Increase in sexually transmitted diseases in Germany
Dermatologist: Sexually transmitted diseases are increasing significantly in Germany
Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise again throughout Germany. After the number of infections with the different sexually transmitted diseases decreased continuously towards the end of the 20th century, a worrying trend reversal has taken place in recent years. In a recent press release to the news agency „dpa“ warns the President of the German Dermatological Society (DDG), Rudolf Stadler, against an increasing spread of sexually transmitted diseases.
According to the president of the German Dermatological Society „in syphilis, the number of annual diseases increased by 22 percent.“ Other venereal disease, such as gonorrhea (gonorrhea), herpes simplex and infections with human papillomavirus (HPV) would be registered significantly increased since the turn of the millennium again. The highest is the increase in infections with chlamydia. „With about 100,000 cases per year, they are the most common sexually transmitted infection in Germany“, stressed the DDG president. According to the expert, around 80,000 people a year suffer from herpes simplex and human papillomaviruses, around 16,000 from gonorrhea and approximately 4,600 from syphilis. In the case of HIV infection, the number of new cases per year is around 3,000 cases. Although the improved treatment options have taken the STDs part of their horror, the latter still pose a significant health risk that should not be taken lightly. Especially since adequate protection during sexual intercourse (use of condoms) would avoid much of the disease.
Chlamydia infections most common sexually transmitted disease in Germany
Among the venereal diseases, the experts are especially concerned about infections with chlamydia and HPV. The risk of these lesser-known venereal diseases is still underestimated, although chlamydia plays a crucial role in infertility or fertility disorders“ and human papillomaviruses can trigger not only genital warts but in the worst case also cancer, explained the DDG president. According to him, for example, with the HPV improved vaccine protection may be appropriate. „The vaccination against HPV is only used by 30 percent of young women in Germany ", while other countries in Western Europe or the USA reach a rate of 70 to 90 percent, said Rudolf Stadler, adding that even boys, despite their low disease risk, should be vaccinated because they could transmit the human papillomavirus during petting or sex.
Improved education about sexually transmitted diseases required
A key factor in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases in the opinion of the DDG President is the education of the population about sexually transmitted diseases. There are substantial deficits and it needs finite „a continuous information policy.“ In the end, the necessary educational work does not only include the schools, but the „Sexual health must be addressed in doctor-patient talks“, Both with dermatologists, as well as with gynecologists, urologists and GPs, emphasized Stadler. Since older people enjoy relatively good health today and remain sexually active for a long time, they should also be more aware of the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.
Banalization of sexually transmitted diseases?
The German Dermatological Society is dedicating a focal topic to the venereal disease at its 47th annual meeting in Dresden from next Wednesday, not least in order to counteract the trivialization of the diseases, as Stadler found in HIV, for example. In fact, HIV infections have lost some of their original horror as treatment options improve. If the fear of AIDS in the 1980s and 1990s caused many people to condone their sexual intercourse with condoms, this has obviously changed since the turn of the millennium. „HIV is no longer considered a death sentence“ and the sexual practices - even among the most vulnerable homosexuals - are „no longer oriented towards safety“, explained the DDG president. Not infrequently, the sexually transmitted diseases would also be brought back from vacation, because even in the regions with known high HIV infection rates, such as parts of Asia, Africa or Eastern Europe, willingly renounced protection during sexual intercourse. (Fp)
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Picture credits: Tomizak