Barbara Mietkowska: Which sexually transmitted disease is the most dangerous? Why should infections not be underestimated?
Ewelina Sadecka: Any untreated disease is dangerous, as it brings many losses. It leads to a significant deterioration of health, affects well-being and interpersonal relations. But above all, it contributes to its transmission to our sexual partners.
Underestimating the problem will always result in a health crisis, but also a crisis in relationships. When engaging in sexual activity, not all infections can be prevented. Therefore, it turns out to be essential to know how to protect yourself and that the sooner the infection is detected, the sooner it can be cured. And, in the case of HIV, inhibit the growth of the virus in our bodies.
It seems that basic measures to protect against infection are widely available. So why is there an increase in sexually transmitted diseases?
It can be said that the increase in infections is always fostered by a lack of knowledge about diseases. In this particular case, the lack of education by competent people is important. According to the latest statistics of the National Institute of Hygiene, Poland is experiencing an increase in syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia. Some people are not at all aware of the health risks posed by these diseases and are unaware of how infection occurs. The pandemic contributed to the increases because people did not get tested during the lockdown period. And, of course, the outbreak of war in Ukraine. Among Ukrainians, there are people with newly diagnosed HIV infection, but also those who were previously treated and need to continue treatment in Poland. However, before the war and before the pandemic we also saw a steady increase in newly detected HIV infections. This is probably related to lifestyle changes. In the absence of systemic differentiated prevention and education, we cannot expect a decline in infections.
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