At Port Chester High School in New York, officials have signed off on a new service that has lots of folks up in arms. They’ll now be offering free STD and pregnancy testing to any student who asks … without parental consent or notification. While many people are squirming in their seats thinking about the moral and religious implications of this decision, I gotta say woo hoo! Here’s why. Keep reading »
Tag Archives: stds
A reader sent me an email and asked me if I would ever date someone with an incurable STD. She had recently been diagnosed with the HSV virus (that’s herpes, y’all), and wanted my answer to be honest and not “PC.” So here it is goes, my unvarnished, gut reaction to the question: No, I would not date someone with an incurable STD. Keep reading »
I was having dinner with some friends the other night, one of whom does HIV research. We started talking about STDs in general when another friend admitted she’s had herpes for about 10 years. She said she contracted it from the second guy she ever slept with and though she hasn’t had an outbreak in about 8 years, she always tells potential sex partners about it. I was surprised when she said that her gynecologist said that as long as she isn’t in the middle of an outbreak, there’s really no need to tell a sex partner — then I remembered this letter to advice columnist Jamie Bufalino in last week’s Time Out New York. A young woman writes:
“I’m a 23-year-old female, and just found out yesterday that I have contracted HPV/genital warts. I called the four people I’ve slept with in the past year to inform them, saving my current beau (he’s 28, BTW) for last. When I got on the phone with him (he lives in Boston, I’m in New York), I hardly had to say anything because he quickly responded: “Oh yeah, I have HPV too.” We’ve been dating for four months and he never bothered to mention that his last two girlfriends both magically contracted this virus after being with him. He apologized, said he felt terrible that he never told me, that he had planned to tell me soon, asked what he could do to make up for it, etc. I told him I never wanted to speak to him again. Now, the morning after, I wonder: Is getting an STD just part of being an adult? Or is passing a virus a deal breaker?”
Of course, sexual health educators should still teach everyone to protect themselves against HIV/AIDS. But researchers have created an interactive online “HIV/AIDS Atlas,” which shows how only one-fifth of America’s counties make up 80 percent of the cases. It’s sometimes hard to make public health topics “interesting” and “cool,” but a map does a good job of it! Keep reading »
Is it possible to c**k block safe sex? Yes, say public health advocates who are going after CVS for sometimes locking its condoms behind glass cases!
Advocates For Youth and CureCVS are rallying people based on the findings of a Change To Win study, which investigated CVS branches in five major metropolitan areas. They found condom lockage is three times more likely to occur in areas where minorities live—which obviously is discriminatory and needs to stop immediately. Keep reading »
An HPV vaccine for men is likely to be approved in the next year, but according to a recent study, men are fairly unlikely to get the shot, even if told it would help protect their female partners against cervical cancer. Sadly, we’re not surprised. Many men won’t sport a rubber to protect themselves and their ladies (yes I know I’m generalizing here), why would we expect them to get poked by a needle?
Remembering to take birth control pills every day at the same time can be a hassle. Buying condoms adds another thing to our pages-long to-do list. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were an effective birth control and STD-preventative in one? Dr. Brij Saxena, a reproductive biology and endocrinology professor at the Weill Cornell Medical College, has developed a vaginal ring that may prevent sexually transmitted HIV and unintended pregnancy because it releases several types of non-hormonal agents and microbicides. The device has proven to prevent HIV infection in laboratory trials, Saxena said, and it could give women the power to protect themselves effectively and conveniently from an unintended pregnancy and HIV, if future clinical trials are successful. Keep reading »
- AIDS is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), and there is no cure. HIV weakens the body’s ability to fend off diseases and multiplies in lymph nodes. It destroys white blood cells and antibodies that make up the immune system. You can’t get it from hugging, dancing, high-fives, or sharing a can of soda. There are many myths about contracting AIDS and HIV. Women are at high risk and knowing your partner’s sexual history is one way to help keep you safe.
- Syphilis is a mighty morphing STD that is hard to detect. Its symptoms don’t occur in a consistent order, but experts have narrowed them down to four stages. The primary stage is when a firm sore, called a chancre, appears around your lady parts. You can get one firm sore or many love bumps. They may dry out and heal, but you’re still stuck with the infection. The second stage includes on-and-off rash, fever, fatigue, aching, and sore throat. The third stage is the hidden stage, when symptoms don’t appear for years, as this STD attacks and progresses.
- If left untreated, syphilis can damage your heart and brain in the final stages. The tertiary, or late syphilis, stage also attacks the eyes, blood vessels, liver, bones, and joints. Signs of late syphilis include paralysis, numbness, blindness, and even dementia. If you think you might have the Syph, you need to get treatment as soon as possible. Your chances of getting HIV increase if you have syphilis because chancres make it easier to pass on and acquire HIV.
Every year, one million U.S. women will become infected with pelvic inflammatory disease, also known as PID, an infection or inflammation of various reproductive organs. Yikes! This common disease can cause many other problems, including infertility and other conditions that may lead to death. Sorry for the quick scare, but it’s true, and you should know. Thankfully, the proper prevention and care can help prevent those complications.
- It’s normal for certain amounts and types of bacteria to reside in the vaginal area. However, sex and douching can cause them to get pushed further inside the body where they don’t belong. This can cause PID. Having sex with multiple partners, a partner who has multiple partners, or a partner who has an STD can greatly increase the risk. Bacterial STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, are common factors in PID cases.
- Unfortunately, more than half of all PID cases go undetected until the damage has been done. Many times there are few to no symptoms, especially in PID that occurs from chlamydia. Ladies, if you’re experiencing fever, pain during intercourse or urination, abdominal pain, or irregular bleeding during your menstrual cycle, it’s time to get tested ASAP. A rare pain also can occur in the upper abdominal region.