It’s Time to Break the Taboo: Let’s Talk about STD

Estimates from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reveal that the US alone records approximately 20 million new STD infections every year.  This trend is not just in the US. World Health Organization (WHO) statistics indicate that over 1 million people worldwide acquire sexually transmitted diseases every day.

It’s Time to Break the Taboo

Although it may sound crazy, not many people are screening for STDs and this amplifies the problem. For example, a survey conducted in Ireland in 2013 reveals that 70% of the residents have never had a sexual health checkup or screening. Asked the reasons, they said they were in a committed relationship and saw no need for a test.

Shockingly, 32 percent of the participants in the above survey admitted to not care about their sexual health. In the survey, only 23 percent confirmed that they always engage in safe sex. Worth noting also is that women in Ireland are more likely to go for an STI test compared to their male counterparts. The above revelation proves enough of the society we are living in.

Let’s Get Tested and Treated

One can have an STD and not show any symptoms at all. Others have mistaken symptoms of STDs for other conditions. This should tell us how important it is for us to get tested. If such infections are discovered in good time, they can be easily treated. It also prevents us from spreading to our sexual partners unknowingly.

It’s noteworthy that, some of these diseases can have serious effects on the body if not treated early. For example, syphilis is known to cause dementia, blindness, numbness and eventually death if not addressed in good time. Each of the other STDs has its own impacts if there is no timely intervention. For this reason, we should strive to treat these infections early so that they don’t lead to undesirable outcomes.

The sad bit is that most of these sexually transmitted diseases have got a cure, yet they continue to ravage many. For most of them, antibiotics and other common medications are all we need. Viral infections such as HIV can also be managed through relevant medications. Instead of hating ourselves and laying the blame on others, we can take the initiative and be tested. Let’s seek medical intervention on STDs.

Let’s Encourage Testing Among Sexual Partners

While it’s ideal to ask our partners to go for testing before engaging in sexual intimacy, many of us still find it as one of the ‘easier said than done’ things. There are pretty good reasons for the hesitation. First, it’s the fear that our partner might conclude that we don’t trust them and think they’re unfaithful.

Worse still, we have ‘the fear of the unknown.’ What if I discover that I have an STD? Should I open up or keep it a secret? We fear that our partners might label us as promiscuous, or leave us for good. Who fancies a break-up? So, we feel secure when we don’t know the truth, and if we ever discover such a thing, keeping it to ourselves looks like the only viable option. Unfortunately, this does more harm than good.

Now, we don’t need to expose all our past relationship dark sides, but we can be open to some extent. As men, we can show our partners that we genuinely care about our sexual health as a couple and recommend that we take an STD test now and then. If we do this lovingly, there’s no wife, fiancée, or girlfriend will doubt our trust in them.  Besides, we will avoid contracting an STD or suffering severe consequences associated with lack of treatment.  

Some tip for Disclosing the Results of an STD Test to Our Partner

It is possible to test positive for an STD. The challenge is how to inform the other party that we have contracted an STD. We cannot let the fear of societal stigma to overwhelm us. Instead, let’s choose a time when our partner is relaxed and talk it over with them. This should be in a private place which has the least distractions as possible.

The same thing should happen if we’re the ones receiving the news from our partner. Let’s give her time to talk as we listen keenly. It’s also not fair to start the blame game. This is because it doesn’t always imply that either of us cheated. Meanwhile, we could give the recipient of such news ample time to bring their thoughts together. Then, we can suggest a visit to the doctor for counseling and continued treatment

Final Thoughts

Take care of yourself, of your health but also of your keep in mind that someone close to you may have a problem. Keep calm, talk to them and try to be helpful.

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