Sexually Transmitted Diseases and How to Protect Yourself

 Safe sex is a must in order to stave off sexually transmitted diseases (STD).  There is no pleasure worth carrying around a disease that is not only annoying and embarrassing, but some of them can be deadly as well.  Abstinence is the only sure way to prevent getting a sexually transmitted disease, but let’s be honest few people completely abstain from sex. Being in a completely monogamous relationship where both partners are STD free also is a safe way to not fear sexually transmitted diseases. The next best way is protecting yourself and your partner by use of a condom.  

Sti Prevention

Condoms greatly help reduce the spread of sexually transmitted diseases

Always make sure to have condoms available if you will be experiencing sex.  According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, there has been an increase in sexually transmissible infections (STI) in the last decade

  They aren’t completely sure if infections are on the rise or if it is that more people are getting tested, or a combination of both.  Although younger and middle age people have a greater STI rate, the older generation is also seeing an uptick in sexually transmitted diseases as well.  

Sexually transmitted diseases can be either bacterial or viral

Both can cause lasting damage.  Some STDs will wreck your reproductive system and some can cause death.  Some STDs will cause unpleasant symptoms such as itching or a smelly discharge and some you may not even have symptoms.  

Bacterial infections include chlamydia, gonorrhoea, and syphilis

  While chlamydia and gonorrhoea generally infect the younger generations in Australia, syphilis is spread among most age groups.  Chlamydia and gonorrhoea infect reproductive organs and can be without symptoms.  They can damage those organs if left untreated.  Antibiotics can be takes to cure these infections if taken before damage has occurred.  Syphilis can can sores on the mouth and genitals.

It can be symptom free for many years

Without proper treatment Syphilis can cause long term damage to the brain and other organs.  There are three stages to syphilis.  They are primary, secondary, and late stage.  Syphilis is often asymptomatic in the first stages and also easily transmittable.  Syphilis can be treated with penicillin, however if it reaches the late stage the damage is done and can often result in death although it may just be managed as a long term disease as well.  In Australia, syphilis is quite rare, but it is still out there.  Protecting yourself from this bacterial infections is important and is as easy as using condoms.

Viral STIs include HIV (AIDS) and herpes.  HIV stands for Human immunodeficiency virus

It is a retrovirus that attacks the immune system leaving the victim with a weakened immunity.  This causes an increase in secondary infections, some that are usually quite rare.  HIV that is not treated will lead to AIDS, acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.  Sometimes there is no symptoms until it progresses to AIDS.  At that point, many opportunistic infections may occur as well as death.  Anti-retroviral drug treatment is used to treat HIV.  This is not a cure, but can keep the disease from progressing, sometimes for many years.  Men in their 30s are the highest group in Australia for new HIV infections.  The use of condoms can greatly decrease the rate of HIV infection.  

Gay men of Australia should pay special attention to the use of condoms

Herpes can cause cold sores and genital sores.  There are two types.  Genital herpes is one of the most common types of STDs in Australia.  It is spread through skin to skin contact, and the virus stays with a person for life.  When it is reactivated the person experiences outbreaks and can then spread the virus to others.  Although there is no cure, there are antiviral medications to help reduce the amount and length of infections.  Middle aged and being a woman in Australia have a greater occurrence of genital herpes, although it is quite common in all age ranges.  Condom usage can help stem herpes transmission, but because it is skin to skin it can still be transmitted even with a condom.  

Using a condom will help prevent many new sexually transmitted infections in Australia.  Protect yourself and make sure to always use a condom when engaging in sexual activities.  

Sexually transmitted diseases: How to protect yourself from infection

Rise Of STIs In Australia

Sexually transmitted infections are not a new thing – as long as there have been humans and sexual activity there have been infections that can be transmitted from one person to another via genital contact. Even though there are methods of barrier contraception in this day and age, however, it is estimated that levels of STIs are at their highest levels ever.

Part of this is due to a shift in attitudes towards sexual behaviour over the last few decades

In the Victorian and Edwardian eras and through to the nineteen sixties sex was considered a taboo subject and not something for polite conversation. Whilst many human beings have often had multiple partners – this is hardly a new thing, even when it was not openly discussed! – there was a hypocrisy surrounding human sexual behaviour during these eras which meant that people were meant to be chaste outside of marriage, even though many of them clearly were not.

The Sixties saw the beginning of the so-called Sexual Revolution, and the spread of the ideology of Free Love

In the pre AIDs and yet post Pill period, despite the fact that condoms were readily available (and indeed had been used in some form or other for centuries) many people felt that they could have as much sex as they liked with as many partners as they chose and did not have to worry about barrier methods of contraception. This inevitably led to the spread of several types of sexual disease. In addition to this, modern day antibiotics meant that people did not consider STIs to be the ‘big deal’ that they used to be, as things that at one point would have been considered extremely serious or potentially even fatal (Syphilis, for instance) could now be treated fairly easily and without long term negative repercussions.

The major STI that has cast a shadow over the entire world since the nineteen eighties is, of course, HIV and AIDS

At first this disease was greeted with terror by most sexually active people and it led to the establishment of a campaign to promote Safe Sex in the form of barrier contraceptives (condoms). For a long time this campaign experienced a high success rate and levels of not just HIV/AIDS infection but also other forms of common STI were lowered. Recently, however, especially with the development of drugs which effectively prolong the lives of those infected by HIV/AIDS, the message has lost its impact somewhat and the current generation of younger people have higher rates of STIs than did their parents.

Technology And Disease

Some of the most prolific sexually transmitted infections are those which are the least easy to recognise

Chlamydia – a serious infection which can cause infertility in women if left untreated, often presents no discernible symptoms at all and can only be diagnosed with a visit to a General Practitioner or a clinic which specialises in sexual health. Whilst this condition is very easily treated in both men and women with a course of antibiotics many sufferers are unfortunately not aware that they have been infected and so postpone diagnosis and treatment until it is unfortunately too late to prevent permanent damage to fertility.


Other forms of STI, whilst not life threatening, can be equally unpleasant

A very common STI is Genital Warts, which unfortunately is very easily transmitted from one person to another and can lead to flare ups throughout the rest of the sufferers life, as the infection remains dormant in the system even if there are currently no visible symptoms. Like herpes which causes outbreaks of blisters on the genitals, this is really not a condition that you want to find yourself having to live with!

The best way to prevent STIs is to use barrier methods of contraception such as condoms

Although some people will try to promote abstinence as a more effective means of prevention research has shown that this is simply not viable and that rates of STIs and indeed unwanted pregnancies are often higher amongst communities which do not try to educate people about safe sex. Ultimately, sex is a biological urge and many people are going to do it whether they are told to or not. In order to be safe – always put a rubber on it.