Sexually Transmissible Diseases - EVEN YOU Could Become Infected!
Donald D Schroeder
With stunning rapidity, new sexually transmissible diseases are surpassing previous scourges of VD. Here's what you must do to minimize your chances of infection!
SUDDENLY, mankind finds itself face to face with some of the most sinister infectious diseases of this or any century. Sexually transmissible diseases — such as AIDS, chlamydia, genital herpes and more than 20 others, many rarely seen or heard of before — are rampaging out of control in many nations. Millions once ignorant of what in the past was called the silent epidemic are getting a rude and painful awakening to the number one serious communicable disease problem of our age. No longer are the scourges of syphilis and gonorrhea the most frequent or most devastating of the sexually transmissible diseases. And sexual misconduct is not always involved in the spread of some of these newer diseases. This is what is so alarming to health officials and what so many fail to grasp about this crisis.
From a handful of cases that first appeared in a few homosexual men in the summer of 1981, virus — caused AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) has exploded into a frightening worldwide epidemic. The costs are going to be staggering, say health officials, as the virus — once primarily afflicting homosexual and bisexual men, drug addicts sharing infected needles and hemophiliacs acquiring the virus from infected blood transfusions — spreads to other segments of society, mostly because of promiscuous sex practices and contaminated injections. "AIDS is a sexually transmitted disease, not solely a gay disease," says Dr. James Curran, one of America's top authorities on sexually transmissible diseases. At present in the United States, Canada, Europe and Australia, around 75 percent of AIDS cases are occurring in homosexual and bisexual men. Around 17 percent are occurring in intravenous drug abusers in the United States. Blood tests that show an antibody response to the AIDS virus indicate around two thirds of homosexual men in San Francisco have evidence of having contact with the virus, while around half of male gays in the Los Angeles area have. Further, a few studies of intravenous drug addicts showed 50 to 60 percent tested positive to contact with the AIDS virus (i.e., were infected by the virus). A great many female prostitutes are known to be intravenous drug users. The question is not whether AIDS can be spread by conventional heterosexual sex; it can. The question now is how rapidly it is going to spread among "sexually active" heterosexuals. Sexual activity with prostitutes and bisexual encounters are prime causes of the spread of the AIDS virus to heterosexuals. In some areas, 30 percent of new AIDS cases are appearing among heterosexuals. A full-scale AIDS infection rapidly destroys the human body's immune response, leading to repeated "opportunistic" infections by many kinds of pathogens. In some cases the disease causes a rare form of skin cancer called Kaposi's sarcoma. Lower — key AIDS infections are suspected of causing other health problems, but the complete pathology is not yet understood. Only a fraction of potential AIDS cases has so far surfaced, warn health officials. "It's going to be everybody's problem" — meaning as a concern — said Dr. Neil R. Schram, chairman of the Los Angeles City/County AIDS Task Force. "The sheer numbers, in terms of what is coming, are staggering," said another health official. In many areas, reported cases of AIDS infections have been doubling every year. Worldwide, AIDS has now struck more than 15,000 victims, more than 12,000 in the United States alone. An additional 500,000 to one million persons in the United States have already been infected with the AIDS virus, HTLV-III, according to estimates of some health officials. Some officials estimate 10 percent or more of those infected with the AIDS virus will eventually develop serious symptoms and die within five years. There is no cure for this disease known to medical science at present. The disease seems to have a 100 percent fatality rate once serious symptoms develop.
Means of Spread
Medical scientists indicate a new secondary spread of the AIDS virus. Sexual partners or spouses of promiscuous mates, infected intravenous drug abusers and recipients of AIDS — contaminated blood transfusions are getting AIDS. And fetuses of AIDS — infected women are now appearing with infections. In addition, several women have contracted the deadly AIDS virus through artificial insemination at one fertility clinic. When AIDS was first diagnosed in 1981, it was known as the Gay Plague because it felled mostly homosexual males and seemed to be transmitted by anal sex. This abnormal act often causes bleeding and provides an exceptionally ready conduit for the AIDS virus into a new host. Available evidence indicates AIDS is not spread by toilet seats, handshakes, sneezing or simply being around a victim. General household or environmental transmission has not been definitely demonstrated. Intimate contact where the virus can be transmitted into another person seems required. In parts of Africa, AIDS is a heterosexual disease, striking men and women in roughly equal numbers. Health officials have removed Haitians from the list of specific AIDS high risk groups. Researchers have discovered that most Haitians who contracted AIDS did so as a result of homosexual activity, use of contaminated intravenous needles or sexual contact with infected prostitutes — or from sexual contact with someone in these high risk groups who was infected. "The basic problem is promiscuity, not nationality," said one health official. Like the influenza virus, the AIDS virus is constantly mutating or transforming itse1f. The virus that causes the killer disease exists in around 100 different forms, according to researchers. This disturbing characteristic makes it very difficult for scientists to pin down or to devise a vaccine to fight it. Another fact that has made this disease so particularly frightening and subtle is the long incubation period — up to 10 years — before symptoms may occur. Sexually active infected persons, male or female, may either carry the virus in latent (nonactive) form within their body cells or they may be carrying an active stage of the virus in their bloodstream for many years. In the latter stage they can be spreading the AIDS virus to sexual partners even though they themselves appear healthy and without symptoms. Blood tests can often indicate antibodies to the HTLV-III virus (though there can be false positive results — i.e., indications of infection). There is no way doctors can predict the fate of those who test positive. Some health officials feel the virus may reactivate to circulate in the bloodstream or become a partial or full-blown active infection if the body becomes weakened under a siege of sickness or from stress in several directions. The sexual revolution of the past several decades has put scores of thousands of non monogamous married individuals, and singles, at risk. Many are spreading one of the most devastating and deadly of viruses, and possibly other sexually transmitted diseases, unknowingly to others. The risk is in direct proportion to the number of sexual partners they have had — either heterosexual or homosexual. Dr. Mervyn Silverman, the president of the U.S. Conference of Local Health Officers, said that the threat of AIDS, combined with existing fears about genital herpes and other sexually transmitted diseases, has pulled the reins on the galloping sexual freedom of the last 20 years. "I believe the sexual revolution is just about over," he said.
Why New Diseases
A long and growing list of other sexually transmissible pathogens — many unrecognized as such a decade ago — has health officials worried. Medical and health officials have shifted away from discussing social diseases by the term "venereal disease." They are now called sexually transmitted or, even more accurately, sexually transmissible diseases (STDs). This term describes the true picture of the problem as it includes not only diseases spread almost exclusively by sexual contact but other diseases capable of being spread by sexual contact and by nonsexual or unhygienic means. The American Social Health Association estimates 10 million Americans visit doctors' offices and clinics every year for these diseases. In England, more than half a million new cases of STDs are treated at clinics and hospitals. One in four Americans between the ages of 15 and 55 will acquire a sexually transmissible disease at some point in his or her life. Unlike syphilis and gonorrhea, which usually respond to antibiotics, some of the newly recognized STDs confound medical science. They cannot always be cured and can result in chronic pain, sterility, abnormal pregnancies, damaged children and cancer. It is important, however, to make clarifications about some of the pathogens to avoid unmerited self-recrimination or embarrassment. Some cases of these diseases are not related to promiscuity, marital infidelity or other sexual indiscretion. Some STDs can develop within faithful marriages or with no sexual contact at all. Not all STD infections are always avoidable, even by the most moral or faithful of persons. Contaminated blood transfusions or hypodermic injections or contaminated food or water, can transfer a few of these organisms. Virgin men and women and faithful mates have gotten some cases of monilia, urethritis (NGU), trichomoniasis or venereal warts. Scabies, caused by a mite, and pubic lice are infestations that can be picked up not only by sexual relations, but by close body contact with infected persons or infected bedding or clothing. Monilia is caused by an over — blooming yeast organism that normally lives harmlessly in the "flora" of the genital region. If the natural microbiotic balance is upset by some means — stress, drugs, pregnancy or tight clothing, for instance — the yeast organism may rapidly overgrow, creating a discomforting infection that can be easily transmitted sexually. The disease called non-gonococcal urethritis is caused by different organisms (some known, some unknown). This infection may also be caused and spread in similar manner. Yet, while certain cases of STDs have nothing to do with immoral behavior, most of the STD epidemic is caused by promiscuous, freewheeling and permissive sexual conduct. Health authorities estimate between 20 and 30 percent of highly sexually active persons have one or more of these diseases.
Shocking New Sterilizer
Researchers have been startled to discover there is a greater infectious agent causing genital infections and sterility than gonorrhea. The pinpointed pathogen is Chlamydia trachomatis. It is the fastest growing STD. Gonorrhea struck an estimated two million Americans last year, but chlamydia is estimated to have infected three to four million. This disease annually causes pelvic inflammations in thousands of women and, along with gonorrhea, is a major cause of sterility. One authority estimates 150,000 of the several million U.S. females harboring the bacteria will become sterile. Some health authorities have estimated 5 percent of college females in the United States have the infection. Before its identification, this infection was treated with general antibiotics as a relatively harmless unspecified non-gonococcal infectious agent of the urethra or of the vagina. But far from being harmless, chlamydia is now recognized as one of the greatest causes of pelvic inflammation and infertility in adults, and blindness and pneumonia in infant children. Gonorrhea may be treated with penicillin, but penicillin won't cure chlamydia. Because the organism is so persistent, it takes 10 to 14 days of the more powerful and costly tetracycline or erythromycin to cure it. The early symptoms of chlamydia infection, if there are any, often go unnoticed — though the damage can be irreversible. Studies show that 20 percent of men and 30 to 40 percent of women with gonorrhea also have chlamydia. "The real victims of today's STD explosion are babies and mothers and would-be mothers," said a gynecologist. A very high chance exists that an infant passing through a chlamydia-infected birth canal and becoming infected will develop an eye disease or pneumonia. Chlamydia infection not only sterilizes but causes strictures in female sexual organs and is thought to be to blame for alarming increases in ectopic (tubal) pregnancies. "Since each of these pregnancies represents one fetal death, this constitutes an epidemic of fetal deaths," says Dr. King K. Holmes, an STD authority in Seattle.
The first totally penicillin-resistant strain of gonorrhea was discovered in the United States in early 1976. It was though t to have • been introduced from Asia where improper self-treatment by prostitutes created super-resistant strains. Since then, promiscuous sexual behavior has spread super-resistant gonorrhea to more and more nations of the world. Health officials around the world are becoming worried as more and more strains of gonorrhea become resistant to all but the most powerful and expensive antibiotics. "All our steel-capped bullets are turning into rubber," laments one health official. Another disturbing finding in recent years amplifies man's futility in trying to control STD epidemics by treating the effects and not the causes. It was thought that most males with a gonorrhea infection manifested early symptoms that would cause them to seek treatment. Many studies, however, show that between 15 to as much as 50 percent or more of males infected with gonorrhea are asymptomatic — that is, they do not manifest early symptoms but are spreading the disease. It has been early symptoms in males who seek treatment that has been the principal way health officials trace and treat their female partners — 80 percent of whom commonly do not show or notice early infectious gonorrhea symptoms. Many of these infected women seek treatment only after serious health damage has occurred..
Spiraling Homosexual STDs
The AIDS tragedy has only recently pinpointed the soaring STD crisis that has long existed among homosexual males. Some health authorities feel the frequent bouts of STDs picked up by many homosexuals are what weaken so many to serious cases of AIDS. Whenever an STD or other communicable disease is introduced into a promiscuous group it proliferates like wildfire. British and American doctors report that the serious viral diseases hepatitis A and B, which cause jaundice and liver failure, are increasing rapidly among homosexuals. Some health authorities estimate syphilis and hepatitis are 10 or more times more frequent among homosexuals than among heterosexuals because of the nature of homosexual practices. The folly and danger of promiscuous and improper sex are far greater than anyone ever imagined! God made the human body. The Creator instructed humans in its proper use. The intestinal tract was made for eliminating human wastes, toxins and other potentially disease — causing material. The male and female sex organs were made for eliminating urinary wastes and to be united in faithful, holy wedlock and love. They are not made for lust, perversion or promiscuity. These words have to be said because so few are saying them!
Many individuals have kidded themselves that their sexual activity doesn't fit the promiscuous mold. They try to redefine promiscuity to make themselves feel better for not being truly monogamous or a virgin. Health officials, however, report many boys and girls, and men and women, pick up their STD infection after sexual relations with only one or two "special" partners. In most cases, the infection was picked up because one of these partners had picked up an STD infection somewhere else at some other time. Some who have been careless or indiscriminate in their sexual lives have picked up a serious STD infection that• now lies inactive or unnoticed: That infection can rekindle and infect a faithful mate or innocent children! Do not think God is ignorant about all this! To the contrary, God is going to respond — and sooner in our generation than many realize! The Creator, for now, is letting human beings, for the most part, reap the natural consequences of their own ways of living. God's laws, revealed in the Bible, show us how to avoid almost all sexually transmissible diseases, or at least cut down to an utter minimum one's chances of contracting or spreading them. (Let's not forget, some cases of STDs can develop in monogamous marriages or in virgins.) Monogamy and virginity greatly limit the spread of these diseases. It is permissive and promiscuous sexual conduct, and in some cases, unhygienic living, that causes STDs to become epidemic. Treatment of infected individuals is needed. But prevention by proper living — both sexually and hygienically — is the only sound way to stop these epidemics. The biblical injunctions against premarital, extramarital and homosexual practices and uncleanliness (the improper disposal of human wastes or improper care of open sores) are not casual suggestions. They are living physical and spiritual principles set in motion by the Creator. God's laws were designed to protect the family unit — every member in it. They are intended to protect and promote the development of societies and nations that obey them. Disobeyed, they bring unimaginable social curses. Few realize the Bible prophesied the alarming social disease epidemics reported in this article. Note the prophecy of Deuteronomy 28: "If you are not careful to do all the words of this law which are written in this book... then the Lord will bring on you and your offspring extraordinary afflictions, afflictions severe and lasting, and sicknesses grievous and lasting.... Every sickness also, and every affliction which is not recorded in the book of this law, the Lord will bring [God will allow] upon you..." (verses 58-59, 61, Revised Standard Version). Prevention is the only way to stop the STD epidemic. That means premarital, extramarital, homosexual and perverted sex practices — all heinous sins in God's sight — must be completely avoided by single persons or married couples wanting to keep clear of these diseases as much as possible! But suppose you are infected with an incurable STD, or a difficult-to-cure one. If any such infection, exists within a marriage, no sexual relations should occur during any possibly infectious stage, and otherwise only after advice from a reputable doctor knowledgeable in these diseases. Only you can determine in your own life to swim against the tide of modern sexual permissiveness. The information and warnings from this article — and more important, from God's revelation to you in Scripture — put you in the position of being without excuse! If you allow yourself to engage in careless or extramarital sex after you have received this knowledge — then you will reap the consequences! Our free updated booklet entitled Sexually Transmissible Diseases - Even You Could Become Infected! contains additional vital information on STDs — with diagrams,common misconceptions about venereal disease, unusual modes of transmission, VD's tragicrole in history and STD phone hotlines for information. You and your children can not afford to be ignorant about these diseases. You can live the way of life that will prevent the" epidemic" from ruining your life!
Herpes: Scourge of Sexual Revolution
During the decade of the Seventies, genital herpes suddenly exploded into a full-fledged epidemic that swiftly cut through the ranks of the sexually permissive. Today this virus-caused disease competes with gonorrhea and chlamydia as the most common STD (sexually transmissible disease). Health officials estimate scores of millions are infected with this virus that lasts a lifetime. Though the disease is rarely fatal to adults, a great many persons infected with genital herpes suffer recurring infectious blisters that upset their social and personal lives. While the frequently painful lesions can often be alleviated by medical treatment, the disease is incurable since the virus retreats deep into tissues. So far, every treatment that has shown promise has failed to knock out the virus. "Genital herpes is the disease which keeps many venereal disease specialists monogamous," said one health official. While adult herpes sufferers frequently find their lives emotionally and socially upset, greater tragedies afflict the newborn. One concern of the medical community is the rising prevalence of genital herpes infection during delivery of the newly born offspring of infected women. Half of all babies passing through a herpes-infected birth canal become infected. And one quarter die or are brain damaged. The virus is highly suspect as a cause of many miscarriages. Furthermore, there is a high correlation between genital herpes infections in women and cancer of the cervix, although the virus has not been absolutely identified as the cause. Again it is important to make distinctions when discussing the herpes problem. There are several types of herpes viruses. Some manifest different symptoms or hit different parts of the body. Herpes simplex, type 1, is a common, normally non-venereally passed virus that causes cold sores on the lips, mouth or above the waist. This virus is usually transferred by personal contact with others, by kissing or using the same eating utensils during c periods of active infection. Herpes simplex, type 1, is often found in a third or more of population groups. Many children and adults have it. This is the virus that caused unnecessary panic in the U.S. among uninformed parents who heard other schoolchildren had herpes. Genital herpes (herpes simplex, type 2), however, is almost always transmitted in sex-related contact. Oral-genital sex practices also spread herpes viruses to reverse areas. Autoinoculation from an infected area can transfer any herpes virus to other mucous-membrane openings It is dangerous to transfer any herpes infection to the eyes. Because of the rapid growth and emotionally upsetting nature of genital herpes, the American Social Health Organization has established a program called Herpes Resource Center. Herpes sufferers in the U.S. needing assistance or information on the nearest sources of medical advice can send a self-addressed envelope with their request to HRC, Box 100, Palo Alto, California, 94302. Persons in international areas needing help should contact their nearest health agency.