Let's talk about STDs. Although it is a scary topic, it is imperative that women be educated on the issue. There are many different sexually transmitted diseases. There are ones that go away with medicine and others that stay with you forever. It is important to know that ANYONE can get an STD. You do not necessarily have to be promiscuous to contract one.
There are two types of sexually transmitted diseases; bacterial and viral. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Syphilis, and Trichonomiasis (parasitic) are the most common bacterial STDs. The most common viral ones are HPV, Herpes, Hepatitis B, and HIV. The main difference between bacterial and viral STDs is that bacterial infections can be cured with medicine; viral diseases mostly cannot be cured. With both types of diseases, it is very common to not have symptoms. Many infected people do not even know they are infected. Generally, most symptoms of an STD arise a few days to about two weeks after first contact with the infected source; however it is common for this to not happen. Sometimes a symptom might be so slight that one assumes it is just a cut, a pimple, or a yeast infection and dismiss it as no big deal. Often, the symptoms will cease within a few days or weeks and the infected person will continue to be infected. This is why it is imperative for sexually active people to get tested for STDs regularly. There are many different opinions on how often to get tested but if you regularly change partners, I would recommend getting tested either after each encounter or every 3 to 6 months. Obviously, it is safest to use condoms but please be aware that condoms are not 100% effective in decreasing STD transmission. This is because many times the infected part of the body is not covered by the condom.
People with Herpes, HPV, or any other STD should realize that they are still worthy of love, sex, and happiness. They can still get married and have children someday if they so choose. It is manageable and you are not defined by the STD that you have. Just make sure that you are educated on what you have and tell potential partners before sleeping with them. There are many STD sources on the web as well as support groups and dating sites for those infected. Remember that your doctor is the best source for information and do not be afraid to ask questions.
Be safe. Use condoms. Get tested. Have fun and keep loving sex. Just be educated and be smart.
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