STDs on the rise in every branch of the military, affecting combat readiness

Military personnel shunning condoms are learning that safety briefs and reflective belts are not enough to stop sexually transmitted infections.

From 2010 to 2018, over 350,000 troops were diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease, with female servicemembers carrying higher rates of all STIs except for syphilis.

The US Army takes the cake for the most STIs, leading the way with gonorrhea and chlamydia. Across the board, chlamydia cases rose by 56 percent. Gonorrhea cases jumped by 55 percent in men and 33 percent in women.

Syphilis appears to be the signature sexual disease for the Navy, while the US Air Force aims high with human papillomavirus and genital herpes simplex virus.

According to the Daily Mail, DoD officials are concerned that the rash of sexual maladies will impact military readiness.

“From a military standpoint, sexually transmitted infections can have a significant impact on individual readiness,” said Air Force Major Dianne Frankel, an internal medicine physician. “This in turn impacts unit readiness, which then leads to a decrease in force health protection.”

Use of prophylactics can cut down on the risk of contracting diseases and can be used in conjunction with birth control.

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