Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise

Image for post
Image for post
Pretty Vectors at

Do you have coronavirus fatigue?

Are you tired of talking about the coronavirus pandemic?


Let me distract you with the other current pandemic.

What other pandemics, you say?

The STI pandemic.

What STI pandemic, you say?

The STI pandemic that no one’s talking about.

What’s going on with STIs?

Over 100 million Americans have an STD at any given time. That’s about one in every three of us. America has the highest rate of curable STDs among all the developed countries in the world.

So, is this just an American thing?

No. Rates of syphilis increased by 70% in the EU between 2010 and 2017. In fact, 2017 was the first year since the early 2000s that more syphilis cases than HIV cases were reported. Syphilis rates increased by 876% in Iceland, 224% in Ireland, 153% in the UK, and 144% in Germany. …

Stumbling over terminology hinders communication

Image for post
Image for post
CDC -public domain

An infection arises when an organism that has the potential to cause disease invades the body. An infection is declared a disease only when it causes damage to the body that is characteristic of the specific organism. Someone could be infected with a microbe, say polio or tuberculosis, and never have any symptoms. They are infected but are not diseased. Others infected by the same microbe can have all the symptoms of, and die from, the same infection — they have the disease.

STD: sexually transmitted disease — a term used since the mid-1970s for an infectious disease that is usually transmitted during oral sex, anal sex or other intimate contacts with the genitals. It is generally thought that the change from venereal disease (VD) to STD was intended to decrease the stigma associated with the antiquated term VD. …

Image for post
Image for post
Image: Frances O. Kelsey receives the President’s Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service from President John F. Kennedy, 1962. National Library of Medicine, Images from the History of Medicine

Dr. Frances Kelsey, who died on August 7, 2015 at the age of 101, protected American babies.

Dr. Kelsey did more to protect American women from drug-induced birth defects than anyone before or since. She is our hero. Here is her bio:

Image for post
Image for post
Image for post
Image for post

Kristine Shields MSN, DrPH is a nurse practitioner and a doctor of public health. She is the author of Pregnancy and the Pharmaceutical Industry (Elsevier, 2019) and the soon-to-be-released Vulva Owner’s Manuals. Visit her at


Kristine Shields

Dr. of Public Health, Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner, researcher, and writer on reproductive health and justice.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store