THE NEW SILENT EPIDEMIC Promiscuity's Latest Penalty
Donald D Schroeder
More than 20 — not just two — sexually transmissible diseases are out of control. You can't afford to be uninformed if you want to protect yourself, your children or your loved ones!
Why are millions hush-hush or ignorant about the number one serious communicable disease problem of our age? Suddenly — in just the past few years — public health officials in many nations have come to realize syphilis and gonorrhea are not always the most frequent, or always the most serious, of sexually transmissible diseases. Here is what they are finding — and why!
One of the newest and most devastating of the new plagues is herpes. "Herpes — the new sexual leprosy — infects millions with disease and despair," reported an international weekly news magazine recently. "I regard myself as a carrier of an invisible, incurable disease," lamented one victim quoted in this article. "I have a guilt trip that won't go away." Said another victim, "I've had this rotten, cursed thing for two years and can't shake it. My marriage has been ruined, my confidence shaken and I'm afraid to establish a new relationship." Another couple laments, "We want to start a family, but the doctor says we'll be taking a chance." In the United States alone, more than half a million individuals this year will develop the discomforting if not painful blisters of genital herpes. These mentally and physically tormented thousands will add to an estimated five to fifteen million Americans who already have the incurable disease. Yes, incurable. Like many other virus-caused diseases, symptoms of herpes infections can be treated and sometimes alleviated. But once you have this virus you have it for the rest of your life. And you suffer periodic infectious outbreaks of the painful blisters. "It ruins much of one's social life," say many victims. Reported Time magazine on this problem: "With the sexual revolution of the 1960s, herpes broke out of its confines as a venereal disease that was thought (incorrectly) to afflict only the licentious' lower classes. Sudden 'viruses of love' infected entire college dormitories and rode the waves of rising divorce and crumbling monogamy" (July 28, 1980). But how can it be called "love" to give someone, because of ignorance, unconcern or sexual carelessness, a disease that could cause brain damage, blindness, heart trouble, sterility, birth defects to babies, or a long list of other possible health problems, including death?
Millions are lost in a modern "sexual wilderness." Promiscuity, homosexuality and a parade of new and bizarre sex activities are more and more widely glamorized by various media or groups. Millions fail to realize that the prophets of permissiveness — whoever they are — obviously are not telling all of the ugly side effects of such "liberating" lifestyles. Humans today are reaping tragedy and suffering because it has become chic and popular to scorn, ridicule and reject God's laws on proper family relations, on sex, marriage and personal hygiene. In the end, God's laws are not mocked. The first chapter of Romans describes the horrible consequences — physical, mental, emotional and spiritual — that happen to human beings when they forsake the sensible, God-revealed ways of life for ignorance, human lust and rebellion.
The three Ps — the pill, promiscuity and permissiveness — have been instrumental in spreading another little-known disease to unprecedented heights. We call it NGU for short. "Almost unheard of only a few years ago, a venereal disease called non gonoccocal urethritis (NGU) has become our most common sexually transmitted disease, outranking gonorrhea," reported Parade magazine, February 24, 1980. This year an estimated three million Americans in every segment of society will be plagued with this disease, which is caused by several different organisms. In addition to these little-known diseases suddenly being found or recognized, the old ancient plagues — syphilis and gonorrhea — have not become more easily cured as some had assumed. Syphilis, the scourge of humankind for centuries, far from being cured with a shot or two, takes up to two years of treatment to erase all signs of the disease. "The venereal infection called gonorrhea is the most common bacterial disease of humans on earth. There are an estimated 100 million cases each year throughout the world.... The numbers have been rising each year" (New York Times January 23, 1977). But here's what really worries health officials! Cases of "super gonorrhea," which are resistant to all penicillin and most other antibiotics, are rapidly increasing in more and more nations.
Dr. Ronald K. St. John of the U.S. Communicable Disease Center's Venereal Disease Control Division said new mutated types of gonorrhea are resistant to all antibiotics but one. Drug resistance by gonococcus organisms has been developing in all nations. The super resistant strains were first detected in the Philippines where 20 percent to 40 percent of prostitutes were found to have them. Prostitutes, knowing they have a high chance of VD infections, often treat themselves with improper doses of antibiotics. Doctors using improper antibiotics have also been responsible. Improper treatment only rapidly produces stronger strains of resistant organisms. Dr. St. John says such strains are now "rapidly galloping forward" in more and more nations. Dr. R.D. Catterall of London, president of the International Union Against Venereal Diseases, said 130 strains of penicillin-resistant gonorrhea were identified in the United Kingdom in 1979 and that 40 more were found in the first few months in 1980. "What is worse," he said, "is that now we have found 30 strains of gonorrhea totally resistant to penicillin and relatively resistant to other antibiotics." Spectinomycin, a relatively expensive antibiotic, is now the last drug effective against the "super strains" of gonorrhea. If the germ develops resistance to this drug — and gonorrhea organisms have eventually overcome all drugs used against them in the past — doctors will be helpless to control the disease. "All our steel-capped bullets have turned into rubber," laments one health official.
Too many are too embarrassed to learn about sexually communicated diseases and to teach their children the chief reason for their epidemic spread. They sit back and hope the schools will do their job for them. But many schools don't teach anything about some of the newer diseases. And many schools don't teach the most important information youths need to prevent these crippling diseases. Right moral and spiritual values need to be taught to prevent these epidemics. Prevention — not treatment — is the answer. That means living a right life-style. Youths are a big reservoir of venereal infection. Venereal diseases strike 12 percent of adolescents aged 15 to 19 in the United States. That's one out of eight teenagers. "There are a lot of diseases out there that can hurt you if you're sexually active," warns one public health official. He meant you are taking chances with sex partners, or when you have sexual or intimate relations with anyone who may have picked up a sexually transmissible disease from others at some time. Many have heard about syphilis and gonorrhea. But how many have heard about herpes simplex type 2, or chanceroid or lymphogranuloma venereum? Then there is granuloma inguinale, hepatitis-B and cytomegalovirus. But the list of new sexually transmissible plagues does not stop here. Add to our list monilia, trichomoniasis, giardiasis, shigella dysentery, amebic dysentery, pubic lice and scabies! All of these diseases or infestations (and others suspected but not yet absolutely proven) can be transmitted sexually or by close intimate contact with infected persons.
Medical and health officials have shifted away from discussing these diseases by the term venereal disease. The term coming into use now is sexually transmitted disease (STD). Some health officials, however, point out that the term sexually transmissible disease is an even more accurate description. The reason is because not all STDs are exclusively transmitted by sex-related contact. Statements about the causes for the spread of STDs must not be oversimplified. Not all STD infections are always avoidable, even by the most moral or faithful of persons. While some of the diseases are almost entirely spread by sexual contact with infected persons — syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes simplex type 2, for instance — some are also capable of being picked up by nonsexual contact. (And in a few very rare cases, even syphilis, gonorrhea or genital herpes can be picked up by nonsexual means) 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 the result of an overblooming yeast organism that normally lives harmlessly in the "flora" of the genital region, especially in women. 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. Since the disease called non gonoccocal urethritis is caused by different organisms (some known, some unknown) these infections may be caused and spread in similar manners. The microorganism causing trichomoniasis may live harmlessly in the genital flora of some person, but not others. Or it may suddenly flare up for some reason or be spread in infected clothing or water. This infection is estimated to occur in about three million Americans each year. Could it be possible that some new STDs are being generated because so many millions are upsetting the natural microbiotic balances of their bodies with ever more powerful drugs, wrong diets or improper ways of living? Health officials admit there is much yet to be learned about many newer, or at least newly recognized, STDs. Yet, the fact still remains. If there wasn't so much sexual promiscuity the spread of such types of diseases would be much more limited.
While individual cases of STDs have nothing to do with immoral behavior or faithlessness between marriage partners, much of the "silent epidemic" is caused by irresponsible, careless or freewheeling sexual or intimate contact. Health authorities estimate at least 20 percent of the high risk population of sexually active people are infected at any time with one or more of the serious STDs. Dr. Paul Wiesener, director of the VD division at Atlanta's (Georgia) Center for Disease Control estimates as many as 30 percent of the sexually active U.S. population have been exposed to genital herpes, while not in all cases developing symptoms. Doctors were talking of only 5 percent less than a decade ago. There are no precise figures of infection for some of the newer STDs. Even today these diseases are not required to be reported, like syphilis and gonorrhea usually are. In some cases, these diseases have only lately been individually recognized. In the past many doctors thought victims had only some minor genital infection or something that would pass if given a general antibiotic. Private doctors still do not report many of these infections in order to protect their patients' privacy. This practice stymies the critical necessity of tracing down all contacts for testing and/or treatment. After-the-fact partial treatment of victims perpetuates a vicious cycle of spreading the disease as untreated persons keep reinfecting others. One of the most unfortunate facts about sexually transmissible diseases is that not only are sexually promiscuous persons often hurt, but also innocent bystanders — faithful mates, babies and young children. Many miscarriages, stillbirths, congenitally deformed children and cases of blindness, deafness and other serious health problems have been caused by syphilis, gonorrhea, genital herpes or other STDs and passed along to such individuals in some unfortunate manner.
Today grocery stores and public libraries carry magazines or books that can honestly only be called pornographic. Magazine covers offer such titles as, "How Wicked Are You?" "New Ways to Turn You On," "The Artful Pickup — How to Attract a Partner Anywhere," "A Sensual Sampler." Every kind of sex practice is suggested by various media for you to experiment with. A few give some advice if things go wrong. You have the good luck to behaving a sex life when medical science is able to knock out venereal disease in rapid order.... If you do get a sore or a discharge or the feeling that something is wrong... run to your gynecologist and get fixed up" (The Sensuous Woman, by "J"). There's one outstanding problem with "J" 's advice to lovesick young women swingers — that advice is totally wrong for many infections of STDs. An STD infection may well NOT be easily treated. There may be no cure at all! An STD infection may not be a "feeling that something is wrong." It may not be a noticeable sore or discharge, as in about 80 percent of females infected with gonorrhea and large numbers of symptomless men with this serious disease. In vast numbers of victims, symptoms may not show up for weeks or even years. It may not be noticeable or painful until irreversible damage has been done. Not until a child is born blind or syphilitic — or not born at all due to sterility — will many women or their mates know they have a serious STD. Not until after one marries, settles down after a life of "sowing wild oats," may a person's STD infection rekindle and infect a faithful mate. Too often these facts about STDs have been played down in modern society's play-now-fix-the-results later philosophy. It's time to speak out clearly on the devastating consequences of wrong lifestyles and sex practices that violate the laws of the living God! If cigarette companies are required to warn that their product is "dangerous to your health," then it is only fair that publishers and promoters of indecent lifestyles and practices be required to carry notices with their promotions saying: "WARNING: The immoral sexual acts advocated, stimulated or encouraged by these ideas, pictures or words may result in a painful and permanent disease for which there is no cure. Or in mental trauma, ruined marriages, deformed children or suicide."
"Genital herpes is the disease which keeps many venereal disease specialists monogamous," says one health specialist. "Ten years ago it was an uncommon event to see a patient with genital herpes," said another dermatologist in the San Francisco area. "Today, there are days when I see up to 10 patients a day with it." "It's the venereal disease of the new morality," says another specialist dealing with the problem. Most medical officials directly indict sexual promiscuity as the major cause of the venereal herpes epidemic. But you must understand some important differences in the herpes problem. Many herpes simplex infections have nothing to do with sexual behavior. A decade ago it was thought ulcerative sores in the genital area were caused by the same virus producing similar sores above the waist, particularly on the mouth and lips. Only in 1966 were two separate herpes simplex viruses found to be involved in human infections. Type 1 (herpes simplex virus type 1) causes common cold sores and fever blisters above the waist. It is usually passed on to others through kissing, intimate contact or using the same eating utensils during an active lesion. The type 1 virus may be in as much as half or even more of a population group. Type 2 (herpes simplex virus type 2) is passed from human to human almost exclusively by sexual contact. However, oral-genital sex practices can spread either herpes virus to reverse areas. And hand contact with infected areas can spread either virus to other mucous membrane areas during infectious periods. It is very dangerous to pass such an infection to the eyes. In infected persons, either virus can be triggered to develop infectious sores or blisters after some physical or emotional stress — emotional upset, drug therapy, too much sunlight or heat or health problems for instance. The body after a time knocks the virus down enough to force it into remission, but the virus is not destroyed. It remains dormant in the body until some stress reactivates it again. Though frequently painful and emotionally disturbing, genital herpes sores really present the greatest physical threat to newborn babies of infected mothers. Half of babies passing through an infected birth canal will become infected and one quarter of them will die or receive serious brain damage. The type 2 virus also has been found to have a high correlation with cancer of the cervix in women, although this virus has not been absolutely identified as the cause. Because of the sudden seriousness of the herpes problem, the American Social Health Organization has established a program called HELP to give advice to herpes sufferers on various methods that may reduce their mental and physical complications. Their address is: HELP, 260 Sheridan Avenue, Suite 307, Palo Alto, California, 94306.
All Sex Not Equal
Pressure groups regularly demonstrate for legalization and total social acceptance of almost any sexual activity by consenting persons in private — even acts that used to be understood, and correctly so, as damaging to stable family life and social cohesiveness. In England, a government appointed committee of judges and lawyers recently suggested relaxing the laws on incest to make it legal for members of a family above a certain age to engage in sex with each other if they want to. This is a sign of sick leadership in our times! Don't these men understand the well-documented mental and emotional trauma, and ruined later marriages, produced by incest? Why have these men blinded their eyes to the more and more cases of venereal diseases being reported in the young incest victims? "Two, four, six, eight. Gay is just as good as straight!" shout homosexual activists in parades and marches for social acceptance. But not all sex is equal! Each variety of misused sex produces serious problems. And whenever an STD is introduced into a promiscuous group it eventually proliferates. The promiscuous sexual contacts of the majority of male homosexuals has produced a VD rate (particularly syphilis and hepatitis-B) many times greater (some health officials estimate 10 or even more times greater) than for heterosexual men and women. Intestinal diseases such as dysenteries are also much more frequently passed between homosexual men because of the nature of homosexual practices. Now studies indicate more heterosexuals are engaging in these practices. God made the human body. The Creator instructed humans in its proper use. Mouths are made for communication, eating and chewing food. The intestinal tract was made for eliminating human wastes, toxins and diseases. The male and female sex organs were made to be united in faithful, holy wedlock and love; they are not for lust, perversion or promiscuity. These words have to be said because almost nobody else is saying them!
Today it takes vision and courage to swim against the tide of modern permissiveness and adhere to high moral, sexual and physical health standards. God's laws and ways show us how to avoid most of these diseases, or at least cut down to a minimum one's chances of contracting them. God's way is for men and women not to engage in sexual relations — much less perverted sexual relationships — with others before marriage. God's way is not engaging in indiscriminate fondling or kissing of other human beings. If a person has any kind of sore, discharge or communicable disease (or something they are not sure of), it is not God's way to be running around kissing or closely contacting others. Face the world of reality. Very frequently what's passing for "having fun," or a "love-in" at a park, a party or the back seat of a car is resulting in a disease that threatens many men and women, young and old, with nerve or brain damage, sterility, heart trouble, late developing health problems or worse — death! Isn't it time you learned essential knowledge about these diseases and taught your children, at appropriate ages, about them? Isn't it time you told them that love, sex and marriage used God's way can be a thing of great beauty and security, not a thing to be feared or scorned? This article can only touch the highlights of what you need to know about STDs. Our free booklet entitled The Silent Epidemic contains added information on most of these diseases. It contains charts, diagrams, information explaining common misconceptions about venereal disease, unusual modes of transmissions, VD's tragic role in history, and VD phone hotlines for many major U.S. cities. As never before in human history, you can't afford not to understand these diseases. You can't afford not to live by the way of life that will prevent the "silent epidemic" from ruining your life!