Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

AIDS ribbon.
This small red ribbon, conspicuously worn on dresses and jacket lapels, is now used by many people to express their solidarity with HIV/AIDS patients.

Sexual intercourse can be among the healthiest and most enjoyable experiences in life. Unfortunately, it is also sometimes allowed to become the source of misery, suffering, and even death. One dramatic example is the continuing spread of dangerous infections through sexual contact. This is especially disturbing since, with appropriate precautions, such infections can easily be avoided. At least one of them can be prevented by vaccination (Hepatitis B) and the others by “safe” sexual behavior. Some people are able to remain sexually abstinent and thus escape all risks. Others live in an exclusive relationship with only one partner. Still, the partner may secretly have other sexual contacts. Indeed, very many females and males are neither abstinent nor sexually exclusive. In these cases, the practice of “safer sex”, or at least the consistent and correct use of a condom, can provide protection.

However, for a variety of reasons, many people fail to use any protection. Some have personal inhibitions, but there may also be objective obstacles: Many women and men are uninformed or misinformed about the STDs and their prevention, others cannot get tested and cannot get medical treatment. For still others, condoms are too expensive, or they are difficult to get or even unavailable. Finally, in some societies, females are kept powerless to protect themselves as long as the males refuse to cooperate. Therefore,
STDs are not only a medical, but also a larger social and cultural, indeed, a political problem.

[Course 4] [Description] [How to use it] [Introduction] [Terms] [General Description] [Historical Notes] [Curable STDs] [Incurable STDs] [STD Prevention] [Additional Reading] [Examination]