Wrap it up! No, seriously, because somehow there’s a huge rise in STDs cases in CT. And it’s kinda scary.
CT Post reports that the rise in STDs is also a nationwide phenomenon. On top of that, the CDC can’t really explain what’s going on or what’s causing it. Is it because more people are using hookup apps? Or maybe because of more people having sex in general? They really don’t have an answer and neither do we!
What we do know is the overall amount of cases coming in and how the numbers go up year by year. Nationwide, clinics recorded over 2 million cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis around the country. As for Connecticut, the numbers seem just as bad.
Connecticut saw a 5.7 percent rise in chlamydia cases last year, or 759 more since 2015. As for syphilis, cases went up by an alarming 12 percent from the previous year. Doctors also reported an alarming spike in gonorrhea; with a 31 percent rise from 2015.
Yuck. No, seriously, how is this even happening in 2017? Did sex ed truly fail us as a country?
Well, if you went to a religious school who taught “abstinence only” like mine, then yes. Yes, they basically failed you and all of us, too.
Martiza Bond, Bridgeport’s director of Health & Social Services echoed that sentiment:
“We need to start focusing our education efforts among younger populations so they can be aware of the risk factors.”
Hate to break it to those who believe everyone should wait until marriage, it’s great that you believe that, but not everyone shares your opinion. Actually, a minority of people still believe that’s the only form of birth control/protection from STDs.
Considering that advertisers use sex as a marketing tool to sell everything from hamburgers to Gucci belts, it’s hard to ignore why more and more people are doing the dirty. It’s literally everywhere to the point you can call it “normalized.”
On top of that, premarital sex is increasingly accepted and common. Have you picked up a copy of Cosmo, lately?
So, classroom discussions need to acknowledge that it’s not 1950 anymore.
Note: if you’re a sex ed teacher and still teach like this, you’re part of the problem. A big part of the problem, actually.
Still, that doesn’t mean sex ed classes should ignore abstinence entirely. It’s still an acceptable and normal choice that some choose to make. And sex ed classes should also teach that there’s no shame for waiting and discuss the wonderful notion known as consent. Teachers should emphasize that a student should end their relationship if they find themselves afraid to say “no” to their partner. Or if their partner doesn’t listen to, “no.”
That said, instructors should also focus on students who don’t choose abstinence considering the average age a boy or girl loses her virginity happens to be 17.1. So these instructors need to ensure their students’ health and safety. Otherwise, those students will just pull up a YouTube tutorial on how to put a condom on.
IF they put on a condom.
Long story short: sex ed needs to be a sexual education course and not “abstinence only.” It’s 2017, come on. Teach kids ways to prevent a pregnancy or STD beyond “leaving room for Jesus.”
Plus, increasing sex ed in schools is also credited for a drop in teenage pregnancy. So, win-win all around for students and the taxpayers. No one likes teenage pregnancy except MTV executives.
Now, as to why doctors see more adults with STDs, it could very well be to a rise in hookup culture along with a decline in sex education. Or, the rise of instant gratification culture. Tinder is basically Uber for sex, anyway.
However, doctors also theorize that the rise in diagnoses is thanks to better screening techniques. Joshua Rozovsky of the Hartford Gay & Lesbian Health Collective says they changed how they screen for STDs last year:
“Beginning in July 2016, we started conducting oral and rectal swabs for chlamydia and gonorrhea, whereas prior to this, we only tested urine in men. We now swab 100 percent of patients who walk in the door.”
However, even doctors believe a significant gap in sexual knowledge might be the true culprit. Syphilis,was nearly eradicated in 2000, but clinics saw a steady rise in infections every year after that. And they don’t know why or how that’s possible.
Dr. Lynn Sosa, TB/STD control programs coordinator at DPH, bemoaned the resurgence of that particular STD:
“We are really at a little bit of a crossroads with syphilis. The real concern is if we start seeing syphilis among women, then we’re going to start seeing more babies with syphilis.”
Infants born with the STD in their system can develop physical and mental disabilities. But, if doctors catch the infection early on in the pregnancy, those issues can be avoided altogether. So testing early on can save a life and heartache.
On top of that, women can also suffer from pelvic inflammatory disease and infertility if they don’t seek treatment for chlamydia and gonorrhea. Sometimes, they might not even know they have the illness. So doctors encourage sexually active people should screen themselves whenever they find a new sexual partner.
Also, we can’t forget about HIV, herpes, HPV, and hepatitis… along with this lengthy list of everything you can catch with unprotected sex. Those diseases are also, sadly, on the rise.
Because of the rise in STDs and all the risks they bring, the CDC made a call to action to increase awareness. However, officials struggle with finding a message effective enough to engage everyone.
So, if you do want to do the dirty, make sure you protect yourself and your partner or you both could become another statistic. Plus, treatment for STDs costs money, so spend that money on a box of condoms instead of a copay.
Surprises in the bedroom are fun, but there’s some surprises that no one wants.
What do you think, though? Why is there a spike in STDs? Should classrooms end the “abstinence only” sex ed models? Let me know in the comments below!