Sexually transmitted infections are on the rise, so be careful out there and get tested

Seriously, everyone? You all talk a lot of game, I’m sure, to your doctors and partners, but the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) knows your little secret. The rates of sexually transmitted infections are on the rise, according to a new CDC report, so you are not all wearing condoms, getting tested, talking to your partners and doing all of the other things you should be doing before taking off your pants and getting busy. Why? Just, why?

It’s not even HPV (which seriously, almost everyone has) — it’s gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia. The CDC doesn’t federally track herpes or HPV, but judging by the other rates of STI infections, researchers and experts estimate that there are a total of 110 million cases of STIs nationwide when you throw HPV and herpes into the mix. They also haven’t included HIV infection rates in that number, though they remain steady.

This frustrates me to no end. There was a 13 percent rise in gonorrhea, 6 percent rise in chlamydia, and 19 percent more cases of Syphilis since 2014. Syphilis? What is this, 1896? We should not be getting Syphilis anymore, as I’m sure anyone who has to manage the STI can tell you. Come on, people. We are smarter than this.

I don’t want to hear any more crap about condoms from all of you. There are lots of different kinds, and if you’re really looking for “increased sensation” and all of that, you can even buy super fancy condoms to experiment with. I’m not talking about flavors and crap, but better latex quality and all of that jazz can make condoms more bearable than say, those freebie ones you get in a club made of what can only be called a Ziploc bag, ruining the mood and frustrating everyone involved.

Men, try jerking off with one a few times and get used to reaching an orgasm with one on. Ladies, female condoms suck too, I know, but if you’re sleeping around, you need to use one or the other. Putting latex between your genitals and someone else’s is the only way to not have to actually say to the next person you sleep with: “BTW, I have gonorrhea.” Trust me, you don’t want to get back in the dating pool with a contagious STI. It’s really not a fun situation to be in, and walking around thinking that you’ve gotten lucky until now or you’re so fresh and clean that you’d never get chlamydia is half the reason STI rates are on the rise. You can get any STI if you’re not careful.

What’s happening, experts conclude, is that America isn’t doing enough STI prevention or making it easy to get tested and treated. Putting more money into outreach of all kinds when it comes to STIs and sex education is the first step to curbing these increased rates (because there will always be some asshole who refuses to wear a condom handing out gonorrhea one-night stand by one-night stand). The director of the CDC said in a statement, “STD rates are rising, and many of the country’s systems for preventing STDs have eroded. We must mobilize, rebuild and expand services — or the human and economic burden will continue to grow.”

You can do your part by walking your cute ass into a clinic and getting tested. I know the idea of getting tested for STIs or HIV can be scary (what if you have it?!), but if you know you have it early, you can treat it, stay healthy, and know that you could be passing something along and take action to make that not happen.

I don’t want to lecture you. Having lots of sex with lots of people is awesome — shit, it’s actually one of my hobbies — but we’re better than this. Wear a condom. Get tested. Don’t think you’re above the fray. STIs don’t care who you are.

Tags: health, Sex, sti