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Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
It's time for Americans to have a real discussion about sexually transmitted diseases - what their symptoms are, how people get them, how to prevent them and the importance of using STD testing services. Recently Yahoo! News published an article on how popular culture seems to be very comfortable with talking about the youth "hook up" culture, but not about STDs, and the potential dangers this poses to public health.
The news source cited a recent episode of a television show that is popular among many people under the age of 30, specifically the way that this show treated the subject of herpes. The show stigmatized having the STD and portrayed it as something that people get because they are being promiscuous. However, in reality, estimates show that about half of all people will contract an STD before the age of 25, and this can come as the result of just one unprotected sexual encounter, it doesn't take many.
Importance of discussion
Yahoo! explained that one of the biggest problems with stigmatizing STDs is that it makes prevention nearly impossible, because it turns talking about STDs into a difficult thing to do. It's important for people to feel comfortable with the subject of STDs so they can bring them up without fear of their partner making assumptions about their sexual history.
New York Magazine published an article about the difficulty of discussing STDs with a new sexual partner, and stressed why it is so important. According to the news source, an estimated one in four Americans has genital herpes, and up to 90 percent of them don't know it. This is one of the many reasons why people need to ask their partners about the last time they used STD testing services, to see if they are aware of their infection status.
People should explain to new sexual partners that they want to keep themselves and others that they are intimate with safe, which is why they want to have an open discussion about STDs. Individuals who find that they are unable to talk to their partners about STDs should be sure to practice safer sex by using a condom during all sexual activity. This could help decrease a person's chances of contracting a sexual infection. Individuals should also wear condoms with all new sexual partners, since even if they talk about STDs, they can't be sure that a person they don't know well is telling the truth.
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