In 1918, when the Chamberlain-Kahn Act was signed into law, the newly established Division of Venereal Diseases within the Bureau of the Public Health Service tracked three specific venereal diseases: Syphilis, Gonorrhea, and Chancroid. By 1950, the list expanded to include Granuloma Inguinale and Lymphogranuloma Venereum. Today, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports on the three notifiable diseases, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis as well as using other sources to report on Chancroid, Human Papillomavirus, Herpes Simplex Virus, and Trichomoniasis.
Concerned Women for America's 2011 report lists 49 sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) found during the course of a search for one definitive list of current STDs. Of those 49 STDs, two have multiple types and strains. Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) has 65 types, subtypes, groups, and strains as of this writing. The HIV virus continues to mutate, especially with Circulating Recombinant Forms (CRFs) which occur when two subtypes combine to create a new hybrid virus. Human Papillomavirus (HPV) has 100 types of viruses, at least 40 of which can infect the genital areas of males and females, and 30 of those may cause cancer. In less than 100 years, there are more than 16 times as many STDs as in 1918.
Whether the STD is rare or not, the person who acquires it may endure lifelong consequences. Of the 19 million new STD infections the CDC estimates occur in the United States each year, almost half of them are in young people. If they are infected but asymptomatic, they will not seek treatment, and that may lead to a lifetime of problems. The cost of teenage promiscuity may be paid when they are adults and find out they cannot have children.
"Sexually Transmitted Diseases: The Cost of Free Love," is published for the Web via Adobe Acrobat and is available as a full download. For slower connections, it may also be downloaded in separate components: Narrative and Appendix A, and Appendix B. A brochure is also available.
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