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Gonorrhea, syphilis and others are on the rise
Sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise again in Europe. Gonorrhea, syphilis and others are almost making a comeback. Nevertheless, experts are against the tightening of the prostitution law, as this could worsen the situation.
HIV infections remain constant The German Society for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (DSTIG) recently warned of a comeback of the venereal diseases at a conference. After a decrease after the HIV epidemic and HIV infections remained constant with an average of 3,000 new patients per year, other diseases that are transmitted through sexual contact have been increasing for about ten years. Not only is there a return of the venereal disease syphilis, but gonorrhea or chlamydia are also being increasingly detected.
Increase due to lack of condoms For the increase in diseases, experts see the lack of protective measures, such as the use of condoms during sex. Therefore, a prejudice-free and non-stigmatizing approach to sexuality and sexually transmitted diseases is of great importance. Coercive measures would not be able to fix the problem. The handling of AIDS in many countries would have shown this. As a result, all nations attempting to contain new HIV infections with such measures have seen dramatic increases in infections.
Europe-wide increase In general, the number of new infections with sexually transmitted diseases is increasing across Europe. The DSTIG assumes around 80,000 infections with human papilloma viruses per year. The viruses can cause cervical cancer. Girls between the ages of 12 and 17 can get vaccinated against it. According to the DSTIG, around 100,000 bacterial infections with chlamydia occur in Germany every year. The bacteria can cause infertility in both men and women.
Infections among young people in the sexual discovery phase And as the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) informs, there is also an increase in syphilis cases. Nationwide, 19 percent more infections - a total of 4,410 diseases - were registered in 2012 than in the previous year. In four out of five cases, the transmission of sexual contacts between men is said to have taken place. According to the RKI, the number of infections in prostitutes has remained constant. "Again, we have to consider the risk behavior and not have a sham debate about prostitution," said DSTIG President Brockmeyer. Infections would also be observed in swinger clubs. Especially in young adults who were in their sexual identification phase, there would be an increase in infections be recorded.
Signs of syphilis infection
Possible signs of a syphilis infection are reddish ulcers on the genital organs or where the pathogens could penetrate the organism. In the initial stages, these ulcers are usually not accompanied by pain, but do release an aqueous liquid that contains the syphilis pathogen, the Treponema pallidum bacterium. If the liquid comes into contact, the disease is transmitted. Around two months after the infection, those affected usually suffer from flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache and body aches. The lymph nodes swell and an itchy rash develops. In the long term, the pathogens spread more and more in the body and also affect other organs such as the lungs, esophagus, stomach or liver. In the long run, inflammation of the brain can also occur, which in the worst case can lead to paralysis or dementia.
Against restrictions on sex workers Experts generally demand significantly more educational work in connection with sexually transmitted diseases. Activities such as Alice Schwarzer's are critical. With her petition "Appeal Against Prostitution", the women's rights activist together with celebrities is calling for a reform of the Prostitution Act dating from 2002. Their call states that Germany has become a “European hub for trafficking in women and a paradise for sex tourists from neighboring countries”. In the long term, prostitution will be abolished. As Brockmeyer said at the conference to the news agency "dpa", restrictions for sex workers and criminal prosecution for clients would not solve the problem: "Everything that works against liberalization in the area of prostitution will worsen the situation significantly. They use it to send people underground. "
Education instead of repression The president of the German Dermatological Society (DDG), Rudolf Stadler, calls for better education about venereal diseases. According to Stadler, an important factor in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases is knowledge of the contagion and consequences. There are significant deficits here. It is not uncommon for venereal diseases to be brought along from vacation, for example. A continuous information policy is needed in Germany, the DDG president told the news agency in the spring. The educational work affects not only schools, but also medical practices. Sexual health should also be discussed in doctor-patient discussions. That applies to dermatologists as well as gynecologists, urologists and general practitioners, according to Stadler. (ad)
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