Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) is a taboo subject that many shy away from and refuse to discuss. Unfortuntely, sticking your head in the sand and ignoring the issue isn’t going to make it go away. And until there are serious spiritual, mental, sexual and emotional modifications, STDs will continue to be on the rise and affect millions of people annually.
It is amazing that in a country where there is endless technology, an inundation of education and bountiful media outlets, mere common sense has seemed to alude many and continues to be ignored. And again, ignoring the issue doesn’t make it go away.
On the rise and having made its way to the United States is resistant Gonorrhea. What is that and what does that mean? It means that some strands of Gonorrhea has become resistant to current medications-some of the medicines we have to treat Gonorrhea does not work with the resistant strand. And that is just a small segment of what is going on in the world of STDs.
‘What puts me at risk?’ one may ask. Not knowing the sexual history of your partner. A lot of questions need to be asked before taking this crucial step. Now, whether or not they are going to be truthful is another matter. And if there is doubt of whether the person is going to be truthful, then may be some consideration needs to take place before the decision is made to be intimate with the individual. If they are not going to be truthful about their history, then there are probably a lot more things they aren’t going to be truthful about.
Next, what is the partner’s STD status? Do you know what their status is? What about your status? A good idea is to be tested together and share test results. Many local health departments (HD) offer treatment and testing free of charge. Some HD have rapid HIV tests where results are ready in 15 minutes. These tests though are accurate for any sexual activity that took place at least three months prior to the test. For example, if someone took a test in April, the test is valid with the last sexual encounter three months prior-not what happened last week, last night or the month before.
Another factor that needs to be taken into consideration is the fact that the more partners one has, the more at risk one is to get an STD. Knowing your partner and the ‘real’ name of your partner helps too. Thanks to the various ‘hook up’ sites and phone apps, it has been made real convenient to ‘hook up’ with anonymous partners or a partner where real names are not revealed. Although convenient, this method can prove to be risky.
Using barrier methods and using them correctly can also help curtail exposure to STDs. And ‘no’, you can’t look at someone and tell if they have an STD. Many people don’t any symptoms of the disease they may be carrying.
Many may think that the aforementioned is going overboard and that it doesn’t take all of that and the mission is just to go out and have a good time. That may be true but it should be noted that hooking up with the wrong person could cost permanent and irreversible life altering consequences that one will have to contend with for the rest of their lives.