Europe is one of the most talked-about "old worlds" known to mankind. It is the home continent of great men and women like Napoleon, Columbus, Socrates, Aristotle, and many others. It has experienced lots of beautiful events enmeshed with conquests of lands and the colonization of people. Europe is one of the strongest continents in the world with a rich heritage. History has it that Europe ruled the world until the world wars took place.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases have been linked to Europe from time immemorial, either as in hypothesis or through factual pieces of evidence. Syphilis and gonorrhea were deadly venereal diseases that ravaged the continent and its people in medieval times. Presently, chlamydia and the human papillomavirus have joined syphilis and gonorrhea as the most common sexually transmitted diseases in Europe.
While different sources indicate that there are 50/51 countries in Europe, records from the United Nations provide 44 countries without dependencies in Europe. Russia is the most populated country in the continent followed by Germany and the United Kingdom, respectively. The Holy See or the Vatican is the least populated country in Europe with only 801 persons.
Chlamydia in Europe
Based on the epidemiological report on chlamydia by the European Center for Disease Control and Prevention published in 2016, 26 countries reported 43,807 cases of chlamydial infection. Austria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Germany, and Greece had no report on or cases of chlamydia for the period.
More than 200 chlamydia cases per 100,000 in the population were noticed in countries such as Iceland, Denmark, Norway, and the United Kingdom. More women than men were infected with chlamydia in Europe in 2016. The most affected age group was 20-24 years followed by the age group 25-34 years. 15-19-year-olds in the population were also affected by chlamydia.
Gonorrhea in Europe
The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention report for gonorrhea in 2016 had 75,349 confirmed cases of gonorrhea in 27 countries. In the previous year (2015), there were 28 countries that reported cases of gonorrhea. That entailed that there was a slight reduction in gonorrhea incidence in Europe in 2016.
Unlike in the chlamydial infection report, more men were infected with gonorrhea than women. Persons within the 25-34 age group were the worst hit. Amongst teenagers affected by the scourge of gonorrhea in Europe, more females were infected.
According to the same report, the highest age and gender-specific rates of gonorrheal infection were among 20-24-year-old males. 15 countries reported on the mode of transmission of the disease in 2016. 46% of all cases on the mode of transmission submitted by those 15 countries were on men who have sex with other men; 46% was also reported for heterosexual men and women and 8% was recorded under "unknown". Men who have sex with men accounted for 66% of all males cases of gonorrhea in the 15 countries.
Syphilis in Europe
Syphilis and Europe have had deals in the past which ended on sour and bitter notes. Over time, the severity of the disease became more tolerable and less intimidating to the continent.
24,541 cases of syphilis were reported in 29 countries in the European Union/EEA Member States in 2014. The reported number of syphilis cases was six times higher in men than in women. Also, the majority of the infection was reported from persons 25 years and above, while young persons between 15 and 24 years of age accounted for only 13% of the cases of syphilis.
Countries in Western Europe experienced a sharp rise in the number of reported syphilis cases. As more men are getting infected with syphilis in Europe, more women are staying safe from the disease. Persons aged 45 years and older had the largest increase in the reported cases of syphilis. The overall rising trend of the infection is encouraged by infection among men who have sex with other men.
The Human Papillomavirus in Europe
The human papillomavirus is one of the organisms that have proven to be ubiquitous without sparing women. Note that not all species of the virus is carcinogenic. Be that as it may, being infected with the human papillomavirus is a precursory risk to getting cancer – including cervical cancer and penile cancer.
Cervical cancer caused by the human papillomavirus is the second most common cancer in Europe after breast cancer. It affects women aged 15-44 years. Each year, 33,000 cases of cervical cancer are diagnosed with 15,000 deaths arising thereof.
STDs have taken their toll on the different continents of the world regardless of the enormity of the land. These diseases spread seamlessly through human travels and technological evolution. All in all, Europe has had a significant history with diseases acquired sexually, and such history is not appearing to fade from memory any time soon.