11 Jun Ask Dr. Wolloch: Do I need to protect myself?
Dear Dr. Wolloch:
I am finally dating after the death of my long term Partner. I have known this person for a long time. Do I have to use a condom for intimacy? or it is ok because I trust them , or is the media is just hyping up getting STD’s (Sexually Transmitted Diseases)?
Thank you, Cheryl.
Sorry to say that the Media isn’t just hyping up STDs. Statistics recently released from the World Health Organization, (WHO) show that over one million cases of the top 4 STI/D’s ( Sexually Transmitted Infections / Diseases) are contracted EVERY DAY!
The top four infections are chlamydia, gonorrhea, trichomoniasis (or “trich”) and syphilis.
STIs are transmitted through unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Some can be passed from mother to child during pregnancy or childbirth — notably chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. Syphilis can also be transmitted by coming into contact with infected blood.
Besides sometimes causing very uncomfortable symptoms in SOME afflicted, if left untreated, these infections can have serious consequences — such as infertility in men and women, stillbirths, ectopic pregnancy and an increased risk of HIV. Some people are actually symptomless, and have these infections that are then passed on with intimate contact unknowingly, to their Partners. Recently, this situation has been called a “Hidden epidemic, a silent epidemic, a dangerous epidemic, that is persistent globally.”
While most of these infections can be treated with antibiotics, there have been more cases of a drug – resistant “Super Gonorrhea “ that has caused concerns lately. Specialist Doctors and Medical Scientists are working hard on solid solutions.
In the meantime, to respond to your initial question, my answer is yes, you and your new Partner should use a condom and practice safe sex. As you now know, one can have these infections and not even be aware of them. Getting STI/D testing done together is also a good idea. No matter how long you have known someone, putting your and your Partner’s health first is paramount.