The Birds, The Bees, and the Facts About STDs

STD Facts

As mentioned in our previous blogs, April is STD awareness month! This week, we’re going to get into the nitty gritty of sexually transmitted diseases to help #StopTheStigma that plagues STIs. In other words, we’re going to have the conversation your parents had with you about the birds and the bees, but we’re adding in facts everyone should know about STDs.

Let’s take a trip down memory lane… you’re a freshman in high school, the lights are off, and the PE teacher is wearing a tie. Where are you? Sex ed class, of course! Coach plays a slideshow featuring graphic images of infected genitals and you and your friend are giggling in the back row.

There are many problems with sex education in schools, but one is that we can’t expect young teens to fully comprehend the importance of sexual health, and carry it with them into the sexual years of their lives. As we grow and age, how we experience intimacy changes, and with age doesn’t necessarily come wisdom with regards to safe sex (we’re looking at you, Grandma!) So, let’s get down and dirty to the facts about STDs.

Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About STIs:

  1. There are over 30 different types of STIs, but only a handful of them are recognized and acknowledged by the public.
  2. Over half of the world has, or will have, an STI at some point in their lives.
  3. Half of sexually active people will contract an STI by the age of 25.
  4. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people have HSV-2, a.k.a. genital herpes, but 80% aren’t aware they have it due to a lack of symptoms.
  5. The most common STDs include Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Genital Herpes, and HIV/AIDS.
  6. Syphilis, a disease once thought to have all but disappeared is on the rise with 2015 having the highest number of reported syphilis cases in two decades.
  7. In most cases, the stigma attached to STIs can do more harm than the actual disease does (talk to your partners, people!)
  8. Yes, you can get an STI while on your period, but no, you cannot get one from a toilet seat.
  9. Getting tested is remarkably easy! (Using a condom is even easier).
  10. You can get diagnosis and a prescription for treatment right over the phone in 5 states- Illinois, Indiana, Florida, Missouri, and New Mexico.

All jokes about your awkward sex ed class aside, contracting an STI is a serious matter that should not be taken lightly. It’s important to promote the importance of sexual health and normalize open and honest conversations about STDs. The important thing to remember is that most STIs are preventable by practicing safe sex and getting tested regularly.

This month, let’s seek to better ourselves and our sex lives, by educating ourselves and others about STDs/STIs and being aware of the issues they present. So, #GetTested and #StopTheStigma for #STDMonth17!

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