1
$\begingroup$

In the history of disease, ranking high among the list of most deadly are the rogues gallery of sexually transmitted infections--syphilis, genital herpes, chlamydia, gonorrhea, HIV and especially AIDS. Combined, these diseases kill off millions of lives annually.

The curiosity about STIs is that the focus on them is exclusively human. The bonobo, a cousin of the chimpanzee, relieves tension through intercourse, yet there is no evidence of venereal ills. Lions, of course, form prides, a harem consisting of one male lion and several females. One male mammal, as far as I know, does not mate with the same female in more than one season.

Promiscuity and infidelity are rampant in the mammal class, yet humans are the only ones who suffer poorly from those acts. Before I allow evolution in an alternate Earth to tweak the human genetic structure before Out of Africa, I must ask--where do STIs come from, and why do they make sexuality a high price?

$\endgroup$

closed as off-topic by kingledion, Zxyrra, Aify, Mołot, Hohmannfan Dec 24 '16 at 11:36

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – kingledion, Zxyrra, Aify, Hohmannfan
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I thought they were called STDs, sexually transmitted diseases. $\endgroup$ – Xandar The Zenon Dec 24 '16 at 5:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I'd like to see evidence that any of them other than HIV/AIDS kill that many people a year. You are basically talking about two different things: very deadly AIDS and rather annoying other STDs. Also, origin of STD's is off-topic for Worldbuilding. Try Biology.SE. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Dec 24 '16 at 5:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I think this is relevant to Worldbuilding because it stands in the way of building an alternative world, and implicit in the question is what can OP get away with changing. Perhaps if the implicit were made explicit, it would help focus the answers to stay within Worldbuilding ? $\endgroup$ – SRM Dec 24 '16 at 6:31
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @XandarTheZenon STI = sexually transmitted infections. The difference between the terms is described here. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Dec 24 '16 at 6:38
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Consider rephrasing "where do STDs come from" which is asking for real-world information to "where can I stop my STDs from coming from" which is specifically asking for a world design element. $\endgroup$ – Zxyrra Dec 24 '16 at 6:41
4
$\begingroup$

I found several articles contradicting the question's premis... animals DO get STIs/STDs (two names for nearly same thing) at high rates. Neither of the following links are authoritative, but both are good summaries of things I was able to find research backing for. Rabbits are rife with syphillis; koalas in Australia are going extinct from chlamidyia. It appears that, just like in humans, the diseases are deadly, but only spread to a percent of population. And many animals recover from infection. AIDS appears in my cursory search to be a special plague, atypical of STIs/STDs. http://discovermagazine.com/2008/sep/09-how-often-do-animals-get-stds https://www.google.com/amp/thoughtcatalog.com/jim-goad/2015/04/does-your-dog-need-a-condom-17-facts-about-animals-and-stds/amp/?client=safari

However, in the OP favor, I found this research citation confirming the relative lack of STDs in bonobos. https://carta.anthropogeny.org/moca/topics/sexually-transmitted-bacterial-diseases

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ Viruses are, as a rule, more deadly than bacteria, right? $\endgroup$ – JohnWDailey Dec 24 '16 at 19:51
  • $\begingroup$ @JohnWDailey I don't think you can make that claim. Both can be equally deadly, both can be relatively mild, and both can be symbiotic in various hosts. $\endgroup$ – SRM Dec 24 '16 at 20:56

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.