You have all heard the saying "cleanliness is next to godliness." This saying is especially true in the case of sexual diseases. Not allowing your body to become defiled with sexual diseases is the best way to combat these diseases, because once you have these diseases, they may be difficult or impossible to cure. Even curable sexual diseases such as syphillis and gonorrhea are becoming increasingly difficult to cure, as they have become increasingly resistant to drug treatment (2). How then can we prevent sexual diseases? We prevent sexual diseases by practicing Biblically safe sex. Biblically safe sex involves:
- Avoiding sexual immorality (Hebrews 13:4)
- Practicing monogamy (Mark 10: 6-8; 1 Timothy 3: 1-2)
- Avoiding sexual contact with infected body fluids (Leviticus 15: 1-15, 25-30)
- Avoiding risky sexual behavior (Leviticus 15: 24; Leviticus 18: 20, 22-24)
- Practicing good personal sexual hygiene (Leviticus 15: 16-23)
- Obeying God's moral and health laws (Exodus 15:26)
The above practices are good for persons who are disease free, and who want to keep themselves free of disease. In the case of persons who already have a sexual disease, my advice is that you seek medical care to control or cure the disease, so that you do not pass the disease on to your partner. If you are infected and incurable, then there are a few options open to you in order to prevent the spread of disease. These options include:
- Abstinence: Avoid all sexual contact. Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Abstinence however is not 100% effective in preventing the spread of AIDS, as AIDS can also be spread in non-sexual ways, such as by blood transfusions, using contaminated medical equipment that pierce the skin, which allows entry of the virus into the blood stream, and through breast-feeding and pregnancy (3). It has recently being brought to my attention that the rapid rise of AIDS in Africa is not mainly due to promiscuity, although sexual contact plays a huge role in spreading the disease, but that the main cause of the spread of AIDS in Africa is the use of contaminated medical equipment and tainted blood in blood transfusions, in the delivery of health care ( 4)(5). In America, disease transmission in health care is controlled and prevented by the use of disposable medical equipment, and by screening blood for HIV. In poor African countries, and other poor countries around the world, they cannot afford disposable medical equipment and thus have to re-use medical equipment, that SHOULD BE DISCARDED, or in many cases are poorly sanitized. In addition, blood used for blood transfusions may also be contaminated due to inadequate screening of blood for HIV/AIDS (6).
- Use of condoms: Condoms however are not 100% effective in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Latex condoms are 80-90% effective in the prevention of the spread of disease, but they spread disease if they tear or slip off (7)(8). Condoms made of porous material offer very little protection against sexually transmitted diseases as they allow germs to pass through.
- Practice good sanitary habits: Do not let anyone else come in contact with your blood or body fluids. Clean up soiled surfaces, and dispose of contaminated material. Do not share needles or personal care items such as toothbrushes or razors, which may have microscopic amounts of blood or germs on them (9).
- Pray: Pray that God will cure you or lead you to a cure for your disease (3 John 2).
For more information about sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS, please feel free to go the government website of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) at http://www.cdc.gov/.
(2) Tortora, Gerard J and Grabowski, Sandra Reynolds, Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. 7th ed. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1993, p. 962.
(7) Tortora, Gerard J and Grabowski, Sandra Reynolds, Principles of Anatomy and Physiology. 7th ed. New York: HarperCollins College Publishers, 1993, p. 958.