Running head: A GROWING EPIDEMIC
A Growing Epidemic
Chamberlain College of Nursing
Community Health Nursing
February 2, 2010
A Growing Epidemic
Sexually transmitted diseases have a significant health and economic impact on the American people. An estimated 15 million people are diagnosed with these diseases each year (Foundation, 2010). This number is by most accounts underestimated due to the fact the majority of sexually transmitted disease have no noticeable symptoms. People may have diseases with no symptoms or because of social stigma do not get tested. When people are not tested, they will go on to infect more people. This cascade is how sexually ...view middle of the document...
Healthy People 2010 have determined that prevention opportunities come from understanding how these diseases are spread. First, the rate at which uninfected individuals have sex with infected people. Second, the probability that a susceptible exposed person actually will acquire the infection. And lastly, the time period during which an infected person remains infectious and able to spread the disease to others ("Progress toward healthy people 2010 targets," 2010). The main goal is to educate people on these facts and make sure people are getting tested. Clinics are being set up in communities, jails, and other centers to help promote healthier lifestyles and to test for these disease.
Sexually transmitted diseases may start as just a bacterial infection, but may develop into lifelong medical consequences. For example, syphilis can increase the likelihood of HIV transmission and compromise the ability to have healthy babies due to spontaneous abortions, still births, and multisystem disorders caused by congenital syphilis passed from infected mothers. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause serious problems with the female reproductive system. Women with these diseases may have permanent scarring or complete blockage of the fallopian tubes that may cause ectopic pregnancy of infertility (Foundation, 2010). Reducing these risks will save society money and anguish.
The primary prevention of sexually transmitted disease is to promote responsible sexual behavior, the secondary prevention is to prevent the spread of the disease, and the tertiary prevention is to provide community education and treatment for communicable disease to the population. These measures are being taken nationwide through community centers, health clinics, schools, and even jail and prison systems. There have been national programs since the First World War to combat sexually transmitted diseases. Originally the focus of federal grants was only on syphilis and its complications. By the late 1970s the importance of other sexually transmitted diseases became recognized. The World Health Organization started organizing health strategies, education, and research to help control the outbreak. To date education has mainly contributed to secondary prevention, through advice directed to infected people after symptoms appear. The goal today is to help educate people how not to get infected. Also to...