Discussing about your sexual health is like an unspoken no-no, but why is that?
Read Time: 4 Minutes
Let’s face it, sexually transmitted disease rates are higher than they’ve ever been. So why are we so ashamed to talk about them? Placing your STD in a dark corner won’t cure, suppress or prevent the prevalent epidemic from happening. Do you remember the last time you talked about sexual health and protection? Better yet, when was the last time you’ve been tested? The time for transparent and judgment-free conversation is now.
Living a healthy and happy STD diagnosed life is possible. The key is communication and it can prevent the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, as well as inform people around you. There is a ton of knowledge about STDs readily available but most of us don’t know much about them or more importantly, how to talk about them.
According to the WHO (Word Organization of Health), every year more than an estimated 357 million people contract 1 of the 4 main sexually transmitted infections (STI’s). Chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis are the highest spread STIs. While these infections can be cured, others like herpes cannot. More than 3.7 billion people under the age of 50 have Herpes Simplex Virus type 1 (HSV-1). That makes up 67% of the global population and another 11% carry HSV-2. Although contraceptives should be used every time, an STI can spread through any exchange of fluids, not just traditional sex.
If you contract an STI it is okay! Heal yourself and forget the stigma that comes along with it.
Disclosing our sexual health can make us all feel uncomfortable, but it’s moments like these that define who we are. When the time is right, sit down in a relaxing and private environment to have the conversation. Try to stay calm and allow the conversation to come with ease. Transparently discuss your health and your partners. Talk about protection, honesty, and a plan if needed. Perhaps even mention getting tested together.
If you currently have a sexually transmitted disease, being brave enough to discuss it is a major accomplishment. When having this discussion, be very honest and briefly explain your condition and how it affects you. Most people are uninformed about sexually transmitted diseases, so it is really important to inform them as you discuss your health.
If your partner decides to walk away, allow them to. However, the chances are the next partner could be infected as well and less aware or sharing of their condition. Let your partner know that you care and respect their health. Be sure to answer all their questions before changing topics. You don’t want any lingering thoughts. Together we can stop the spread of STD’s, all we need is communication, confidence, and contraceptives.