Sexually transmitted diseases (STD)

The other day I was having coffee at Starbucks with a pigeon of mine (AA sponsee) and he told me that he had Hepatitis C.  Immediately, I thought about my experience with STDs.  It turned out that he contracted the disease due to drinking not sex.  He was a chronic Alcoholic that has been coming to AA much longer than I (since 80’s).

I felt so sad for him and so grateful for myself.  There but for the grace of God go I.  In fact, moments before he disclosed this to me, we were hanging out in the parking lot after the Captains Table meeting.  He said, “things had gotten so bad that he was sleeping in his car”.  So, I suggested meeting around the corner at Starbucks and bought him a cup of coffee.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STD), also referred to as sexually transmitted infections (STI) and venereal diseases (VD), are illnesses that have a significant probability of transmission between humans by means of sexual behavior, including vaginal intercourse, anal sex and oral sex. Some STIs can also be contracted by using IV drug needles after their use by an infected person, as well as through any incident involving the contact of a wound with contaminated blood or through childbirth or breastfeeding.

When I lived at the beach in Ocean City, MD I contracted crabs from a woman who was dirty, yet my disease of sex addiction was so strong I did not care.  I later found out from my father that you could eliminate those little critters crawling around using Bengay cream.  Oooch.  It hurt, but it cleared it right up.  Thanks Dad.

Sexually transmitted infections have been well known for hundreds of years, and venereology is the branch of medicine that studies these diseases. While in the past, these illnesses have mostly been referred to as STDs or VD, in recent years the term sexually transmitted infections (STIs) has been preferred, as it has a broader range of meaning; a person may be infected, and may potentially infect others, without having a disease.

Towards the end of my alcoholic history, I remember going to the clinic to get a blood test about every couple weeks.  I also remember the doctor telling me, “you just had the test done less than 3 months ago and there is no point getting tested again”.  In other words, I was so petrified that I caught HIV, that I wanted to make sure.  Fortunately, I always tested “Negative”.  Thank God.

There are 19 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections every year in the United States, and, in 2005, the World Health Organization estimated that 448 million people aged 15–49 were being infected a year with curable STIs (such as syphilis, gonorrhea and chlamydia).  Read more