Happy Monday everyone! I really hope that those of you who read us regularly understand by now the dangers of HIV. Now I want to make sure you know about a similarly important topic that is STDs. So, do you know what STD stands for? How many types are there? Can you get cured? If you’re not sure about it, you might want to have a quick read on this.
First of all, STD stands for “sexually transmitted disease” and it means the same as STI and VD. The infection is passed from one person to another through sexual contact mainly but also needle exchange and through childbirth and breastfeeding.
Now, according to the MTV It’s Your (Sex) Life programme (check it for a very good description of all STDs), 1 in 2 sexually active young people will get at least one STD by the age of 25. This fact itself should make you reconsider the importance of this matter, shouldn’t it?
There are more than 20 different types of STDs and some of them also have sub types. The most common are gonorrhoea, chlamydia, syphilis, hepatitis B and C, HPV (Human Papilloma Virus), herpes and trichomonas.
Most of these infections can be cured and all can be treated. This doesn’t mean you can underestimate them: If discovered at a later stage, STDs can cause cancer, infertility or pass on to a baby, increased risk of contracting other STDs such as HIV and many other unpleasant consequences.
The only way to avoid them is by using condoms at all times when having an active sex life and if you do anything that might put you at risk MAKE SURE YOU GET TESTED as some of them don’t even show any obvious symptoms. I needed to use capitals there as this is the very first step. If you’re clean – you’ll feel at ease and if not, you’ll be able to receive treatment right away and stop the infection from getting worse. In case you have several sexual partners, I’d advise you to test every once in a while as well and if you test positive to urgently acknowledge all your past sexual partners so they can get treated also. Check out this test for a quick overview of the STDs you should get tested for.
A couple of easy tips I’d recommend you to practice on a regular basis would be:
1. If you’re one of those wild party goers, avoid one night stands as people around you will probably be on drugs or at least, blind drunk and careless. You may think you’ve found the love of your life but there is a chance you’re the fifth person they’ll be having sex with that day, that's life. I’m young and I know how it works, if you choose to do it make sure you’ve got some condoms – they might become your lifesaver that night!
2. If you’ve met someone special that you might start having regular sex with – suggest you both get tested and make sure you get to see the results.
3. Most importantly, don’t panic about it. Choosing to be responsible is the best thing you can do and I promise you – we all panic when it comes to health. Talk about it, there is plenty of people who can help you out there, from parents to friends, your doctor, people in the same situation or through counselling. If anything ever happens to you, take a deep breath and seek for help. But first, keep calm as emotions can really drive you crazy in this situation.
I won’t tell you to abstain from sex or not to party. Go out! Party hard! Have sex! Have fun! Be happy! Be responsible! It’s all related!