We all like to get down and dirty once in a while, after all, we ain't nothin' but mammals. But doing it safely is pretty darn important -especially when you take into consideration that STDs (also known as STIs) are among the leading cause of disease and death in Florida.
According to the information on FloridaHealth.gov, HIV, STDs, TB, and viral hepatitis, remain among the leading causes of morbidity and death in Florida, especially among at-risk populations.
Since 2013 cases of STDs have been on the rise. Even cases of syphilis, which were at their all-time low for the US in 2000 according to the Center for Disease Control, have risen drastically especially in Florida. You can see the increase from 2013-2017 on the chart below.
Note: The chart has not been updated for 2018/19 but the Health.Gov STD website page where it was sourced from was updated and modified in February 2019.
The government website further states that anyone who is sexually active is at risk for contracting these diseases, but some groups are more affected including young people from 15-24, gay and bisexual men, and those who have multiple partners. Additionally, nursing and expecting mothers can pass on certain diseases to their child - some of which are fatal and detrimental to the health of their babies.
While most STDs and their symptoms can be treated without incident if caught in time, it's not unheard of for some STDs to cause secondary infections, long-lasting complications, and even cancer.
According to Cancer.net, HPV, also known as genital warts, is the most common STD and still remains the leading cause of ovarian cancer. Approximately 79 million Americans are currently infected with HPV - that's about 80% of people who are sexually active.
STDs such as HPV, HIV, Herpes, and Hepatitis C that are viral cannot be cured but may be maintainable with modern medicine.
The best way to avoid STDs is to remain abstinent but there are other ways to keep yourself protected including the use of condoms, vaccines, and asking your potential partners to get tested for diseases before engaging in sexual activity.
More information about STDs in Florida can be found here.