State the observable effects of the problem:
1) an estimated 12 million Americans get effected with a sexually transmitted disease each year.
2) More than 25 different infectious organisms can be transmitted sexually, and five STD’s; schlamydia, gonorrhea, AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis B are among 10 of the most frequently reported infections
3) If detected and treated at an early stage, most STDs are curable. However 55 million Americans are believed to be infected with an incurable viral disease such as genital herpes and human papillomavireus(HPV), and a million people infected with AIDS, including 2000 infants.
4) Women are more likely to become infected with STD’s and because they are less likely to have noticeable symptoms, women suffer more health consequences than men do. Cervical Cancer which is linked to HPV kills more than 4500 women each year. Most STD’s will infect a child at birth or cause serious problems.
5) Besides the huge impact on individuals, these infections also create a huge financial burden for the country. Expenditures on direct medical care and related services on just seven major STD’s cost an estimated 10 Billion. With addition of aids the costs rises another 7 billion to 17 Billion.
Causes of the Problems:
In 1994 the Institute of Medicine convened a 15 member expert panel that was to examine the growing STD problem. They came up with some of the leading causes of the STD problem.
1) The reluctance to discuss sexual issues and the resultant lack of awareness about STDs
2) Inadequate training of health professionals and insufficient resources.
3) Media’s irresponsible treatment of sex
4) Fragmentation of services
There are numerous Biological, social and behavioral factors contribute to the high rates of STDs in this country.
Biologicaly- many infections don’t show evident symtoms so there is a delayed detection and treatment
Behavioral- teenagers in general are becoming sexually active earlier and marrying later. This is one of the leading factors because this means people have more sex partners greatly increasing the chance of spreading STDs.
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