Shining a Light on LGBTQ STD Awareness this LGBT History Month
October is LGBT History Month, so we thought we’d take this time to shine a light on what it is, the importance of it, and the prevalence of STDs in the LGBTQ community. LGBT History Month celebrates the history of the gay rights movement and celebrates the icons that worked tirelessly for LGBT rights. As described by GLAAD, LGBT History Month “reminds both the LGBT and wider communities of important roles LGBT people have taken in creating the social, legal, and political worlds we live in today.”
October was the chosen month for LGBT History month because National Coming Out Day is on October 11, as well as the anniversary of the first march on Washington by LGBT people, which took place on October 14. LGBT History Month began in 1994, when high school history teacher Rodney Wilson decided it was time that there was a month dedicated to teaching and celebrating the history of gay and lesbian rights and figures in our country. He gained support from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and other organizations such as GLAAD, the Human Rights Campaign, and the National Education Association. Since 2006, the Equality Forum has been responsible for organizing and promoting LGBT History Month.
With LGBT youth being one of the most at risk demographics for STDs, we also want to highlight Spirit Day, which takes place on October 19. According to GLAAD’s website, “Spirit Day” is a means of speaking out against LGBTQ bullying and standing with LGBTQ youth, who disproportionately face bullying and harassment because of their identities.” 85% of LGBTQ students report being verbally harrassed, while 57.65% did not report bullying because they didn’t think any action would be taken. When you pledge to “go purple” on October 19, you are pledging to stand with LGBTQ youth and take a stand against bullies and discrimination.
STD Rates Among LBTQ People
Young people between the ages of 15 – 24 and gay and bisexual men are among the most affected by STDs. In fact, men who have sex with other men are at greater risk for contracting an STD. More than half of all new HIV infections occur among gay or bisexual men. Syphilis is also on the rise in 2017. We know – Syphilis?! Yes, it’s still a thing, and and the rate of syphilis is rising, especially among gay males, who make up the majority of syphilis cases.
We understand that it can be difficult to find gay-friendly healthcare providers. You may be afraid of being discriminated against or feeling judged. At besafemeds, we are a judgment free zone. We treat ALL patients and believe in creating a safe space for LGBTQ people. That is why our STD treatment is private and anonymous.
Sexually Active Gay and Bisexual Men Should Be Tested For:
- HIV (at least once a year)
- Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis C
- Chlamydia and gonorrhea of the rectum
- Chlamydia and gonorrhea of the penis
- Gonorrhea of the throat
Tips for Preventing STDS
- Always use a condom.
- Reduce your number of sexual partners, especially anonymous ones. We recommend always knowing the sexual history of those you sleep with.
- Get tested regularly for STDs. The CDC recommends that all sexually active gay and bisexual men should be tested for STDs at least once a year and more frequently if you have multiple anonymous sexual partners.
- Talk openly with your partner about STDs.
If you are a member of the LGBTQ community and believe you may have an STD, simply fill out our online diagnostic form. Then, a licensed nurse practitioner or doctor will call you to discuss your options and give a diagnosis. If treatment is necessary, we will prescribe medication that can be picked up at your local pharmacy. Everything is kept anonymous and completely private.
For more information, contact besafemeds today!‹ Back to Blog