UK study shows massive surge in deadly STDs among gay men
LONDON, June 25, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – A steep jump in cases of two deadly sexually transmitted diseases in the UK has been found among homosexual men, a new study says.
Figures from the Public Health England (PHE) indicate the increase in cases of syphilis and gonorrhea among homosexual males rose considerably higher than that of the general population, prompting health experts to say the problem must be a public health priority and that this is likely just “the tip of the iceberg.”
While the study showed a slight dip in sexually transmitted diseases overall, the impact of the diseases remains the greatest among young people under 25, and in particular homosexual men, bisexual men and other men who have sex with men.
“The stats published today show that too many people are getting STIs,” said Doctor Gwenda Hughes, head the PHE department that oversees STDs. “Reducing this spread must be a public health priority. We are particularly concerned about the large rises in diagnoses among gay men.”
This concern was repeated by the leader of England’s Family Planning Association, who cautioned as well that the actual number of those who have contracted a sexually transmitted disease is unknown.
“It is also concerning that young people under 25 and men who have sex with men continue to be disproportionately affected by STIs,” Natika Halil told the UK Daily Mail.
The PHE study showed a total jump of 33 percent in cases of deadly syphilis, and the increase among homosexual men at 47 percent.
Cases of gonorrhea climbed by 19 percent overall, with that number escalated to 32 percent in men who have sex with men.
The results of the study generated calls for greater access to information, testing and treatment for the diseases, particularly for those at greatest risk.
“Prevention work should continue to focus on people in the groups at highest risk of infection, such as young people and gay men,” said Hughes.
But a representative of a U.S. family advocacy organization pointed deeper for the root of the problem, citing behavior and morals.
“The sexual revolution was sold with the promise that people could have sex without consequences,” Family Research Council Senior Fellow for Policy Studies Peter Sprigg told LifeSiteNews. “The current high rates of STI’s show what an empty promise that was.”
“As unfashionable as it may be, the fact remains that sexual abstinence before marriage and fidelity within marriage remain the most effective sexual risk avoidance techniques,” he continued. “While some may believe restoring a general standard of abstinence is an unrealistic goal, establishing a standard of universal condom use may be just as unrealistic.”
Sprigg also said the high and rapidly growing rates of infection among men who have sex with men in the UK study also serve to debunk several myths about homosexuality.
“We can see now that it is a myth that there is no difference between homosexual and heterosexual relationships,” he said, “and it is a myth that growing acceptance of homosexuality will lead to a reduction in high-risk behavior.”