A well-documented history of sexually transmitted diseases forms right around 1492, when Naples became the hotbed of a syphilis epidemic that soon spread across Europe and other areas in keeping with the movement of French soldiers that first reported and then carried it. Of course, this and other illnesses eventually spread to the new world (America) as well, and United States history features various bits and pieces of information related to sex and disease.
Although common sense suggests that the history of sexually transmitted diseases is studded with prostitution and lack of healthcare, there are also other notable players and events in play.
AIDS arrived in the United States in 1969. It would not be until 1981 that the disease received official recognition from the American medical community, but researchers now believe that the virus migrated from Haiti in or around 1969. Prior to that time, it ravaged the African continent.
Syphilis peaked in 1990. A history of sexually transmitted diseases reveals that the disease was considered a side effect of homosexual practices in the 1970s and ‘80s, but suddenly occurred in both genders in the latter portion of the 1980s. A record 50,000 cases were reported in 1990. In contrast, only 5,979 cases were documented in the year 2000.
Gonorrhea became the most common sexually transmitted disease for young people in 2000. Estimates suggest that the highest risk groups are girls between the ages of fifteen and nineteen. For men, the history of sexually transmitted diseases shows that the primary age of risk falls between 20 and 24.
It is noteworthy that the history of sexually transmitted diseases relies on medical reporting by government agencies. Since a lot of would-be patients do not seek out medical attention and self-treat symptoms but not their causes, there is likely to be a much higher shadow figure than authorities believe.