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STDs--The Hidden Epidemic
Dec 11, 1998

Hi, Rick. I've been reading quite a few of the frequently asked questions and I've noticed people are mainly concerned about AIDS apparently regardless of the presence of some other nasty (perhaps nastier than AIDS) STDs.

I would like to suggest that it also be mentioned extensively (as you do in many of your answers) in your front page that HIV is not alone.

I also would like to encourage readers to think about this fact, as well as to visit your What do symptoms of STDs look like page, where you don't even find pictures of AIDS symptoms, that is, there are worse things out there!!!

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Thank you for your comments. The issue of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is one that people often do not talk about, and this issue is often ignored. The public is well aware of the AIDS epidemic, but many people are unaware of the STD epidemic (other than AIDS). It is clear that we need to do a better job of educating the public about these diseases.

Previously, it was estimated that approximately 12 million Americans become infected with an STD every year. Recent data now suggests that we actually underestimated the true number of cases each year. It is now estimated that 15.3 million Americans become infected with an STD every year (based on improvements in testing, and improved statistical estimations). In other words, STDs are more common in the United States than we previously thought.

You will notice that this website does not limit itself to AIDS. I also include information about hepatitis and other STDs, both in the Question & Answer area of this website, and the Articles area as well.

The good news is, all of these diseases are preventable! Safer sex techniques that reduce the risk for HIV will also reduce the risk for other STDs as well. We also have vaccines available against hepatitis A and hepatitis B (both of which are sometimes transmitted sexually), although we currently do not have any vaccines available against any other STDs (as of December 1998). I strongly suggest that you use the information on this website to educate yourself not only about HIV/AIDS, but also about other STDs as well.

If you have any further comments or questions, please feel free to e-mail me at "nvhotline@aol.com" or call me at (Nationwide). I'm glad to help!



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