Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Don't Be Stupid

From February 13, 2012 U.S. News & World Report:

CDC Warns Untreatable Gonorrhea is On the Way
A new strain of gonorrhea is resistant to one of the last known effective treatments
The percentage of resistant infections is still relatively small--1.7% (although nearly 5% among "men who have sex with men" in the western states)--but "it's a 17-fold increase since 2006."  It does not take much thinking to realize that this is a potentially very serious problem.  Condoms help, but they are not a perfect solution.  STD infection rates in a society increase with the square of the increase in the number of sexual partners per time.  Double your number of sexual partners per year, and you quadruple the STD rate.  An eightfold increase in sexual partners per year means a 64 times increase in STD rates.  As a general rule, changing sex partners more often than you change cell phones is a dangerous affair.  (Admittedly, cell phone contracts are more binding than sexual relationships.)

Here's the depressing graph from p. 30 of this CDC report:


  1. It's also depressing to note that cellphone contracts are honored more than sexual relationships.

  2. Glad the CDC is warning people about this. The best way to fight the spread of a disease like this is with education: let people know the risks so they can make informed choices. STD's haven't been top-of-mind lately and I think people have gotten careless.

  3. Windy: Given that the legal framework for enforcing "sexual relationships", e.g. marriage, has been almost entirely demolished that's no surprise. E.g.:

    Since 1935, this tort has been abolished in 42 states, including New York. Alienation is, however, still recognized in Hawaii, Illinois, North Carolina, Mississippi, New Mexico, South Dakota, and Utah.[citation needed]

    Susanna: Education, yeah ... but I suspect it'll have to be of the brutal kind, e.g. graphic examples of what incurable cases of these diseases can do. The people who are most at risk for this aren't e.g going to be reading CDC reports.