It always amazes me when I hear people talking about how they are in a non monogamous relationship and practicing safe sex. The reason that it amazes me so much is because the vast majority of these people claim that birth control such as the Pill, IUD's and the shot constitute engaging in safe sex practices. When asked about condoms the common answer that I hear is, “I'm on (insert any other form of BC here) so I don't have to worry.
To these people the thought of safe sex seems to not extend to disease. They only worry about pregnancy prevention when it comes to their sexual encounters. This shockingly enough also includes one night encounters with total strangers. The most common thing I have heard when I bring up the possibility of contracting a disease is “I can tell they are clean.”
I once asked a co-worker to elaborate on the whole I can tell if they are clean thing. Her answer was that if he lacks any symptoms (discharge, sores etc.) then it shows he is clean. The concept that some infections can be asymptomatic or not showing symptoms was not only new to her, but she actually refused to believe that.
Another scary thought is the fact that many of these same people admitted that they have either never gotten tested for STI's or that their testing is infrequent at best.
This kind of mindset is disturbing. The CDC estimates that there are 20 million new sexually transmitted infections (STI's) a year in the US alone. Yes you read that correctly. 20 million. To put that 20 million number in prospective, our third most populated state is New York which has an estimated population of 19,651,127.
Is it a lack of sexual education, sexual ignorance, a “it can't happen to me attitude” or something else. I don't have that answer. I do know that where I live it isn't a lack of access to condoms. Many clinics here give them out for free as does the Department of Health. A lot of these clinics also offer free testing, but to those I have talked to it is too much of an inconvenience to go get tested. They are afraid that the clinic workers will view them as being a slut, claiming that only hookers utilize those services.
Well people there is no excuse. Get educated and educate others. STI's are not only real, but every time that you engage in unsafe sex you are putting yourself at risk at contracting one. Use condoms, get tested regularly and stop being so damn fucking stupid.
Information and resources
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