Coming from the public health perspective, it isn’t a fun job to notify someone about their exposure to an STD, but it is fulfilling to know that you have helped keep someone healthy. So the next time the phone rings, keep in mind, it may not be the call you want, but it may be the call you get and it will help protect you.
Sometimes I wonder if we are not missing the larger picture. Perhaps instead of talking about preventing STDs and treating an illness, maybe we could talk in terms of promoting sexual health.
We need to make sure that young people are getting tested if they have had unprotected sex, getting educated, and using the tools and resources available to them to prevent both STD transmission and unintended pregnancy.
STIs affect people of all races, ages, and sexual orientations, though some individuals experience greater challenges in protecting their health. When individual risk behaviors are combined with barriers to quality health information and STI prevention services, the risk of infection increases. Increasing access to testing is key.
It is impractical to believe that college students will not be sexually active. Not using the appropriate preventive measures (i.e. a condom) can lead to both unintended and unwanted consequences, high-risk situations or not. It is obvious that changes need to be made. But where to begin?
I want to open this STD Awareness Blog series with a STD complication success story: fighting cervical cancer. Because here’s the thing: cervical cancer is almost completely preventable. This means that, given consistent and correct care, you will likely never been one of those 4,000 women who die of this preventable and treatable disease.
Last week the porn industry voluntarily shut down production on movie sets around the country after an unnamed actress initially tested positive for HIV. While it turned out to be a false positive, the incident exposed the ongoing controversy around industry handling of the possibility of spreading infections on set.
Activists opposed to male circumcision hope that someday cutting a boy’s foreskin will be a federal crime. In the meantime, they’re working to ban the procedure in two California cities.
It’s time to start taking gonorrhea prevention and control more seriously, before we end up – like the Black Knight – without a leg to stand on.
STD Awareness Month (SAM) is important because of the potential harm of untreated STDs, including adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility, cancers of the reproductive tract, and increased likelihood of HIV transmission.