A History of Sexually Transmitted Disease

4 April 2015
This essay examines the current and historical relevance of sexually transmitted diseases. It focuses on current and historical infection rates, the causes of these rates, and current prevention methods.

This paper examines the current and historical causes of STD’s with a particular focus on chlamydia, HPV, gonorrhea, AIDS, and herpes. It uses statistics and several graphs in order to show the growing trend of STD’s, the cause for that growth and concludes with methods of prevention.
“Sexually transmitted diseases appear to have always been a societal menace. At least, that is the impression garnered from recorded history. There is evidence of gonorrhea outbreaks dating as far back as 2200 B.C.E. (Spongberg, 1965: 23). Since that time, numerous new STDs and countless variations and mutations of existing STDs have arisen. Although infection rates have remained relatively constant throughout the ages, there have been occasional spikes as new diseases become prevalent. In the early 1970’s, a surge of previously unknown STDs caused infection rates to soar to record heights (CDC, 1998). Today, there are an estimated 333 million cases of STD infection (WHO, 1996). This is a staggering number, compared to the estimated 150 million of 1960 (CDC, 1998). Fortunately, in the past two decades our medical technology has allowed us to treat – and sometimes totally cure – STDs that have existed for centuries. Our medical understanding of STDs has also reached new heights, allowing us to educate and inform the general public of the risks involved with unprotected sexual intercourse. However, while one might expect that our new arsenal of knowledge and medicine would be ample weaponry against STDs, infection rates have continued to rise over the last few decades (WHO, 1998). Although infection rates have slowed slightly, sexually transmitted diseases are still as prevalent, if not more so, than they were a generation ago.”
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