Experiencing sex with someone is risky business! Experiencing life is risky too. But with a little planning and preventive measures, you can easily enjoy life and sex.
Did you just get the dreaded results of a STD test back? Positive?! Did your new boyfriend just let you know that he has a STD? Are you freaking out? You are not alone. An article published by the American Journal of Medicine states that more than half of all people will have an STD/STI at some point in their lifetime. Sexually transmitted diseases are serious, but most can be cured or at least treated. It is critical, however, to get treatment immediately if you think you may have been exposed. Private testing facilities, like Confilabs, keep your health information private. It is not shared with your health insurance provider or anyone else.
STD Testing is the only way to be positive that you’re negative.
Sexually transmitted diseases are passed on through sexual activity. Some STDs cause infections (STIs), but not all STIs cause STDs. Sometimes these acronyms are used interchangeably and either is correct. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC), there are almost 20 million new cases of STDs/STIs in the United States alone. Yet very few U.S. doctors (less than 30 percent) routinely check their patients
for them documented from a national survey in the American Journal of Public Health. Patients do not always ask for screening or testing, because of the stigma of having an STD/STI. Be your own advocate before you enter a sexual relationship with anyone.
Ask questions: Have you ever been tested for STDs?; Have you ever been diagnosed with an STD?; Have you had many partners or unprotected sex? Just because someone looks “clean” doesn’t mean that they don’t have a STD. If you can’t have open communication with someone you’re about to have sex with, maybe you should reconsider having those relations with them. STDs do not discriminate based on age,race, socio-economic status, or gender. There are many options available for testing and treatment—some centers offer free or low-cost testing.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases include:
* Chlamydia affects men & women & can cause infertility left untreated.
- Gonorrhea also affects both sexes and is serious, but it can be cured.
- Genital Herpes is a very common STI that can’t be cured but can be successfully treated.
- Hepatitis B can be caused by sexual relations and can lead to liver cancer left untreated.
- Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) is more common in people with STDs.
- Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common STI. Vaccines can protect you from HPV and prevent genital warts and cancers from developing.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID): Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are some of the STDs that cause PID. It is serious but can be cured.
- Syphilis can cause blindness and sores throughout the body left untreated.
The largest group of people affected by STDs are the young, however, STDs can and do affect all age groups. The only way not to be affected is to not have sex: oral, anal or vaginal—complete abstinence. I bet condoms are looking a bit better now! And those of you with latex allergies can take advantage of synthetic condoms, not to be confused with natural membrane condoms.
Monogamy and fewer sexual partners are also recommended. Vaccinations, especially for HPV and Hepatitis B, are also recommended preventive measures.
It’s unrealistic for most of us to completely abstain from sexual relations. Just make sure you are an informed participant. If you become infected, seek medical testing and treatment immediately. With continued research and treatment happening now, STDs are not a death sentence or the end of your sexual life.