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05 October, 2022

Part I - What 332.40 Million Americans And The World Must Know About STDs And 2.5 Million Infected U.S. Citizens

This article includes links to the latest CDC preliminary data, information link to the WHO report, and links to location-specific testing options

Most Americans could be aware of the theatrical comedy about three sexually transmitted diseases.

It involves the O.G.s, the Original Gangstas of STD - syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.

Syphilis calls for an emergency meeting with the other two.

The brainstorming's purpose is to win back their title of "the baddest of the bad" from new diseases that are messing up their status.

During the meeting, syphilis says the three have been controlling their turf (infecting people) for years - from genital to anal, and up north to the oral side.

Photo by Natalia Vaitkevich @pexels

Now their turf is threatened by new entrants Genital Warts, Herpes, and HIV/AIDS.

In real life, syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia have succeeded in infecting 2.5 million U.S. citizens in 2021, beating the previous record of 2.4 million in 2020.

The latest preliminary data was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Even as the American health system battles monkeypox and the after-effects of Covid-19, sexually transmitted infections have surged alarmingly during the two years of the pandemic.

Many of the infected may remain undetected because of the nature of these diseases, especially chlamydia, also referred to as the 'silent' infection.

The CDC says most people infected with chlamydia show no symptoms or abnormal physical exam findings.

According to the World Health Organization, more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections (STI) are acquired every day globally, most of them asymptomatic (showing no symptoms).

Here are answers to questions Americans and people worldwide are seeking about STDs:

Can you get infected with STD without having sex?

Yes, you can.

Houston, Texas-based STDCheck, which provides judgment-free testing (no prodding questions or judgmental stares, only access to testing for 10 most common STDs), says there are 9 ways you can get STD without having penetrative sex.

1. Puckering up someone: STDs can be passed on when you swap spit from an innocent, sweet kiss or the more intense tongue wrestling.

You are aware of the kissing disease mononucleosis or mono that spreads through saliva. Similarly, you should watch out for the contagious herpes virus that's also contracted orally, apart from vaginal and anal sex.

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2. Oral Sex: You may think oral sex is not real sex. However, oral sex that involves the penis, vagina, or anus can transmit the herpes simplex virus 2.

This may happen through secretions, sores, and broken skin common to genital herpes.

There could be rare cases of chlamydia infecting your throat from oral sex. Condoms are unable to prevent herpes and HPV (human papillomavirus), the most common of all the STDs.

3. Food contamination: You are likely to get hepatitis A (HAV) through food or drink that's contaminated. If an infected person uses the restroom, doesn't wash hands, then preps your food or makes you a drink, you can get STD that you, unknowingly, may transmit further sexually. 

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4. Skin-to-skin contact, off clothes: The bare-down-there grooming may cause breaks in the skin. It's all herpes and HPV require to become your companion. The risk of getting either infection may depend on the level of infection and the condition of the skin. 

5. Touching base, not the baseball one: Getting STD from indirect contact although less likely, is still possible. 

Trichomoniasis or trich may occur by hand-to-genital contact or even hitch a ride to your genitals on an unwashed sex toy.

Trich, the most common curable STDs in the U.S. and found mostly in older women can be mistaken for a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI). If it remains untreated, it can appear intermittently.

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6. Towels, sheets, and clothing: You may not find viral infection in your towels, sheets or clothes, but there could be others lurking in the fibers.

Trichomoniasis or trich contains a single-celled protozoan parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. This parasite loves damp fabrics and can be active for almost an hour outside the body waiting for you.

The others such as crabs, or pubic lice can also stick around in bedding and clothing.

7. Your local tanning salon: Molluscum contagiosum, a bumpy genital infection may spread by skin-to-skin contact or shared contaminated surfaces like the tanning bed at your local tanning salon, the most unexpected of places.

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8. Sharing needles: Any object that cuts or pierces the skin is a likely way to contract STD. Sharing needles could be one. 

If someone using a sharp object is positive for HIV or hepatitis A, B, or C, there's risk of breaking the skin and mixing blood, leading to spreading the disease.

9. Blood transfusion: If you receive a blood transfusion from the blood that has HIV, your chances of contracting HIV are high. 

Today, blood banks test every unit of donated blood for HIV-1 and HIV-2 antibodies. The CDC says "the risk for transfusion-transmitted HIV infection has been almost eliminated by the use of questionnaires to exclude donors at higher risk for HIV infection and the use of highly sensitive laboratory screening tests to identify infected blood donations."

However, there are reported incidents of risk.

This recent report by Healio quoting a study says "Blood donations from people on antiretroviral therapy to treat HIV or pre-exposure prophylaxis to prevent HIV infection could increase risk for HIV transfusion transmission if tests cannot detect the virus in the donations, study results showed."

Photo by Sora Shimazaki @pexels

Check Your Location-Specific STD Test Options:

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Can STD be cured without going to the doctor?

STDs are spread from one person to another. 

According to the WHO, 30 different pathogens are linked to being transmitted through sexual contact. 

Few STIs (sexually transmitted infections) have mild symptoms or show no symptoms. The ones with symptoms vary according to the specific infection.

These include Blisters or sores in the mouth, and on or around the genital area; burning, pain during urination, unusual discharge from the vagina or the penis; itching, pain, or swelling in or around the vagina or the penis; pain, bleeding in the pelvic area or abdomen.

Women with STIs are likely to have more serious health problems compared to men. Gonorrhea and chlamydia, if left untreated, can lead to infertility.

The standard treatment for STDs has been administering antibiotics. However, resistance to these drugs has resulted in a global treatment crisis.

Do natural remedies work in curing STDs? 

In a few cases, natural medicine may be an effective treatment and help reduce symptoms. 

These natural remedies are:

Vitamin A - is good for normal integrity and growth of epithelial tissues (one of four basic types of tissues in your body), including vaginal mucosa apart from assisting your body to resist infection.

Any substance entering or exiting an organ in your body crosses the epithelial tissue first.

Vitamin C - This L-ascorbic acid improves the integrity of connective tissues and helps reduce the spread of infection. Helps diminish the severity of herpes.

Vitamin E - Acts as an antioxidant, scavenging loose electrons or free radicals that tend to damage cells.

This vitamin can be consumed orally or applied as Vitamin E oil to treat sores from genital herpes.

Zinc - Treatment with oral or topical zinc helps reduce symptoms of herpes. High zinc levels lessen symptoms of trichomoniasis and chlamydia that have resisted antibiotic treatment.

Although your body requires tiny amounts of this trace mineral, zinc is essential by almost 100 enzymes to execute vital chemical reactions. It also plays a vital role in the proper utilization of Vitamin A.

Lower levels of zinc may be linked to lower immunity to infections.

Medicinal plants - Several plants have antiviral and antibacterial properties and have been used for decades in the treatment of infectious diseases.  

A few of them have specific effects on organisms that cause STIs such as herpes, chlamydia, and gonorrhea.

Garlic - The pungent bulb, used in cuisines worldwide, has antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral properties proving effective against several infections. 

Garlic's fungal fighting prowess helps combat yeast growth. This turns beneficial during antibiotic treatment for chlamydia.

Licorice - This plant's root has antiviral properties and has seen success in treating herpes and hepatitis.

Licorice extract in injectible form has shown beneficial effects in the treatment of hepatitis C.

Goldenseal and Oregon Grape - This duo contains the chemical compound known as berberine. 

This compound, taken orally, boosts your immune function and significantly affects bacteria, including microorganisms that trigger trichomoniasis and gonorrhea.

Berberine also soothes inflamed mucous membranes. It's often used in a douching solution to provide relief.

Tea Tree - Tea Tree oil, extracted from tea plant leaves, has strong antibacterial and antifungal properties. This can be effective in the treatment of trichomoniasis and a common yeast infection called candida and its 14 different strains.

Tea Tree oil is also used to keep the vagina moisturized, providing relief from itching and burning due to infections.

Lemon Balm - This antiviral agent is a member of the mint family. Lemon Balm extracts help reduce the severity and frequency of genital herpes lesions

This balm can be taken orally or applied topically as a cream.

Homeopathic remedy - Some STIs can be treated with homeopathy. Cantharis helps with chlamydia symptoms, while Medorrhinum is good for treating gonorrhea. 

However, it's important to note that you must not take any homeopathic medicine without consulting a certified homeopathic practitioner.

Collodial Silver - Collodial silver when applied topically helps reduce inflammation and promotes healing in syphilitic lesions

It's metallic silver particles suspended in a medium of a different substance like water.

Raw Honey - When you incorporate propolis - a resin made by bees - in an ointment, it helps heal genital herpes lesions

Raw honey with bee propolis also provides your body an added dose of energy and disease-fighting strength.

Raw honey is a naturally sweet food containing glucose oxidase, an enzyme that works in killing bacteria.

Ozone Therapy - An ozone therapy in association with ultraviolet blood irradiation helps in saturating the bloodstream with oxygen, killing bacteria, fungi, and viral infections.

This therapy, when combined with supplements and immune-enhancing strategies helps detoxify the blood.

Dr. Sebi's cure: Honduran-born Alfredo Darrington Bowman, popularly known as Dr. Sebi worked for almost 30 years to cure diabetes, HIV, AIDS, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia, cancer, epilepsy, and autoimmune conditions such as lupus.

You may find his books beneficial, among them:

How to proceed with getting STDs cured without a doctor's help?

Please consult your local nutritionist, herbalist, naturopath, or homeopath to make better use of natural therapies and remedies.

Also, find a qualified and experienced practitioner who has treated STIs. This practitioner should be able to help you with an individualized program as per your body's needs to recover from STDs.

You can get tested for STDs without visiting a doctor by buying an STD lab test through STD Check.

You'll get connected to a private lab in your neighborhood with no one knowing you are getting tested.

STD Check understands you've got a lot on your mind. So they have kept the process simple:

2. Visit one of STD Check's 4,500 CLIA-certified labs
3. Receive your results in 1 to 2 business days.

That's about it. No doctor's referral. No uneasy questions. No shame. Only answers.

Additional note: The theatrical comedy is titled The STD's and written by Hollywood actor Ian Patrick Williams, known for co-authoring the Chicago Emmy award-winning PBS teleplay Bleacher Bums.

Part II will attempt to answer questions including:

Which are the 11 most common STDs?

Which is the worst STD?

Are there any STD treatment guidelines?

Which counties and states in the U.S. have the highest rates of STDs?

What is an STD culture?

What 3 STDs are on the rise?

What are the odds of getting an STD?

How long does it take for an STD to show up in your mouth?

How Long Does It Take for an STD to Show Up? 

Who is most affected by STDs?

Does Insurance Cover STD Testing?

Why Do I Feel Nauseous After Orgasm?

What Is A Hobosexual?

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