Sexually transmitted diseases, or STDs, are starting to become more and more prominent in Singapore. For a conservative Asian society, this typically taboo topic is now being explored and talked about in recent times, especially since the HIV/AIDS scare in the 1990s. More and more people are getting screened for STDs in STD clinics in Singapore, as they are beginning to understand the importance of sexual health and the potential implications of untreated STDs – some of which could potentially be lethal.
In Singapore, there are a few government authorities that work with STDs and provide us with information and statistics on STDs in Singapore. This includes the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and non-profit organisations such as Action for AIDS (AFA). Together, these organisations work to treat patients with STDs, spread awareness about the reality of STDs in Singapore, promote safer sex, and ultimately lower the rates of STD infections.
In this article, we will look at some data about the reality of STDs in Singapore that have been unearthed from the unrelenting hard work of these organisations.
Adolescents are at the highest risk of getting an STD
In an article published by The Straits Times in June 2017, the Department for STD Control (DSC) observed a significant and recent spike in the number of boys and girls aged 10 to 19 who had contracted an STD through sexual encounters.
The article also cited a main reason for the spike: that adolescents forgo the use of condoms during their intercourse. This is in stark contrast to what they understand and have been taught in schools. Most teenagers know that a condom is necessary as a form of protection against STDs, even if the chances of pregnancies are low. This is in contrast to their actions, which seem to prioritise maximising pleasure over protection.
One possible reason for this behaviour, said the expert quoted in the article, is that teenagers are experiencing peer pressure to have unprotected sex. This is especially common in situations where the male partner does not want to wear a condom during the heat of the intercourse.
As some STDs do not show symptoms, teenagers who have those STDs may not realise it until years later, when they go for a Singapore STD test. It is recommended for anyone who has ever previously had intercourse to go for an STD test, especially if they are experiencing symptoms of an STD.
The 3 most common STDs in Singapore are chlamydia, genital herpes and gonorrhea
Chlamydia is the most common STD in Singapore, and it can spread between sexual partners very quickly as it often does not exhibit any symptoms, especially in women. However, it can be easily treated with antibiotic medication. It can cause serious damage to the reproductive system if left untreated.
Genital herpes is an STD caused by the Herpes Simplex Virus. There is no cure for herpes, but medications are available to help control outbreaks.
Finally, gonorrhea is a bacterial STD that could prove lethal if developed into later stages. This STD is characterised by a pain or burning sensation experienced during urination. Medicines are available to treat gonorrhea.
By knowing more about the symptoms of these common STDs, you can better know when you might want to visit an STD clinic in Singapore for a Singapore STD test.