As medical researchers dig deeper into factors responsible for transmission of Sexually Transmitted Diseases, an undeniable fact has emerged-ignorance or lack of knowledge about STDs is the primary factor why more, younger people are falling prey to this health problem. In this discussion, the effort is not to provide you just another, preachy article about STDs but to weave a dialogue that highlights critical aspects that can help you fight STDs.
Misconceptions Galore: Some Common STD Myths
There is much misinformation about how STDs are spread. Some folks believe that the more conventional sexual positions, such as vaginal sex, are immune to STDs. Sexual contact responsible for transmission of STDs includes every sexual position, from oral and anal sex to even non-penetrative, genital-to-genital contact! Some STDs, like Hepatitis B and HIV, have a higher chance of spreading through exchange of blood during intercourse/penetration. However, it is wrong to conclude that STDs don’t spread through sexual fluids devoid of blood. For example, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia have a higher incidence of spreading through sexual activities that include exchange of semen. In contrast, Herpes and HPV infections can spread through repeated, genital skin-to-skin contact. This contradicts the general belief that unless intercourse/penetration is involved, you cannot be infected with STDs!
Equip Yourself with Precaution & Information
A better way to ensure that you don’t catch STDs is being slightly precautious during any kind of sexual activity or intimate physical contact. If you doubt your partner about being infected, confront him/her. This slightly unpleasant situation can be shockingly effective in steering clear of STDs. To resolve common queries regarding the spread of different kind of STDs, using resources that provide dependable, updated information is critical. PositiveSingles.com is one such online resource that helps to clear common doubts about STDs. Some STDs, like Syphilis and Chlamydia, can be treated at an early stage. However, this requires a proactive approach. You must be quick in seeking a professional opinion if you suspect any symptom. Even a genital rash that doesn’t go away with regular, over-the-counter medication is a call for professional medical opinion!
We now take the discussion towards understanding patterns related to prevalence and spread of STDs and share some wisdom about fighting this health problem:
Patterns Related to Transmission of STDs
It has been established that people below the age of 25 are most susceptible to contracting STDs. The infection has little to do with genetic history or social status. Please understand that your choice of sexual partner can limit the chances of being infected with STDs to a certain extent only. Often, the lesser suspected populations, such as highly-educated or high-earning individuals, are the carriers. People who have more sexual partners are more likely to catch STDs. This is rather understandable-with more sexual partners, the probability of having intimate contact with an STD sufferer also increases. It is more difficult to establish the STD-free credibility of a person if you are regularly changing sexual partners.
Some Global STD Patterns
Many clinical studies across the world have concluded that bisexual or gay couples, particularly those involving men, are more prone to contracting STDs. It has been established that some STDs have a gender-based pattern. For instance, Syphilis is found more among MSMs, i.e. men who have sex with other men. This group is also has a higher susceptibility of being infected with HIV. This is largely because male-to-male sexual activities present an alarmingly low level of safe-sex practices. Ignoring standard protective gear, such as condoms, drastically raises the risk of contracting STDs. Further, MSMs are more vulnerable to social discrimination. This often leads to fatal delays in reporting the first signs of having contracted STDs.
STDs & LGBT Communities: Clearing the Confusion
A huge fallacy lies in the mind of people that STDs are found exclusively among same-sex couples or the LGBT community. However, sexually transmitted diseases are found across every age-group, race, and nationality without a preference for people with alternative lifestyle choices. Yes, same-sex communities might present a higher precedence of such infections but this is largely because of lack of awareness. Usually, these communities choose to remain silent, fearing social ostracization. The symptoms are often under-reported and self-medication is very common. However, STDs cannot be cured with over-the-counter medications. Every STD treatment needs a planned, prescription-based plan for which professional medical supervision is critical.
Why STDs continue to grip contemporary societies with easy access to information?
Even the most developed nations and highly-educated societies continue to struggle in arresting the spread of STDs. The world of Medicine is yet to provide fail-proof, comprehensive vaccine-based protection against all types of STDs. Believing that you are shielded from STDs due to your financial status or a disease-free family history is a recipe for disaster. The general fear and misinformation about STDs extends beyond the LGBT communities. Most folks, no matter how educated, fear discussing anything related to this subject with their friends, families, or even family physicians. This is the first step towards aggravating the condition and allowing STDs to take root.
Don’t Feel Abandoned in Your Fight Against STDs
Medication-based treatment plans might take some time to take deliver. You need to be patient and complete the entire recommended course. Under-medicated regimens are often the cause for a bigger, more aggravated bout of STDs. During this period, you might feel hesitant about discussing things with your family or friends. Seek alternative resources where you can find some sympathy from people who understand STDs and others who are living with it. There are bound to be community forums or help groups dedicated to this cause. The idea is to find an unbiased resource that can provide some help and guidance. You can consider joining online communities, like PositiveSingles.com, where people discuss various aspects related to prevention and treatment of STDs.
Take the Honest Road, For Yourself and Others
This might seem unnecessary but it is the more humane thing to do-if you have recently contracted STD, always insist that your partner too gets tested for it. Sometimes, people are unaware about being carriers of dormant STD strains and don’t show any easily identifiable symptoms. On the contrary, some people are fully aware about being infected with STDs but choose to stay mute, spreading the disease-this is criminal! Today, you can file a lawsuit if someone was aware about his/her STD infection but chose not to disclose it when getting intimate with you.
Do you have a personal story to share about fighting or living with STDs? Any real experience (or insight) that can help to increase the awareness about STDs is valuable.