Wednesday, August 30, 2017

The Fruits of Child Sexual Abuse

 Depressing 8/30/17 Los Angeles Times article about the syphilis tsunami in Los Angeles,  mostly in gay men who are using the reduced (perceived) risks of AIDS as an excuse to drop condom use.   While most of those contacted are reluctant to help identify their sexual contacts,  and often unsure of their names, one emailed the STD tracer a list of 100 partners.   (I am sure each and every one was a deep and meaningful relationship.) 

Many years ago,  I had a coworker whose wife worked for Marin County Public Health.   One gay man with an STD, she asked how many sexual  contacts he had in the last 30 days.  He said "90." 
"No,  not how many times have you had sex in the last 30 days,  but how many different people have you had sex with?"

"90."

If you ever never done the math,  the rate of STD spread and infection increases exponentially with the increase in number of sexual partners each infected person has.  Double the number of partners power period of time,  and infected population quadruples.  4x gives 16x.  This is part of why AIDS spread rapidly through the gay community in the 1970s and 1980s, and syphilis continues to do so, and spread much more slowly in the straight population (except among IV-drug abusers and prostitutes, who were often the same people). 

Considering the relationship between childhood sexual abuse and adult variant sexual orientation,  the quite animalistic promiscuity that led to these problems is unsurprising and tragic.   It is hard to see this casual and often completely anonymous coupling as anything but a tragedy.

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