Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD’S)

- April 7, 2023

There is another scourge we alcoholic/addicts are exposed to and that is sexually transmitted diseases. Due our poor impulse control and loss of inhibitions when drinking or using we place ourselves In positions which may expose us to these diseases. In the past the main diseases we were exposed to were syphilis and gonorrhea. Time has gone by fast and it appears that now the main diseases are HIV/AIDS. If you think about it, we owe a great debt to the LBHTQ group for their continued activism and demands for a cure or at least some sort of medication to stop these diseases from doing irreversible damage to the infected ones.
This activism carried itself mostly through the 80’s. The general population thought the disease only affected the LBGTQ population. Then it crossed over the line statistically to be a major issue for people of color. Finally when it crossed the color line, and white children were infected did things start to change. There was a young boy by the name of Ryan White who was bot allowed to go to school. He had contracted the disease through a blood transfusion due to being a hemophilic. His situation ended up going through litigation and he won his case and was able to go to mainstream school. Even after it was proved in a court of law that the disease could only be transmitted through blood or sexual fluids, some parents still refused to send their children to school with him.
HIV/AIDS still has a large stigma attached to it. In spite of the success we have made In medication and awareness we have some people still remaining ignorant to the facts. The disease is not that easy to catch especially if you take the recommend precautions with your sexual partner. The blood supply is now screened for the HIV virus. People are not quite as hesitant to expose their status as to whether or not they have the disease. However, there is still a long way to go for the general population not to view the disease in a stigmatized manner
While in their disease alcoholic/addicts often put themselves at grave risk of contracting this disease. The user will throw caution to the wind and place themselves in risky situations. This could be due to basic dishonesty to flagrant selfishness. One may not tell a potential sexual partner of their affliction as they fear rejection. This type of behavior and attitude only increases the stigma surrounding the disease.
Due to the advent of the antiretroviral medications now available one may expect a normal lifespan if the drugs are taken consistently. One may come to have a 20 viral load. This means that there is less that 20m ppm in the person’s drug system. This person’s status in regard to the virus is now undetectable and in remission. They are not cured or free of the disease, but their status is nothing short of a major miracle.
Worldwide HIV/AIDS is widespread. The drugs are very expensive costing around $2600.00 per month per person. That is one big reason that people around the world are nor having the same good results as the United States. Research and development continues hoping to create a vaccine for the disease. This would be another major miracle.

Written by Phillip