Who is more likely to be infected with STD_ homosexuals or heterosexuals?
In a recent news article, an interesting correlation was revealed; that men who have sex with other men are more likely to be infected with STD’s than the general population. This finding, whilst not entirely shocking, does bring up an interesting point and question; who is more likely to contract STD’s from a gay male? Well, the answer isn’t exactly straight forward, as the data on STD’s is somewhat scarce and can vary quite a bit. However, the overall trend is an interesting one, and deserves closer scrutiny.
Why is this? Well, the reason is that men who have multiple sex partners are at much greater risk of contracting STDs. There are many different reasons for this. One, it’s simply the simple fact that men who have unprotected sex with multiple partners, are far more likely to contract an STD than men who have only had sex with one partner. The other reasons for this occurring is because men who have multiple partners are statistically more likely to have sex with someone who they had sexual contact with, i.e. a same-sex partner.
So, if we now know who is more likely to be infected with STD’s by having multiple sex partners, why are the results any less relevant for men who are sexually active? Well, the results are no less relevant. Let’s look at some of the more common diseases that are commonly caught in the general population:
Herpes: This is easily the most common sexually transmitted disease in the United States today. Around 90% of the people living in the States, have herpes. Of course, herpes is most common amongst men (who are the most sexually active), but women do carry the virus, so it doesn’t automatically mean that men are safe. Herpes can be caught through sexual contact, so men should be aware of their sexual activity.
Gonorrhea: This is another sexually active infection, and one that tends to affect women. Gonorrhea does not discriminate and can be transmitted through anal, oral or vaginal sex. Because it can also be caught through vaginal intercourse, men are at risk as well. Men can contract gonorrhea through anal, oral or vaginal sex with an infected woman.
Syphilis: This is another infection that are sexually active, and one that is particularly easy to contract among both men and women. Since the symptoms of syphilis do not generally appear until late in the period of the disease, it is often not seen until it has reached an advanced stage. However, because there is no pain associated with syphilis, it is very difficult to detect, which makes it one of the few sexually active STDs that has relatively few risks for those who are sexually active. However, it is important for men to test for syphilis every three months.
Hepatitis: This is an infection that affects both women and men. The majority of cases have been seen in elderly women, and the disease is spread primarily through sexual contact. The symptoms of hepatitis are similar to those of the hepatitis B virus, but they tend to be milder, as there is less pain involved. Men are slightly more likely than women to contract hepatitis B, and as a result, it is especially important for men to have annual checkups with their doctors.
Knowing who is more likely to be infected with an STD is the first step towards preventing an illness. Be aware of your own health, and practice safe sex. If you are sexually active, be aware of those you have had sexual relations with. When it comes to diseases like HIV/AIDS and genital warts, be faithful to one partner and refrain from having multiple partners. These proactive steps will help keep yourself healthy and reduce the likelihood of becoming infected with STD’s.