As reports emerge in several states showing the continued rise of STD rates, the US military is finding that it is not immune to the trend. Reported cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis have been steadily increasing in the civilian population over the past decade. According to the military’s Medical Surveillance Report, rates of rising even higher throughout the armed forces.
Military medical officials are reported that enlisted personnel are three to six times more likely to contract an STD than civilians. Despite free health care, free condoms and free screenings, military personnel continue to have higher STD rates than the civilian population.
The problem of STDs in the military is not . For decades, the military has been struggling to find a way to deter the spread of STDs within its ranks. Military reports have shown that the rate of STDs has remained relatively high for the past 50 years, although recent numbers are higher than before. This has many medical professionals searching for answers.
The biggest reason for the high rate of STDs is the extreme demographics within the military. The troops are made up largely of young adults. Young adults are at a much higher risk for STDs than older people. Additionally, 44% of the US military is made up of people from the south which has significantly higher rates of chlamydia and gonorrhea than the rest of the country. Lastly, medical experts suspect that the expanding social networks of military personnel can account for some of the rise. Troops are exposed to multiple communities while at home, in training or during deployment that opens them up to more opportunities for sexual partners.
Since many people will not show signs or symptoms of an STD, many in the military will be unaware of their sexual health. This can lead to many bringing STDs home when they are on leave and putting their partners at risk.
If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to an STD, you should seek medical care right away. Chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis are all bacterial infections and therefore curable with antibiotics. In order to be treated for these STDs, a person needs to be diagnosed. By having STD testing performed a person can learn the current status of their sexual health.