What is an STI?
God has given us sex for the secure intimacy of marriage. Unfortunately, many people have sex before/outside of the marriage relationship with multiple partners leading to the increasing spread of sexually transmitted infections.
Let marriage be held in honour among all, and let the marriage bed be undefiled, for God will judge the sexually immoral and adulterous.
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are just what they sound like, infections spread through sexual contact, this includes oral sex. STIs result from the spread of a variety of bacteria, viruses and a small number of other organisms. There are over 30 kinds.
Some of the most common STIs, especially those caused by bacteria, are curable. However, some, especially those caused by viruses, are incurable and can only be suppressed or given help to relieve the symptoms . The symptoms of STIs vary from one kind to another and include genital discharge, ulcers or pain. Sometimes STIs do not show themselves with any obvious symptoms at all.
Some STIs are caused by bacteria – Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea are the most common. Bacterial STIs are usually curable, though recently some strains of the bacteria have developed resistance to antibiotics. As well as local symptoms, bacterial infections can also cause long-term problems such as reduced fertility in women because of inflammation in the pelvis. Rates of bacterial STIs are generally on the rise, though recently there has been a small decline in Gonorrhoea; this has only come after years of steady increase .
Some STIs are caused by viruses, these include Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) and Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV). Some HPV strains cause genital warts, others, in the long term, cervical cancer. HSV causes genital herpes, and HIV causes AIDS. None of these are curable with medicines, though medicine can be used to suppress the infection and reduce symptoms.
Young women, and especially teenage girls , are most susceptible to STIs and suffer the worst consequences. Another tragic aspect of STIs is that some of them, if undetected and untreated, are transferable from mother to baby during pregnancy or childbirth.
If we use sex outside of God’s intended design, we not only dishonour God, but we also put our health and the health of others at risk.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body. Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honour God with your bodies.
1 Corinthians 6:18-20
- Symptom: The feelings of illness or discomfort that a patient describes.
- UK Gov. Stats: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/617025/Health_Protection_Report_STIs_NCSP_2017.pdf
- UK Gov. Stats. See figure 3: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/617025/Health_Protection_Report_STIs_NCSP_2017.pdf