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Wednesday, May 12, 2004

There are diseases out there

Around 4% of young people have chlamydia. When I first read this, I thought they meant that around 4% of people have had chlamydia, which I thought was kind of low, since a whole bunch of people I know have gotten this super-common disease at some point in their lives or another. But no, they mean 4% currently have chlamydia.
That sucks. Chlamydia sucks. Ask anyone who's had it. Don't think you know someone who has? I'll bet you do. Most people who get it take their drugs, get better and forget about it. Being sick in general just sucks.
But luckily, chlamydia for all that it's common is a disease we can actually do something about. Practicing safe sex is extremely important, of course. But just as importantly is working to get rid of the shame and fear of sexually transmitted diseases that we have in this country. Hell, we cultivate it in our abstinence-only culture, where kids are taught that catching an STD is the worst thing that can ever happen to you.
When people are taught that STD's are punishment meted out to bad people, they don't get help when they contract an STD because they don't think of themselves as bad people. Simple as that. We're creating a culture of denial. If you refuse to acknowledge your symptoms, or don't get tested because you're embarrassed, you are going to pass that STD to another person. So get over, be proud that you're sexually active, and get tested!
A friend of mine and I were talking about how people get all freaked out about STD's and how they think that having one means that you are an evil slut. So we sat down and thought of everyone we knew who had or has had a common STD and how he/she got it. And the list was something like this: boyfriend, boyfriend, boyfriend, husband, needle use (yeah, that's the one that kills you, very sad), girlfriend, husband, on and off again boyfriend, girlfriend, and mattress (there's proof, I promise). Not really a scientific experiment, but a good point nonetheless. We couldn't really think of anyone we knew who got an STD by slutting around town. Between us, we knew more people who got them from mattresses and heroin use than by slutting around! By far, the vast majority of friends we could think of who had admitted to getting one had gotten it from an ostensibly monogamous relationship.
The most important tools for protecting yourself are honesty and intelligence, not some vague sexual morality. If you don't want to get lice, you don't share hairbrushes with someone until you make sure she's clean. If you don't want an STD, same story. Honesty and intelligence. And of course, that means honest, straightforward education.

9 Comments:

Blogger Disease Index said...

You keep a nice blog. I just started one myself, about Diseases. If you know of anyone who'd benefit from Diseases information, then please refer them to my Diseases information site. I'll return the favor.

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10/04/2005

 
Blogger Disease Index said...

You keep a very nice blog. I'm new to the whole blog thingy, but I enjoy reading through other people's blogs.
___________________________
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10/04/2005

 
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