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Health Crises throughout History (January 2022): Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs), also referred to as Sexually Transmitted Infections, have been written about extensively in the United States. STDs are not only a public health issue but a relationship issue.

For the classroom, there are many books to choose from. In The New Public Health and STD/HIV Prevention, Aral, Fenton, and Lipshutz examine STDs within the context of the social determinants of health, prevention research and strategies, and at-risk populations. They do this by discussing how technology is now a part not only of transmission of STDs but prevention. Gerd Gross and Stephen Tyring offer a reference book to guide etiology and an epidemiolocal approach to diagnosing and preventing transmission in Sexually Transmitted Infections and Sexually Transmitted Diseases. In a similar work, Holmes et al.’s fourth edition of Sexually Transmitted Diseases offers a comprehensive overview of STDs, diagnosis, public health prevention, and clinical perspectives. They discuss vaccines, globalization, and new treatments. Finally, in STDs in the United States: A Reference Handbook, David Newton offers similar perspectives but goes further and includes how STDs impact societies. Any of these books are comprehensive choices for the classroom or students looking for fact-based information as they make lifestyle decisions. 

There is one book that is really for the lay-reader and meant to help sexually active consenting participants understand how STDs are contracted. Jill A. Grimes, in Seductive Delusions: How Everyday People Catch STDs, shares real stories of real people “catching” STDs. The stories include some laughable moments but also serious discussions in exam rooms with doctors. Those interested in understanding how someone may feel when they find out they have an STD or what treatment may look like will find Grimes’s stories compelling and informative.