The green living movement has had a profound impact on our lives. There are some ways that sustainability is impacting us that we aren’t even aware of. One example is trends in STI prevalence. There are a number of ways that STIs and green living decisions intersect. One example is the emergence of condoms that are made from sustainable resources. There are also a number of new STI medications that are sourced from sustainable products.
However, we need to ask whether or not these solutions are effective. Getting green treatment options is important, but we must also make sure that they work too. Here are some STI statistics that we need to consider while using green treatments for STIs.
STI Statistics Eco-Conscious Consumers Must be Aware of
According to the CDC, three types of Sexual Transmitted Infections or STIs have been soaring in numbers in recent years. Cases of Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia are reaching all-time high numbers. Syphilis cases have gone up 76% from 2013. Cases of Chlamydia have spiked 45% for girls and women 14-25 years old. Gonorrhea infections have gone up 67% since 2013 and are the biggest concern to physicians and health officials because some strains are resisting antibiotic treatment. Other types of common STIs include Genital Herpes, Genital Warts, Human Papilloma Virus, Bacterial Vaginosis, Hepatitis B, HIV/AIDs, and Trichomoniasis.
The largest factor that has contributed to the steady increase in STI cases over the past 5 years has been the decreased use in condoms with both heterosexual couples and gay men. With the introduction of HIV medications that decrease the rate of transmission, many gay men have forgone the use of condoms, and it has caused a sharp rise in Gonorrhea cases.
Another factor in the concerning rise of STI rates has been attributed to the decrease in funding for state and local agencies that work on STI prevention and education. Currently, the United States has the highest rates of STI infections in the world. The loss of infrastructure prevents the state and local agencies from both prescribing medication and paying disease investigators whose job is to find those who are infected and talk to them about sexual behaviors while also teaching them to stop the further spread of STIs.
The CDC recommends 6 important behaviors in order to prevent STIs.
- Abstinence- This is the most reliable way to not get infected, this includes vaginal, anal, and oral sex.
- Vaccination- Vaccines can prevent both Hepatitis B and some of the more common strains of HPV. It is recommended that all teen girls up to the age of 26 and all males up to the age of 21 get vaccinated. The CDC recommends all adults who did not receive the Hepatitis B vaccine as children get vaccinated.
- Reduce your number of sexual partners- Reducing your number can greatly decrease risk, but it is important that you discuss your status with every new partner and get tested before sexual activity with a new partner.
- Mutual monogamy- This means you and your partner agree to be sexually active only with each other. It is important that both people get tested before beginning sexual activity.
- Use Condoms- Correct and consistent use of condoms greatly reduces the risk of getting an infection.
- Get Tested- Some STI symptoms are silent. It is important to get checked after each new sexual partner to guarantee you will not pass anything on to potential new partners.STI education is of vital importance. It greatly improves the health of Americans. STIs can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancies, and weakened immune systems. It can also make certain pre-existing conditions worse. Education also helps and is important in stopping the further spread of diseases as it stresses the importance of safe behavior and health screenings. Education also helps individual communities because it helps to reduce the number of outbreaks. Giving the general populace this type of information empowers them to make healthy decisions and gain control of their sexual well-being.
Green living and STI diagnoses intersect in a strange way
We rarely consider all of the ways that the green living movement has changed our lives. One of the strangest is the relationship between green lifestyle decisions and STIs. It is important to understand the relationship between the two and make sure that the green STI treatments that we use are effective.