Remember John Travolta singing “Summer loving had me a blast, Summer loving happened so fast” in Grease?
Well summer loving happens and do so very frequently. The scientific research tells us that in the hot summer young people tends to adopt a more uninhibited behavior. It’s not only psychology, but biology too. Pineal gland react to the increased daylight and decrease production of the sleep driving hormone melatonin that also inhibit our sex drive. Even dopamine and serotonin levels increase with more daylight as stated by a research conducted by Australian Baker Heart Research Institute. Not to mention that while sweating, our skin secrete more pheromones, a fact that triggers desire in other persons.
We’re all animals, so there’s nothing strange about it, right?
But, as often happens, there’s a flip-side in this summer sex blooming.
A study not surprisingly titled “Summer Heat”, conducted by the Australian Medical Sexual Health Centre of Melbourne, concluded that there’s a spinkg in summer diagnoses of Sexually transmitted Infections male and especially of of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) in women in autumn.
What this means? That summer love can have its bad consequences if we lower our guard and forget the good habits regarding STI prevention.
And it looks very much what happened.
Specifically young Australians aren’t using condoms in their loving season and that’s one of the major cause of the rising rates in STI in Australia (and the rest of the world too). Condoms are one of the most important tools we have to prevent the occurring of Sexually transmitted diseases and its use is decreasing, especially Australian young heterosexual men aged 15 – 29.
Even though young people are the main target of sexual health campaign in Australia, and therefore they are well aware of the sexually transmitted infections epidemy in our country, it looks like they don’t act accordingly.
A study of the Kirby institute of Sidney found that in 2017 the vast majority of the diagnoses in Chlamydia were due to 19 – 29 age group and only in that year these diagnoses have gone up 13%.
And another study by the same university shows that young people with more sex partners are less likely to test for STI or HIV.
Summing up these facts we can figure out why summer heat means autumn STI.
Young people experience more sex with more sex partner and, considering the steady growth of presence of overseas tourists in Australia, possibly foreigners which may be unknowing carriers of STIs. The risk of contracting a sexually transmitted infection is greater for people with more sexual partners. Cat’s out of the bag, doctor.
So, a lot of kids getting sick in Australian summer. But what are exactly the sexually transmitted disease they’re prone to get? As multiple studies shows the highest number of sexually transmitted diseases amongst the young people in Australia are Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea.
Chlamydia is the most common STI in Australia, and is frequently asymptomatic.
It’s diagnosed more often in women than men and it’s notification is increasing since the last 5 years. Testing for Chlamydia is very simple and Australian STI Management Guidelines recommend the adoption of NAAT testing from urine or swabs from vaginal, anorectal or endocervical areas. The disease is easily treated with antibiotics.
But what is worrying is the sudden increase in gonorrhoea diagnose rate in the last years here in Australia. In 2016 this rate was 63% in five years. These numbers point to a sudden epidemic. Young women aged 15 – 24 are the most affected and urban areas are the most affected by the epidemic. Even if often asymptomatic, gonorrhoea can lead to long-term side effects, among them infertility.
There also is a concern with this STI in Australia: the reduced susceptibility to drugs. Infections of Gonorrhoea in Australia are getting untreatable because of antimicrobial resistance.
But that’s not all. When in XVIIIth century Voltaire wrote Candide there was an ongoing Syphilis epidemic that was spreading unchecked in Europe. “what a strange genealogy! Is not the Devil the original stock of it?” asked the unfortunate Voltairean hero to his leibniz-like mentor, Pangloss. Well Syphilis is still here after more than two centuries. Young indigenous Australians are facing a major outbreak of this sexually transmitted infection and, until now, Australian authorities failed to bring it under control.
This “Devil’s original stock” disease is a tough nut to crack. Treating Syphilis is a long and difficult matter and side effects can be very nasty, especially in the long term. But are pregnant women the real issue as it can lead to spontaneous miscarriage or cause congenital syphilis infection.
In short summer fun, especially when it comes to sex, isn’t all puppy dogs and rainbows. It’s important to be aware of the cons of a reckless act and that it’s possible and advisable to adopt safe sexual practices. It’s not difficult: always use condom when having sex with new partners. remember that everyone can have an STI even when it looks ok, so don’t let your guard down. Oral sex is not safe but if you cannot do without it do not allow your partner to ejaculate into your mouth!
These and other advice are also available on many Australian institutional websites like Edonlinestore.net or taking a chat with your doc.