Teenagers Today are Bringing Back Syphilis, an Oldie but Goodie of the Most Nasty of STDs

Posted by PITHOCRATES - November 13th, 2011

Week in Review

“Sex is natural.  Sex is fun.  Sex is best when it’s one on one.”  As in monogamy.  Words from George Michael from his 1987 hit I Want Your Sex.  As it turns out it was very sage advice (see Sexual health experts warn of new syphilis threat by Adam Brimelow posted 11/9/2011 on the BBC).

Sexual health experts say they are deeply concerned about several outbreaks of syphilis among heterosexual teenagers…

Since the late 1990s there has been a sharp rise in cases of syphilis. Most of these have been in homosexual men, often in their 20s or 30s.

But recently there have been several small outbreaks across Britain of syphilis in heterosexual teenagers – described in detail in the International Journal of STD and Aids.

Guess they didn’t take George Michael’s advice.

Martin Murchie, president of the Society of Sexual Health Advisers, agrees that the number of cases diagnosed may just be the “tip of the iceberg”.

He says increasing numbers of people, including teenagers, are arranging to have anonymous sex through social networks. He warns that this is making the task of tracing sexual contacts even harder.

“The way that people meet for sex is very different and changing in society. That in itself can be problematic in trying to trace contacts because some people may change their username that they had originally on the social network site, or the health service itself may not be able to access the social networking site.”

In the old days you could trace the source of your syphilis back to the bar where you engaged the services of some prostitute.  Where it took copious amounts of alcohol to engage in such risky behavior.  For everyone knew these prostitutes had some SDT.  But in today’s modern world where we tell women it’s empowering to have sex whenever they want it’s a different story.  The syph is back.  And it’s not confided to seedy bars where drunken men engage the services of prostitutes. It’s in the general population.  Thanks to new sexual attitudes.  And social media.

Dr Patrick French, a consultant in Genito Urinary Medicine in London, says there is no room for any complacency. He says syphilis is a serious disease that can lead to heart disease, stroke and dementia, and raises the risk of acquiring HIV.

“The worry is that if syphilis gets into the wider sexually active population of young people it could then become a common and endemic infection. Before syphilis became unusual in the UK in the 1980s it was a major cause of ill health and that’s no longer the case. So it’s a very important infection to try and prevent.”

So syphilis can be as bad as AIDS.  Fatal.  And it can even make you more at risk of getting AIDS.  As far as diseases go, syphilis is a bad one.  But how do you warn your children?  Without sounding like you’re just trying to stop them from having fun?  So typical of a parent?  That’s more of a rhetorical question.  Because you can’t tell kids anything.  For they know everything.

There’re not going to listen to us.  Just as they didn’t listen to George Michael.  Pity.  Because George was giving good advice in the late Eighties.  Unfortunately, he was just another ‘old guy’ by the late Nineties.  And no longer popular enough for the kids to listen to.

As a side note, these are the people liberal politicians everywhere are relying on to shape policy.  They may not understand economics.  Or fiscal policy.  But we need to listen to them.  While they protest the 1% everywhere.  Because they are so mature.  And smart.  Even though their irresponsible behavior is bringing back a near extinct disease.

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