Norman L. Coad, D.Min
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD s) are serious and painful and can cause a lot of damage. They infect the sexual and reproductive organs. You can have STDs and show no symptoms, however you still have STDs until you are treated. Most STDs can be treated.
• Chlamydia—symptoms show up in 7-21 days after having sex. Most women and some men have no symptoms. It is spread during sexual intercourse, oral sex and anal sex with someone who has chlamydia.
• Genital Warts—symptoms show up 1-6 months after having sex. It is spread during sexual intercourse, oral sex and anal sex with someone who has genital warts. A mother with genital warts can give them to her baby during childbirth. It may lead to precancerous conditions.
• Gonorrhea—symptoms show up 2-21 days after having sex. Most women and many men have no symptoms. It is spread during intercourse, oral sex and anal sex with someone who has gonorrhea. It can be transmitted to children at childbirth.
• Herpes—symptoms show up 2-30 days after having sex. There are small, painful blisters on sex organs or the mouth. It is spread during sexual intercourse, oral sex and anal sex with someone who has herpes. Herpes cannot be cured. A mother can transmit it to her child in childbirth.
• Syphilis—Stage I symptoms show up 1-12 weeks after having sex. The sore goes away but one still has syphilis. Stage II symptoms show up six weeks to six months after sore appears. A mother can transfer syphilis during childbirth. It can cause heart disease, brain damage, blindness and death.
• Vaginitis (bacterial vaginitis)—pregnancy, antibiotics, birth control pills, menstruation; diabetes can lead to vaginitis. It is spread during sexual intercourse, oral or anal sex. Men can carry vaginitis infections without symptoms. They can get it in the prostrate gland and urethra.
• AIDS/HIV—a sexually transmitted disease. AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome) is the term used to describe the occurrence of opportunistic infections, Kaposi sarcoma (a cancer) and pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia. HIV is human immune deficiency virus. The HIV viruses progressively destroy some types of white blood cells called lymphocytes. These are an important part of the body’s immune defenses. When destroyed, the body becomes susceptible to attack by many other infections. Many of the complications that arise with HIV (including death) are usually the result of these infections.
In 2014, an estimated 44,073 people were diagnosed with HIV. The annual rate of diagnoses declined by 19% between 2005 to 2014. At the end of 2012, 1.2 million people in the United States were living with HIV, 13% of these did not know they were infected.
Four body fluids can transmit HIV: blood, semen, vaginal secretions and breast milk. It is spread by unprotected anal sex, vaginal sex and oral sex. The rate of infection by HIV is higher if one already has a sexually transmitted disease.
• Hepatitis C Virus (HCV or Hep C)—Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver with bacterial and viral infections that can all cause hepatitis. This contagious liver disease is spread primarily through contact with blood of an infected person. It can be either acute or chronic with most acute cases lead to chronic infections. If it stays in the body over time it can lead to scarring of the liver or to liver cancer. Most commonly, people are infected with HCV by:
• Needle stick injuries in health care settings.
• Sexual contact with an HCV infected person.
• Being born to a mother who has Hepatitis C.
• Razor cuts (less common).
• Many people are infected with HCV and do not know it and they can infect others.
There are treatment options. There are several medications available to treat chronic HCV. The FDA maintains a complete list of approved treatments for Hepatitis C with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD and TB Prevention.
Annually, the U.S. incidence of new sexually transmissible infections is 20 million. The prevalence of total infections is 110 million. The total medical costs run 16 billion dollars annually (2010 report). These costs do not include indirect costs (e.g. loss of productivity) or intangible costs (e.g., pain and suffering). HCV is associated with sexually transmitted infections.
Young people between the ages of 15-24 are particularly affected and account for 50% of all new STDs. However they represent just 25% of all the sexually transmitted infections. Diagnosed STDs are roughly equal for young men and young women (49% for young men and 51% for young women). Together they total 19.7 million people. Human papillomavirae account for about 14 million sexually transmitted infections. Most HPCs will go away within a two year period, but some can lead to severe diseases, including cervical cancer.
The CDC recommends that all teen girls and women through age 24 be vaccinated as well as teenage boys and men through 26 years old. Gay and bisexual men who have sex with men should be vaccinated through age 26. The HPC vaccines are most effective if administered before an individual has sex.
Prevention of STDs is possible and urgently needed. Many Americans are at substantial risk to exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STIs). The most effective means of prevention includes:
• Abstaining from sex.
• Reducing the number of sexual partners.
• Consistently and correctly using condoms.
• Being inoculated with vaccines that prevent HBV and some types of HPVs that cause disease and cancer.
• STI screening and prompt treatment.
The statistics are very revealing. The promiscuous sexual lifestyle of teens, men and women, that continue into their 20s are the major reason we have such a huge problem with sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
Our society has become increasing promiscuous and openly free of any moral or ethical restrictions. This leaves the teen male or female and adult alone to make up their own mind about sex outside of a monogamous relationship. T.B. Masten, the greatest teacher of ethics that Southern Baptists ever produced said, “If we break God’s laws, they will (eventually) break us.” That statement is true of personal and public morality. Many in this age group do not connect their illnesses with the consequences in their value system. Standards of conduct and moral judgment are not seen as relevant to the sexually transmitted diseases and infections. However, the cause and effect relationship is clear. If they had not been sexually promiscuous, then they would not have the diseases and infections.
In the past, our cultural standards of conduct and moral judgments were more closely and clearly related to Judeo-Christian values and morality. To put it another way, ethics were connected to our religious values. With our increasing cultural diversity, and in our interactions with our fellow citizens of different orientations to religion, standards of their conduct and moral judgments, we have not found how to relate successfully and be at peace within ourselves. The question is how can we have guidance based on our historic religious values and not diminish the values of others.
Operating without truthful cultural standards of conduct and moral judgment leads to diseases, demonization and death. Relating to ourselves and others without moral and ethical standards does not work individually or collectively.
The strongest cultural institution that we have that directs us as a people is our system of law. We have a legal tradition that upholds freedoms of religion, freedoms of conscience, etc. without forced conformity except in the cases where the collective good outweighs our personal moral judgments as interpreted by law. These freedoms without forced conformity create an unresolved tension between individual and collective freedoms.
This nation has never embraced complete freedom of individuals to express their personal freedom. We did however choose to live under a system of law as a nation.
The resultant republic draws its authority to govern and enforce law from the electorate. This system of law is administered by officials directly or indirectly elected by the people. This limited freedom, and where to draw the line between individual freedom and the collective good of the nation was summarized in a proverb, “The limit of my freedom stops at your nose,” that is to say, individual freedom cannot be extended if it results in damage to another.
The other limit stated in the Preamble of the Constitution, and implicitly applied to our national affairs, is our belief and acceptance of God, our good creator God. The God referred to over and over again by the framers of the Constitution is the God of the Bible. He set limits of behavior in His biblical record. We refer to this as Judeo-Christian values. As a nation, we are turning away from the biblical limits, but putting nothing in its place. We are losing our common ground.
Both individual and collective freedoms are valid and necessary. The difficulty arises when we try to establish the line between individual and collective rights under law. At this time, the judicial system is not applying the Judeo-Christian values encoded in the Ten Commandments to law. Increasingly the appellate and Supreme Courts do not apply the Constitution to our interactions. Expression of Judeo-Christian values and symbols on public and governmental properties have become the occasion for lawsuits.
All judgments are based on values of some sort. Increasingly, the values expressed in the judicial decisions are based on the prevailing cultural values. The ongoing cultural war is about which values will prevail. Will it be the materialistic, secular, paganistic values of the generation of thirty years and younger? or will it be the values of the older generations with their more traditional Judeo-Christian ethic?
Why the cultural war and why are the parties so offended by each other? The Judeo-Christian understanding of reality is both material and spiritual. The secular values only embrace material values. The Judeo-Christian believes that God is creator and sustainer of all that is, and His moral laws revealed in the Bible are the truthful and good basis of all life. Our secularized culture follows the philosophical teachings of Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) who taught that the spiritual is real, but unknowable. Therefore it is not taught in our educational systems. The people of faith believe that God has revealed to us in the Bible how to live and they believe also that He continues to share His thoughts to us today. We can and do know His will and receive his revealed understandings for us individually. His communication is ongoing, but never contradicts the written word of God.
The secular world believes that we can decide to live any way we wish, and choose our behaviors, attitudes and thoughts within the framework of secular law.
The Judeo-Christian believer holds that the laws of God are absolute and that they transcend the authority of secular governments. If our behavior and attitudes are illicit to them, we give place to the devil. If you are angry, do not let the sun go down on your anger and do not give the devil a place, a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27).
Our disobedience to His laws leads to demonization. This is sin. The wages of sin is death. This is not a laughing matter (Romans 3:23a).
Roe v. Wade and the Supreme Court’s upholding of it is the fault line of the cultural war. The decision to validate a woman’s right to abortion is not based on the Constitution but on the individual right of a woman to have authority over her own body. The words of the Preamble to the Constitution were set aside, i.e., we are endowed by our Creator with certain inalienable rights among which are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Rowe vs. Wade is as constitutionally valid as the Dred Scott decision of the United States Supreme Court, it concluded “that all African Americans had no rights that white men were bound to respect.” (H. L. Gates, Jr. and D. Yacovone, The African Americans Many Rivers to Cross [U.S.A., Smiley Books, 2013] 109). In like manner, Rowe vs. Wade, cutting across all ethnic groups, has concluded that all unborn American children have no rights that U.S. citizens are bound to respect. Therefore we have the right to kill them. So much for the inalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
There is no bill of rights for the unborn; they were legally deprived of life and all human rights. Since that became law over 58 million Americans have been murdered legally. The Bible says, You shall not murder (Exodus 20:13 NIV). That makes abortion on demand illegal before God and demonizes us individually and collectively as a people. The result is sure and certain death as a nation. Our birth rate at this time is not large enough to sustain our present level of population. If we continue to produce 1.8 children per family over time, we will depopulate ourselves and die as a nation.
We are repeating the same mistakes of Greece and Rome. They turned away from sex between a man and woman and embraced same sex relationships. Adding to that, they practiced infanticide on a broad basis. They depopulated themselves. They declined as nations and others rose up to take their place. We are repeating a mistake that was made by others over two thousand years ago. We curse ourselves in our excess of individual freedom!
Our people as a whole have and/or do commit four national sins:
- The annihilation of the American Indian.
- Persistent racism against the American Negro and other racial/social groups.
- The legally sanctioned murder of unborn Americans (which approaches sixty million).
- Rejection of the Judeo-Christian God of the Bible and of our founding fathers. Along with that, both within the organized Church and the pagan society outside of it, we refuse to apply the biblical principles and teachings to ourselves and to our society.
I do not see the law changing this trend, nor the government. I do not believe the institutional Church, which is all but syncretized to our culture, to be able to make the changes in the general population. If a turnabout occurs, it will be by a great revival among us. This will be a gift of God emanating from a righteous remnant that will redeem our national and individual souls.
The age group under thirty years of age (ages 15 years to 24 years) are highly diseased with sexually transmitted diseases and infections:
• The more promiscuous sex that one engages in, the higher the rate of infection.
• Total sexually transmitted infections are 110 million. The total medical costs are 16 billion dollars (U.S. 2010 dollars).
• The laws that govern our behaviors are of two kinds: 1) There are the laws of the land: national, state and community, and 2) There are the laws of God that transcend and rule over nations and all governments.
• The civil law derives from the consent of the people. Having sex outside of marriage breaks no civil law, nor does aborting unborn children.
• God’s laws arise from the Jewish-Christian Bible. The laws are codified in the Ten Commandments among which are: You shall not murder; You shall not commit adultery; You shall not lie; You shall not steal.
• When we break God’s laws we become demonized (give place for demons to inhabit us, Ephesians 4:26, 27).
• When we sin we earn death unless we repent and turn to God. The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23).
• We are making the same mistakes that Greece and Rome made two thousand years ago and we are beginning to reap the same results.
• They depopulated themselves by excessive indulgence in personal freedom, namely, homosexuality and infanticide.
• We are dying as a nation for the same reasons. Through same sex orientation and abortion our birth rate has declined to 1.8 children per family. This will not maintain our present level of population. We have cursed ourselves and we are dying as a result.
1. M.H. Beers, MD, Editor in Chief, The Merck Manual of Medical Information, Second Home Edition (New York: Pocket Books, 2003).
4. R.J. Laban, HIV/AIDS Training (Harrisburg, PA, L.A.S.T., Laban’s Addictions Specific Trainings, Updated 2013).
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