The numbers of new cases of HIV/AIDS in Dallas are as young as 13 years of age. The age groups of 13-24 are continuing to have increased and many health agencies are calling this diagnosis an HIV and AIDS epidemic. Not since the 1980s has Dallas and Texas documented such an increase in one sexually transmitted disease. An organization known as AIDS ARMS has been working with health organization in an aggressive push for testing and outreach to educate the community and the youth.
When a woman is pregnant and is going to a doctor for prenatal care, there are routine blood tests to detect infections. With the continuous spread of sexually transmitted diseases and infections, STD testing during pregnancy is becoming more of a part of the routine initial exam. These tests are used to evaluate not only the health of the mother-to-be, but the potential health of the unborn child.
April is STD Awareness Month that highlights sexually transmitted diseases and how early detection and treatment is the key to being cured of the diseases. Until recently, HIV and herpes did not have a cure, and even with new research, herpes still does not have a cure in the future. Recent reports from a French study on adults with HIV, has shown that early detection and early HIV treatment for the fourteen (14) adults of the study that are now considered “functionally cured”. This report comes after a Mississippi toddler received the same outcome of “functionally cured” when treatment was started early and followed closely by physicians and researchers.
Despite the progress made to prevent and control sexually transmitted diseases, STDs among African Americans are on the rise and African Americans are still at a greater risk of acquiring a sexually transmitted disease over other members of the population. Representing about 14 percent of the general US population, African Americans account for over half of the new cases of HIV/AIDS and syphilis. While accounting for one-third of the new cases reported of Chlamydia and two-thirds of the new cases of gonorrhea that are documented with testing centers and other healthcare facilities. The CDC among other health professionals are reviewing both social and economic factors along with the individual health decisions and how these elements are playing a part in the spread of STDs among this segment of the population.
With the alarming number of new STD cases documented in Philadelphia among teens, health professionals worry about the number of cases that are not documented or have had testing for STDs. Recent studies are finding teenagers and STDs are on the rise and teen s are in denial about sex and sexually transmitted diseases. Even when teens have tested positive for Chlamydia and gonorrhea, there is denial of having had sexual relations. Many teens see sex as vaginal intercourse and this is far from true. Sex is any exploration of two sex partners that includes oral, vaginal and anal.
Hollywood and television have influenced the dating community. With the term “cougar” used to describe older women dating younger men and the younger men that are attracted to the older female sex. With the comfort zone of society with the reverse situation of the older male and younger female or as some call having a “trophy wife”, the dating scene has a renewed interest for many newly divorced or waiting later to marry. As women become more powerful in the business arena and the community, these women are changing the rules of dating and for some younger men; they are enjoying the rewards of an older partner. These dating groups, although accepted, have not changed the spread of sexually transmitted diseases among the older and those that have re-entered the dating world after years of being married to someone else.
Abstinence is the only certain way not to acquire a sexually transmitted disease. A young woman can never be too careful when it comes to their health, especially their sexual health. Many believe that one time will not do any harm, or it never happens the first time that sex is explored. This myth has been the result of many unwanted pregnancies or a sexually transmitted disease. One sexual encounter can open both partners to sexually transmitted diseases. With so many myths about STDs, knowledge is power not only for prevention, but seeking cures when a sexual encounter occurs and questions arise.
Magic Johnson, a former NBA player, has shared his name and his foundation in promotion of the AIDS Outreach Clinic (AOC) in Fort Worth, Texas. The AOC will have staff and a resident physician that specialize in HIV/AIDS. Although testing for HIV and AIDS has changed drastically, research has shown that medical services are needed and a center that reaches out to the HIV/AIDS patients. The AOC will provide care no matter the ability to pay to assist with medications and health checkups.
There are couples that are seeking to start a family; many may think twice about getting pregnant with STDs or when one of the partners has a sexually transmitted disease. While many STDs are curable, HIV/AIDS and herpes do not have a cure at this time, and these diseases will be a factor during a pregnancy and the delivery of the newborn. Couples that have been practicing safe sex by using condoms, in order to protect the partner that does not have a sexually transmitted disease, have to make decisions if a family is desired. Those couples that can afford to pay for invitro fertilization can do so and avoid having sex without the use of protection. While STDs are treatable during pregnancy, there are risks and it is better to not have a sexually transmitted disease and STD testing is necessary to remain free of STDs.
Trichomonas Vaginalisis the most common sexually transmitted disease that is curable in young women. Men have been known to acquire TV and usually are unaware of being infected. Many sex partners, especially males, will unknowingly pass the infection onto other sex partners. When a woman seeks treatment, this is when it is discovered in the male partner. Both partners will need to be treated. Many new cases of drug resistant Trichomonas Vaginalis have been documented recently in San Jose.