admitting ignorance of the facts, the statistics, the method of transmission and accepting the stigma associated with STD provided by the moralists who look down on those with them.

  6. In the UK we have a problem with insurers who won’t insure you if you go for an STD test, even if it is negative.

    I went for a test decades ago, but my doctor refused to perform the test.

    Since then I have had full bloods three times and I’m clean! 🙂

    Now my meds have shut down my sex drive I am no longer at risk, but I DO worry in case I need a blood products transfusion at some point…

    Love and hugs!

    prenin recently posted..Thursday – The Zoom Box arrives!My Profile

    • Red

       /  June 8, 2012

      The insurers here have been legislated to stop the stigmatizing of STD. The WHO has gone a long way to ensuring the insurance companies cannot make judgments based solely on taking the tests. A positive result classifies as a pre-existing condition, but merely taking the test is indicative of risk-taking behavior or likelihood of incident. In fact, testing is the largest weapon against transmission. Like I said, you cannot prevent the transmission if you have no idea you have it. {HUGZ} Red.

  7. Red this is an excellent post.. And the numbers of people with STD is staggering.. Thank you for sharing such information.
    Wishing you a Relaxing Weekend. ~Sue
    Sue Dreamwalker recently posted..Setting the Vegetables ~Grow your Own~My Profile

    • Red

       /  June 8, 2012

      This is information everyone needs, frankly. It is shameful the shocking numbers are what it takes to get some people to move. I hope you are relaxing this weekend as well…but you are likely to be in that lovely garden of yours. xxx

  8. I heard some time ago that both syphilis and gonorrhea were becoming difficult to treat.

    We learned about the dangers of STDs in school and at home. Mainly it was preaching for abstinence, but the message was pretty clear back then–use a condom and don’t get sick. We didn’t have AIDS or HIV to worry about until the early 80s, but herpes and hepatitis were big worries. I think gonorrhea and syphilis were the most common STDs. We also heard about warts and other less common things.

    The whole sex-ed thing was kind of new and controversial, especially in a parochial school, but they did a decent job of covering the topic of STDs, how to prevent them, what the symptoms were and what to do if you contracted one.

    When the x-rated movie Deep Throat came out, they had a special one day class to point out that oral sex could transmit STDs as easily as PIV sex.

    It was kind of a funny thing back then, being in parochial school and all, that they would make that point, because then we all had to find a way to see the movie.

    MJ Logan recently posted..Friends of Muse Part 1My Profile

  9. I would have found your post interesting, but don’t you know people don’t get STD’s anymore? There are vaccines for that stuff.
    OR…Is it that only women get it?
    I don’t know, but I’m sure I heard that from some really smart people once.
    Lorre recently posted..Wordless Wednesday: If you mean “my” words.My Profile

  10. Wonderful! Love how all of this information is right up front. I think I’ll save the link for my daughter when the time comes (not now! even though she’s off to high school…).
    laura recently posted..Scatter my ashes in a wood kilnMy Profile

    • Now is a good time. Do not wait until it is too late. Better she know in advance than after the fact!


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