Sexually transmitted disease (STDs) basics and their issues in a collapse
In a collapse, far few opportunities for promiscuous sex can occur in general. However, stress often makes people have risky behavior in intimate settings. In small communities, a few people with an STD could easily spread it. It certainly has happened in some very tiny rural communities.
Prostitution is a common fact of life in disrupted civilizations during wartime. It's always there as the oldest profession. Condoms will be very rare post-collapse as will birth control. People might prostitute themselves to feed their families and in trade for what is today a very low value item. Antibiotics will be rare, practically non-existent for trade. Would you trade your Amoxicillin, Cipro, or Septra? I wouldn't if I had it.
Affairs are common in most Western societies. We can expect that people living in close proximity will continue to have sex outside of marriage in the same proportions and based upon opportunity.
Probably 75-95 % of rapes are not reported due to shame and fear. 12-15% of American college women when surveyed about rape behavior reported that it had happened to them over their lifetime.
80,000 reported cases of childhood sexual abuse occur each year in America.
1 in 15 American women who do report a rape get a STD.
There is an extremely high chance of newborns acquiring an existing STD from their mother. Almost all births in a collapse will be vaginally delivered. Some can be spread from eye secretions like wiping their face on a towel and than another uses it.
Young people will often think they won't get a STD from oral sex. There's is a very high incident rate of oral sex among teenagers from age 13-17.
The most common complaint is a discharge (either painless or painful) from sexual orifices. Many don't detect anything at all.
Many cause sterility. In a collapse, expect the worst symptoms and outcomes. Some cases could cause brain infections.
There is generally a higher incidence rate among African-Americans than other races upon testing.
Many cases are involve co-morbidity (having more than one STD at the same time).
Young women and especially young African-American women have a much higher rate of STDs.
It's believed that 1.1 million Americans have HIV and that 20% don't realize they have it (240,000). 46% were African-American, 35% White, 18% Latino.
In the USA today, there are 19 million new infections of STDs each year. Half of these cases occur in young adults between the ages of 15-24.
HPV cases made up 6 million cases. Causes genital warts. Can affect the mouth and throat. Spontaneously heals in most cases in two years. Can cause cervical cancer.
Chlamydia cases made up 1.3 million cases. Most are asymptomatic. Can cause Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Gonorrhea made up over 309,000 cases. Most women and some men are asymptomatic. Others report burning discharge. Can cause PID.
Syphilis made up about 14,000 cases. Causes sores on sexual orifices, and possibly on the lips and mouth. May appear as a rash somewhere on the body like the palms. Can go to the brain which can appear 10-30 years after the initial infection.
Herpes is complicated. Herpes Simplex 1 (HSV-1)infects many Americans and causes cold sores. Herpes Simplex 2 (HSV-2) is the one most known for causing genital sores (aka genital Herpes), but both variants of the virus can cause them when a cold sore is present. The virus can shed even when no sore is present. One in six American between the ages of 14-49 years of age have HSV-2. Many have no idea they are infected.
These are troubling statistics. People within your community may have been dealing with their illness just fine because they're being treated, or they might not know they have the disease. This is why condom use is so stressed.
In a collapse, we can expect for these illnesses to show up within tribes through sexual activity or abuse. We can expect pregnant moms to pass it to their newborns. We have no way to detect it if is asymptomatic. We won't be able to treat it. The infected may pass it around.
I have compassion for anyone infected. Parents, you especially need to teach your children about the dangers. We must not discriminate against someone with an STD anymore than say MRSA, but a wise prepper and especially a wise shaman must carefully protect the tribe. If you're someone sexually active reading this, you need to prep by storing condoms even more earnestly than you've probably considered.
Wrap it up, for you never know when your partner might have earlier been infected or might be having an affair.
Everyone who's ever been sexually active should be tested now to ensure detection and treatment. A full battery of tests is expensive (~$250 US).
One should be very cautious when new people are introduced into a tribe in a collapse. Because your tribe is much more secure than infected people being alone, many might be tempted to lie about any pre-existing medical conditions, be that tuberculosis or an STD. The latter can only be passed sexually, so let's use logic as shamans and not create hysteria post-collapse.
Many people have had a case of an STD, sought treatment with high dose antibiotics given in a single dose because that's the fastest and most secure means of ensuring it's cured.
You should be concerned about active STDs, but knowing someone's medical history will help you treat them later. Mostly these are future fertility issues. You must keep it confidential as you can imagine the dangers of gossip in such a small tribal community.
Prepping is really about prudence and common sense. It has very little to do with bugging out and gear. It's about being a thoughtful person and imagining the best way to prevent an issue and saving money should a disaster stike or really OTHERWISE.