STDs, or sexually transmitted diseases, are passed from one person to another via unprotected sex. The most common sexually transmitted diseases in the US include Genital Human Papillomavirus (HPV), followed by Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV/AIDS and then Syphilis.
Chlamydia is the most frequent sexually transmitted disease in the United States. In women, a chlamydia infection can result in pelvic inflammatory disease which is a major cause of infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pelvic pain.
Syphilis is given so much attention by people all over the world due to its passive nature. It was not uncommon for people to live with syphilis for ten or more years before symptoms show such as crusty scabs on the genital area, mental degradation or even death. While cases of syphilis today are far less dramatic, they are still very real and very communicable. If syphilis is diagnosed in an early stage, it can be cured with antibiotics.
HIV/AIDS is one of the most highly publicized STDs in the world and came to head in the early 1980s at which time gay males were blamed for the introduction and spread of this STD. As science explored the true root cause of infection, they learned that heterosexual partners were just as capable of passing HIV to one another as gay couples. Soon the “gay plague” moniker was dropped and HIV (Human Immuno-Deficiency Virus) was adopted. Simply put, HIV is the virus that causes AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
In 2010 about 47,500 people became infected with HIV according to the Centers for Diseases Control.
The interesting thing about HIV and AIDs is its longevity in the body. Much of the condition deals with the health of T-Cells which play a major role in the immune system, protecting against infections. If T-cell counts remain high, people with the condition can live for 20 or more years without any major impact on their health. The trouble with this is the fact that many men fail to be tested on a regular basis and thus it is easy for men to pass the disease during unprotected sex. There is no known cure for HIV or AIDS.
Rounding out the top three STDs men have to worry about is gonorrhea and chlamydia. While condom awareness campaigns and a strong push for having only protected sex has become a part of the current culture, gonorrhea and chlamydia remain active and thriving.
While syphilis, HIV/AIDs and gonorrhea, and chlamydia may be the most common STDs men contract, other common STDs contracted by men are Herpes Simplex and Human Papilloma Virus or HPV.
The use of condoms can help protect males from STDs 99% of the time. Being open with sexual partners about the need for STD testing is an even better choice. There are many cases when one partner has no idea they are carrying around a disease that could cause infertility, pain, scarring, and even death. Taking a chance is just not worth it!