SEXUALLY transmitted infections (STIs) are at best unpleasant and at worst life-threatening. They can also be hard to spot. The majority of people with chlamydia, the most common bacterial STI, display no symptoms at all. Most women with gonorrhoea will show no signs of the disease, which can cause infertility if left untreated. Syphilis often goes undetected as well, because its symptoms are similar to those of many other diseases. Early signs include sores and cuts. At later stages, victims can suffer from numbness, blindness and, in rare cases, death. Moreover, having gonorrhoea or syphilis also makes a person more susceptible to contracting HIV. All bacterial STIs are curable with a course of antibiotics if detected at an early stage.
Rates of these three diseases rose in the United States in 2015, according to America’s Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Gonorrhoea and syphilis had plunged to record lows, thanks to antibiotic treatment and the increasing use of condoms in the late 1970s. Chlamydia, for which complete national data are only available since 2000, also plateaued recently. But worryingly,…Continue reading