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Why Can’t You Prevent Genital Herpes? The Beginner’s Guide to STDs Risk Factors

10 Mins read
  • Having multiple sex partners is one of the most significant STDs risk factors.
  • 20 million new STD cases are reported every year in The United States.
  • 10 million of those cases are among the age group 18-24.

Sex is an incredible feeling!!! Right? It isn’t awesome because it pitches in with our sexual desire (it makes us feel good). Everyone gets a sexual buzz out of that ONE HOUR. Do you call it awesome?

We need to think beyond LUST.

Sex isn’t awesome because it tricks us with STDs.

STDs aren’t amazing either.

Sex is incredible because it helps connect two beautiful people spiritually, cement unbreakable plus respectful bond, and sub-centric to it are the trust and loyalty elements.

Would you date someone while ignoring the trust factor?

Trusting someone implies the spirit of safety, both physically and emotionally. Trust is the cornerstone of any healthy relationship, whereas loyalty helps in sustaining the trust and relationships.

Loyalty can help stop the spread of STDs or at least decrease it by significant numbers. If you are loyal and stick to the monogamy approach of living a sexual life, you can trick down STDs risk factors.

In America, it is in our cultural roots to have multiple sex partners at any given time. People with multiple sex partners tend to cheat their other partners and unknowingly infect their other sexual companions.

We aren’t encouraging you to suspect your partner; we want you safe from the STDs

There is an excellent chance that you or your partner might be the carrier of the Herpes Virus; therefore, it becomes imperative for both of you to understand the STDs risk factors to prevent such diseases.

We give you some insights that will educate you and help you understand the metrics that need to be avoided while practicing sexual activities. Studies have shown that educated people take STDs prevention steps more efficiently to prevent viruses’ proliferation than those with limited or no knowledge.

Sexual Risk Behaviors | STD Risk Factors

To better come up with ideas and give you insights about Americans’ sexual behaviors, we surveyed 759 Americans on their sexual cheating behaviors.

Have you ever cheated your partner pie chart, STDs risk factors
Have you ever cheated your partner pie chart, STDs risk factors

Sexual Behaviors

318 people of 732 (sums up 41.9%) (we extracted 27 responses out of it as they didn’t want to disclose their secrets) admitted to being in illicit sexual acts. 414 (54.5%) spilled the beans about their sexual behaviors as being the loyal ones. We further interrogated people who admitted to being in sexual acts outside their legit partners. The strongest predictors of STIs diagnosis was associated with the number of sexual partners one has at any single time. The more the numbers, the higher the chances of STDs acquisition. Let’s dig the numbers again:

Sexual Behavior Survey of Americans, Did you admit cheating to your partner pie chart- std risk factors
Sexual Behavior Survey of Americans, Did you admit cheating to your partner pie chart

As you can observe here, almost 52.5% (that is 167) of people chose to be underground and didn’t reveal their secrets. 151 people admitted to their partner and were sorry that they would never again incorporate themselves into such activities.

Why are we showing you this data?

If you observe these data, the numbers above paint the real picture of why the world is witnessing a spike in STDs risk factors.

Having multiple sex partners is one of the most significant STDs risk factors. This sexual behavior exponentially increases the risk of Herpes and other STDs. Herpes, among them, is one of the most opportunistic viruses. The chain that needs to be broken is getting strengthened.

We didn’t stop while compiling American sexual behaviors as next on the list was “Do You Have STDs”?

Sexual Cheating Behaviours of American
Sexual Cheating Behaviours of American

Two hundred eighty-two people (37.2%) admitted that they had been clinically diagnosed with Sexually Transmitted Disease, whereas 34% claimed they were free from STDs. The rest of them didn’t take an interest in disclosing their status.

Most people don’t use protection, which accelerates the infection rate manifold. Condoms and other protective tools can decrease the likelihood of STDs by upto 95%, but for a mere 10 minutes, pleasure without protection may sentence you to life.

Sexual Behavior Survey of Americans, Condom Use data- std risk factors
Sexual Behavior Survey of Americans, Condom Use data

389 people in our survey don’t use condoms, out of which 119 were infected with some types of STDs. That’s a significant cause of concern as these people may have infected their partner and many others. We found 178 folks irregularly use condoms, out of which 56 were STDs patients. These sexual behaviors are sure to torch STDs’ acceleration in our country (remember, these data are only for 759 people).

Sex at Early Age– One of the Primary STD Risk Factors

20 million new STD cases are reported every year in The United States; you don’t believe 10 million of those cases are among the age group 18-24. Debuting sexual activities at an early age is strongly correlated to the acquisition of STIs. It is often observed that the people in our society, people like me and you in the heat of adolescence, can’t abstinence from our sexual desires.

In NCBI’s study, it is also observed that school domains, antisocial peers, sex under the influence, and behavioral disinhibition are some of the facets that drove adolescents into aggressive early age sex. One hypothesis which correlates sex at an early age and STI acquisition is the number of sexual partners. College going students have more sexual partners than compared to those with non-goers.

They (College goers) are likely to have 3-4 sexual partners under age 21, which significantly increases the chances of later STI acquisition. Having multiple sexual companions in a densely populated society infected with STDs increases the infection possibility manifold.

According to the CDC, National Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 2019; 38% of college students accepted to have lost their virginity by the time of this survey. Well, that’s a significant number. 46% of college-going students didn’t use condoms at the time of their last sexual intercourse. 9% of students had more than four sexual partners.

In 2018, an estimated 21% of all new HIV cases were from young people (aged 18-24), where 87% were young males, and 13% had contributions from females.

Nearly 180,000 births took place to teenage girls (15-19) in 2018.

Abstinence is the best prevention when things come to a stop the acquisition of STDs. It is the only 100% effective way to help prevent STDs risk factors in our country in the teen age-group.

(Intrauterine Devices) IUDs- These Don’t Reduces the Chances of STDs Risk Factors

Intrauterine Devices are T-shaped devices used to prevent unwanted pregnancy. It is a device that fits in the uterus, which stops male sperm from reaching the fertilizing eggs. There is a strong misconception about the use of IUDs and STD prevention. People think IUDs can protect them from any potential STIs, which isn’t the case.

IUDs are meant to prevent unwanted pregnancies and should not be interpreted as STD prevention devices.

According to the article published in NCBI, intrauterine devices are among the strongest reasons for unprotected sexual acts during symptoms of Genital Herpes. Couples whose female partner uses IUDs were more likely to engage in sexual activities during symptomatic periods.

Bear in mind that IUDs can’t prevent STDs; therefore, the use of condoms and other preventive measures are recommended before any sexual behavior.

Commercial Sex

In a community-based cross-sectional study in Finote Selam town, northwest Ethiopia, it was estimated that 1 in 5 commercial sex workers had STDs. Because these workers perform sex with multiple partners each day, they are more prone to STDs.

An additional study performed on the Commercial Sex Workers(CSW) in Kunming, Yunnan Province of China, states that the prevalence of HSV among CSW was 33%, and 2.4% of workers were HIV positives. This study also demonstrated HSV as an independent cause of HIV as 5.5% who were HIV seropositive also were infected with HSV. Herpes Simplex Virus is one of the most prevalent triggers to Genital Ulcers, which widens the scope of lifelong viral transmission risks.

A head-chopping data about the use of condoms revealed that approximately 86% CSWs did not use STDs preventive measures such as condoms. This type of casual behavior certainly increases the chances of STD transmission rates. 

Being Female

There is something that you can’t control if you are a woman. You can’t reduce the risk factor associated with you being female. If you are a female, it is beyond your domain to eliminate STDs risk factors; the reason is your genital anatomy.

One of the primary factors which expose you to STDs is the anatomy of your vagina. It is open to accommodate a host of pathogens instead of the male penis covered by the skin. The vagina is a perfect environment for pathogens to thrive and replicate.

Another factor that increases your chances of STD acquisition is that you are less likely to experience symptoms than your male partner. Furthermore, the symptoms might imitate more like other common genital infections such as yeast infection.

Late diagnosis of STDs can lead to other ailments such as pelvic inflammatory disease, which is an apparent cause of infertility. There is also a slight possibility that you might pass your infection to your infant.

You can reduce this risk factor substantially if you mind hygiene and practice the safest sex possible.

Performing Sexual Acts During Symptomatic Period

Most people who acquire HSV 2 don’t even know that the virus has already punished them. Most HSV 2 transmission takes place during asymptomatic periods through coital. But the transmission rate exponentially increases with every unprotected sexual intercourse during the symptomatic period.

Sexual activities during symptomatic genital herpes could be one of your destructive decisions ever made by you.

Visible lesions and open blisters are visible signs during which one should consider abstinence from sexual performance. Learn to control yourself because this is the only way you can help stop this virus’s transmission in your partner’s body.

Symptomatic genital herpes infection often includes pain, tiny white blisters, white discharge, redness, itching, small red bumps, scabs, and even ulcers. If you are experiencing any two of the symptoms above, it is better to check yourself thoroughly for any potential STDs before making any sexual commitments.

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Non-Sexual Risk Behaviors

Use of Alcohol and Cigarettes

The use of alcohol and cigarettes increases your chances of acquiring STDs. Structural modification in the lungs and immunological changes are the triggers of these diseases. This makes cigarettes a standalone cause of STDs.

The use of alcohol can impair your immune response to viruses and bacteria. As alcohol directly affects the liver, overconsumption of alcohol might also damage your liver’s potential to battle Hepatitis C and HIV.

According to a study, 49% of male sex companions to females reported indulging in sexual activities under the influence of alcohol. The flip turn saw fewer numbers; still, 38% of female sex companions to male said sexual activities under the influence of alcohol abuse.

Not only is the apparent structural modification, but some hidden factors might increase your chances of STD transmission. When you use alcohol, you usually lose control over you. The influence of alcohol often overpowers your conscious decisions, which eventually lead to unprotected sexual intercourse.

Young adults, especially college going students are more prone to such behaviors as they are independent, away from family, and often coerced by others to practice such behaviors. They are usually found to have drunk excessively and under the influence of alcohol, leading to poor judgment. This behavior is strongly related to risky sexual activities.

Lack of Education

The World Health Organisation (WHO) clearly states that the current education system should make requisite educational reforms to prepare youngsters as a force against STDs better. The education system should come up with new approaches to help young minds understand the core of STDs risk factors.

Understanding STDs at the school level is necessary to perceive HIV, Herpes, Chlamydia, etc., how they transmit, and prevention methods. Early knowledge is essential to prevent the proliferation of STDs so that they could fully understand the mechanism of these diseases with time. They even can communicate their STD understanding with others to help them grasp the ABCs of STDs.

Sex education can be a potential hack to limit the number of STD cases per year. The biggest holdback in ways to sex education is cultural differences. You may see one culture is open to sex talk while the flip turn may see a complete blackout regarding sex talk or teaching. We need to bridge those gaps to deliver comprehensive structural sex education to all. This approach will help limit STDs effectively.

Many studies have demonstrated a decreased risk of STDs in those with a decent education. Because they are aware, they know what works best when coming up against STDs. They have a better perspective as compared to those with illiterate status. Illiterate people don’t receive needed information from a credible source; hence, they are at greater chance of acquiring STDs than their educated peers.

Inability to Identify STD Symptoms

The initial STDs symptoms come to a pattern as if they are part of a common genital infection. People usually ignore those symptoms thinking it to be clear-off on their own. These symptoms are often mild enough to go unnoticed from even stubborn health-conscious people. After initial symptoms, most of the STDs symptoms go away without alarming the deceased, but the infection keeps replicating inside the body.

It is not your fault. Millions of people face the exact circumstances each year. You need to be aware of the changes taking place in your body. A majority of people can’t differentiate between symptoms; Why? Because they are not trained to identify signs of STDs. We recommend joining STD awareness programs, which will fuel your understanding of how to identify STD symptoms, how to prevent it, and effective treatment methods.

STDs, if left untreated, could have profound long-term effects on your body. They can cause infertility, blindness, cancer, life-threatening complications, and even death. Therefore, it becomes a highly sought skill to identify potential STDs risks.

It would be best if you were counseled to recognize the STD symptoms. This is the only way to identify these ailments in their early stages. This approach is a crucial STD prevention tool to help stop the spread of STD. When you are aware of STD and their symptoms, you could make more informed decisions on when and how to abstinence from sexual activities to stop virus transmission.

If you are informed, you can avoid exposing your seronegative partner to sexually transmitted diseases.

Stress- It Is An Ultimate STD Risk Factors

Stress is a well known psychological factor associated with an increased risk of hundreds of ailments. When things are talked about the acquisition of STIs, stress is often overruled. It shouldn’t as stress plays a pivotal role in the addition of any STDs.

According to a study published in the National Center of Biotechnology Information, Psychological stress induces multiple biological and behavioral altercations inside the body. This study has signaled perceived stress as an independent cause of bacterial vaginosis (BV). BV is dysbacteriosis (A term used for any interruption or imbalance in microbiota inside any part of the body) of the vaginal microbiota.

Bacterial vaginosis is correlated to a twofold increased risk of STIs (HIV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Trichomonas Vaginalis, Herpes Simplex Virus, and Human Papillomaviruses) acquisition.

Depression in this study has been reported to alter thinking capabilities, which further interferes with conscious decision making on condom use. 50% of People with depression said having missed condom use while being active in sexual acts. This is an excellent influencer for STDs.

Excessive stress hormone cortisol in the body is connected with suppressed immune systems. Your immunity plays a crucial part in defining a healthy gut free from any infection, though several factors can suppress your immune, including which cortisol is the prominent one.

Hence stress management techniques such as Yoga, Lifestyle Modifications, Healthy Diet Shifts, Physical Activities, Accepting Uncontrollable Events, Relaxation Techniques are recommended.

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