News & Politics

NJ Health Officials Warn About Increase in STD Rates, Suggest Change in Sex Habits

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Most talk of sexually transmitted diseases died off when HIV became a cause for concern. However, HIV is less of a concern these days — not because it’s not out there, but because people are living so much longer with the disease. Unfortunately, hardly anyone is talking about the other STDs.

Two groups that are trying to talk about the growing threat of STDs are the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta and New Jersey health officials.

These officials warn that STD rates are increasing as people are once against engaging in unprotected sex — something that was unthinkable during the height of the HIV epidemic.

The CDC called the rise in STD rates “a clear warning of a growing threat” that they say is “outpacing our ability to respond.”

In response to increasing rates in their state, New Jersey officials launched a program called Protect Your Baby from Syphilis. The idea is pretty simple. You see, STDs can be transmitted from mother to child, but diseases like syphilis respond well to antibiotics. The purpose of the campaign is to urge doctors and other health professional to talk to expectant mothers about their sexual histories regularly and to test if any warning signs appear. New Jersey reported that syphilis infections per 100,000 people doubled from 2.6 in 2011 to 5.3 last year.

The CDC also urges folks to talk about STDs, get tested regularly for the diseases, and use condoms and/or practice mutual monogamy.

These are all fine and well, but keeping your pants zipped up is also a heck of a way to prevent the spread of STDs.

Look, I’m a libertarian. If people want to have sex, then so be it. I’d oppose any law that tried to legislate otherwise. That said, it doesn’t hurt to point out that condoms aren’t 100 percent effective, and unless you know for a fact you’re in a committed relationship, any and all sex has some risk involved. Abstinence is completely effective, however.

But, we’re not allowed to talk about that because it smacks too much of morality.

Meanwhile, people are getting sexually transmitted diseases at an alarming rate, and the most effective way to prevent the spread is something that can’t be mentioned.