Starting the Conversation: Sexually Transmitted Diseases
April 18, 2022
By Kafi Carr, Nursing Services Manager
- STDs are prevalent and should be discussed
- STDs are preventable
- Talking about STDs can reduce the stigma
Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD)/ Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI) are infections that are transmitted during vaginal, anal, and oral sex. Stigma surrounding STDs include being promiscuous (having multiple partners) and being dirty despite research proving you can have sex one time with one partner are still be exposed to and contract an STD.
Not only are STDs common, but most who are infected do not have any symptoms. According to the 2020 STD Surveillance, despite facing a global pandemic, 2.4 million cases of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis was reported. Also, 34,800 new diagnosis of HIV, human immunodeficiency virus, were reported in 2019. The best way to break the stigma is to have the conversation. Talk to your partner, talk to all potential partners, and GET TESTED regularly. Knowing your status and knowing your options for prevention and treatment increases one’s confidence to start the conversation. CDC recommends getting tested every 3-6 months whether you are in an monogamous relationship or not. Prevention options include: abstinence, consistent condom use and PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), a once daily pill that can be taken by those who are HIV-negative to stop the transmission of HIV from an HIV positive partner.
Wayne Health’s Detroit Public Health Clinic located on 50 E. Canfield Detroit, MI 48201 is a great resource for those looking for STD testing, treatment and more education of how to protect yourself and others.
References: https://www.cdc.gov/std/default.htm https://www.cdc.gov/std/healthcomm/fact_sheets.htm https://www.mdch.state.mi.us/osr/std/instruction3.ASP#:~:text=Overview%3A%20Chlamydia%20is%20the%20most,a%20rate%20234.4%20in%202020.
To request an appointment with a Wayne Health provider, visit our appointments page.