Remember when we felt grateful to be surviving in a pandemic? If you're reading this, you took enough precautions to have survived COVID or you've just been super lucky so far. With all that precaution and following CDC guidelines, you'd think we'd be just as careful with our sex life as we are getting through the threat of this virus and its variants. Apparently, that's not the case in Iowa.

It feels like I'm constantly washing my hands, using sanitizer, and generally doing what I can to prevent getting sick. So why are so many Iowans throwing caution to the wind when it comes to their sex life?

man making a funny smile face after making the sex sign

How ironic is it that we'd survive a global pandemic only to be taken down or sent to the ER for a sexually transmitted disease? 

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STDs are on the rise according to the Polk County Health Department. Not to be crude, but it's not a case or two of 'the crabs' it's the serious stuff like syphilis and HIV.

Back in 2018, the health department in Iowa's largest city reported 28 cases of STDs in a week. This year in 2022 the cases that include syphilis, HIV, and chlamydia have more than doubled to 78 cases a week.

banana with condom isolated on white

In fact, the Polk County Health Department leaders say record numbers of syphilis are being reported. This is especially concerning since more babies are born with that STD which could lead to death. If an STD is passed on to a fetus that could lead to miscarriages, stillbirth, or birth defects.

"Congenital syphilis is scary for us because this means women who are pregnant are not getting their prenatal screenings,"

That's according to Nola Aigner Davis of the Polk County Health Department who says the best way to deal with this problem is to prevent and treat the STD and have an honest talk with your sexual partner(s) and health care providers. 

Certainly, we've learned a thing or two about the prevention of disease, staying healthy, and using caution as we interact with other human beings. After all, we've all been getting through this pandemic somehow. We can't let our guard down now and throw caution to the wind when it comes to our sexual health.

If you don't want your life to end like that notorious gangster, Al Capone, do yourself a favor and keep that thing wrapped.

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