"Can I be totally honest with you?" - It appears that areas, where abstinence is often preached, are characterized by sexually transmitted infections. Here’s it: Sex is one word that sounds ambiguous. And sometimes, some people don’t want to talk about it, but the fact is that we all came from it. On the other hand, sex education enlightens youths on sex, but all education seems to center on abstinence. Now, the big question is: Is abstinence the key thing to lay emphasis during sex education on how to prevent STIs?
There is no denying that STIs are on the increase, in addition to unwanted pregnancies, youths engaging in sex are being exposed to dangers. Research has it that over 850,000 cases of teen pregnancies occurs each year. Likewise, youths under the age of 25 are involved in about 9.1 million cases of STIs, and this is not getting any better. Then again, by the age of 18, about 62% of U.S males have started having sex while about 70% of the females have started same. This underscores the need for sex education for youths.
Initiation of sex has been found to be at a very early age among youths that have no access to sex education. Also, youths from areas with limited or improper sex education have significant variations in what they are taught, as well their attitude towards sex. Let’s take a wild guess: Every teen wants to know what having sex feels like. With the level of secrecy associated with sex, virtually every teen intends to go into it and dig out the hidden. Consequently, they expose themselves to STIs and other dangers such as pregnancy. Little wonder sex education came to be. While sex education teaches ways to go about sex and perhaps have it safely, it hones a large focus on abstinence.
Ask teens, and they will tell you how much their parents and others talk to them about the dangers of early sex. Although it may not always come easy teaching youths the dangers of early sexual engagement, it is still worth it. Research showed that students who enrolled in abstinence-only sexual education were handful whereas sex education programs that did not emphasize much on abstinence had many youths enrolling. It shouldn’t come as a surprise seeing teens run away from the fact that abstinence is still a long-standing way of curbing the rate of increase in STIs.
Research has proved that effective sex education reduces sexual risks. You may wonder how effective this could be, but here’s it. Abstinence sex education affects various behaviors and gives rise to positive health impacts. And one of the modified response is delaying sex initiation and decrease sex frequency. Sex education makes the incidence of unprotected sex reduced among partners who are sexually active.
Contrary to the idea some most grown-ups share about abstinence and its relation to STIs, the Society for Adolescent Medicine declared that programs which advocate abstinence strictly during sex education do not work by the fundamental human rights to health. According to the researchers from Columbian University, about 88% of pledge takers started sex before their marriage, and they are not likely to use contraceptives or seek STI testing. Also, in a study that was carried out, most adults from America advocated sex education that gives out the proper tutorial on abstinence, the use of contraception and how to have safe sex. In the study, about 89% proposed that youth should be taught how to have sex without contracting STIs or getting pregnant.
Here’s the point: There are different views about sex education, but it appears that abstinence helps to put a halt to the continuous spread of STIs. While some share the idea that youths should be taught how to abstain as well how to enjoy sex safely if the need arises, others see that idea as a wrong thing when it comes to sex education. As such, they advocate abstinence sex education strictly. However, with the rate at which STIs are getting rampant, it's easy to see why any youth should keep away from sex, and initiate it only at the right time.
Have you ever found yourself in a scenario where your sexual partner wears a condom before sex, but in the end, you seem to notice that the condom wasn't used during the love making? Let’s take a wild guess, several persons have been there, and it didn’t go down well with most of them. Often, this nonconsensual condom removal is referred to as ‘stealthing’ and most women see it as a violation of autonomy and dignity. Then again, stealthing is likely to get STIs, as it exposes the relationship to a high risk of infection by a partner.
Get this: Stealthing is not okay because it is somewhat a sexual assault, it is deceptive and violates the principle of consent. Sometimes, stealthing entails an intentional damaging of the condom during intercourse, and in other cases, it may involve the removal of the condom during intercourse. Yes, it is true! Stealthing can be done by the male of female partner; either person can be the deceptive one and not only the male. Women who wish to be pregnant for a man in a nonconsensual manner are often guilty of this act – this means that anyone can stealth. One who plans on achieving such deceptive act may suggest that the partner should discard the use of lubricant or resort to poking holes into the condom. A survey reveals that this is a popular act and is common among sexually active people. To top it off, most of the persons that were victimized in this said that they never knew until they felt the penetration or ejaculation, while others realized only when their partner told them.
While stealthing may be a common act among some people, the risk that follows is never too small to be neglected. Victims of stealthing are often perturbed about the possible risks that are involved, they may be exposed to the risk of pregnancy and STDs such as herpes, HIV, Gonorrhea, and Chlamydia. By and large, it doesn’t only happen in casual encounters, relationships, and few cases marriages, this comes with a deep feeling of betrayal. It may be easy to accept the fact that you are betrayed in a casual encounter than when your partner betrays you, and that is what people who are in a relationship yet their partner does the stealthing feels like.
Think about it this way: Stealthing is arguably a chance to another STIs when you are already living with an STD. When you live with an STI, perhaps herpes and you contract HIV due to your partner’s non-consensual removal or damage of condom, you will realize how hard it may be to cope with two different STDs. While some persons do the stealthing for pregnancy purpose, others engage in this act to successfully transmit STI to their partner, and this is not right. 34 states in the US are ready to arrest people who willfully infect people with HIV by non-disclosure of their status. Stealthing is a deceptive and assaultive act, with an array of bad outcomes ranging from transmission of STIs to unwanted pregnancy, betrayal, heartbreak, cheating, lies and a lot of consequences that follow, it is not hard to see the reason why people who engage in such act should desist from it.
Although so many victims of this act agree that it is a violation and assault to a large degree, they hardly take it as rape. However, some think that proper sanction should be meted out to people who perpetrate such act because they expose people’s health to a high risk as well their lives.
On the face of it, stealthing is no less of a risk that let you catch STDs, bringing discord in a relationship and sometimes kills trust. However, if you fall a victim of such circumstance, you should be bent on seeking medical attention despite how well you know your sexual partner. It is medically advisable to quickly opt for a complete STI assessment and evaluation because your health is at risk. Then again, it may be wise to take presumptive STI treatment as well a pregnancy test in the case of women. Stealthing is an unfair act that should stop because it places a burden on STI and leave the person involved running a high health risk.
Herpes is a common STD, and knowing your status should not come as a herculean task. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that about 20 million STDs occur yearly in the United States, and with this fast growing rate of STD, getting tested for herpes becomes a useful option. Many people who live with the herpes virus do not know that they have it because they hardly notice symptoms, even if symptoms occur, they might mistake it for something else.
CDC advocates that the herpes testing should not be administered to everyone especially those without symptoms because it might not cause any change in their sexual behavior. Also, they support that false results may arise in such scenario, tagging a herpes-free person as living with herpes patient. However, honesty still leads over pleasure and sex, that is why you need to open up to your partner about you having herpes even without having the clear symptoms. Also, talk honestly with your doctor, this will let him into the scene of what you are into, causing a medical advice to conduct a test or not.
Here are some symptoms of the genital herpes
• Reddened, raw, painless and cracked areas around the genitals
• Anal and genital itching
• Small blisters that burst to form painful sores
• Pain from urine passing over the sores, especially in women
• Backaches, muscle aches, and headaches
• Ingrown hairs
• Nausea and fever-like feelings
Some other symptoms of genital herpes abound, but you may not wait to experience all before you go for the test. It varies as some people may experience few symptoms while others may experience various symptoms.
Herpes testing lets your doctor advise you medically, giving you an insight of the potential symptoms, how to control them, methods of ensuring that you don’t spread the virus and in the tips to manage it. Testing for herpes is necessary if your partner has the virus. If after the test you are free, your doctor will also let you know preventive and protective measures that will lower your risk of contracting the virus. However, few types of tests for genital herpes exist, they include PCR blood test, cell culture, and antibody detection test.
Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) blood test
This blood test has a high tendency of determining if you have the herpes virus even when you don’t show symptoms. The test goes to search for pellets and smallest pieces of the herpes virus’ DNA in the blood, it is an active and a standard test used in ascertaining if a person has the herpes virus. The CDC advocates the use of this test in detecting herpes simplex encephalitis, it makes the discovery of the virus’ DNA possible. PCR is a rampant herpes test because of its high accuracy.
Cell culture otherwise known as virologic testing is possible for an individual that experiences an outbreak. If you experience this and wish to conduct a herpes test, your doctor collects cell sample from the blister and test for the virus in a culture cup using a microscope. The virus multiplies in the sample if it is present. However, this test method is very useful in the clear blister stage as the virus can reproduce. It may be difficult to get accurate results during latency, chronic lesions, and ulcerated sores because at this juncture; the virus may not be active enough to reproduce and show up in the culture.
Antibody detection test
Antibodies are produced by the immune system to defend the body from an infection, the two antibodies are Immunoglobulin G (IgG), and Immunoglobulin M (IgM); the antibody detection test can locate these antibodies in the human blood. This test indicates the difference between HSV-1 and HSV-2, but IgM test can cross-react with other viruses in the same family with herpes and produce an incorrect result. That is why IgG is mainly used in the antibody detection test to diagnose herpes virus.
Herpes testing is no doubt one step towards curbing the rate of spread of this virus. When you are diagnosed and found herpes positive, much attention will be employed to ensure that you do not spread the virus. Testing positive for the virus doesn’t mean an end to anything because you can still enjoy love, relationship, and even sex without infecting your partner as long as you play safe.
For more useful information about herpes testing, get from CDC and WebMD.
Often when things do not work out as desired or planned, some people will not mind settling for less, this shouldn’t be the best option. Genital herpes is a common STD that any sexually active person can get. Lately, it has been on the increase especially among the Americans, about one out of every six individuals between the ages of 14 and 19 in the US are infected with the herpes virus. Research also has it that about 20% of the US adults have the herpes virus. The genital herpes is an STD that is highly stigmatized, people tend to dissociate themselves and stay away from herpes patients in all possible means. This has been the primary reason why some people living with herpes embrace loneliness and reduce their relationship standards.
Undoubtedly, the genital herpes is so common that some people living with it do not even know and this increases the rate of spread of the disease. When you are diagnosed with the herpes virus, it is common to feel depressed and rejected due to the stigmatization and isolation that definitely will follow up but this shouldn’t alter your standard on a relationship.
Herpes is not what people think it is, and as such, you shouldn’t belittle yourself or bring down your standards on relationships. Now that you have genital herpes, you are out of the relationships and dating scene right? Certainly not! Of course, the way people see this STD will make you think that living with the virus is the worst thing ever in life, you may believe that you are dirty and can't even have a say in your choice of a partner or a relationship. Having herpes doesn’t mean that you are the worst, it is an STD anyone could catch, stop feeling depressed and go for your dream relationships.
Regrettably, ignorance and lack of the right information have been the trigger to the stigmatization that follows genital herpes. Certainly, when you educate yourself about herpes, you will put an abrupt end to the isolation you have been giving to herpes patients because it is not as deadly and destructive as it seems. Anyone can live with this virus, but when you know how to manage it, you can be in a relationship, make love, have your offsprings and in fact live a happy life while living with this virus. Despite the fact that you may be living with the herpes virus, you had a taste and standard initially regarding friendship and relationship, you shouldn’t compromise a bit perhaps to settle for less.
Many people who realize that they have herpes automatically feel depressed to find love, they may be judged, always worried if they could spread this virus to their potential partner, they are scared to let this partner know their health status. Apparently, they choose to settle for any partner, someone may below the standard they have set for themselves, this is not the right thing. While there are several things to consider in choosing a partner or when looking for a relationship, herpes shouldn't be a key factor. Facial beauty, appearance, character, fortune, and love are the basic things many people consider before a relationship, this shouldn't take a different lane for anybody living with herpes. Having genital herpes is not a factor that will lower your standards on relationships, rather it is something to with while enjoying your relationship.
It is true that genital herpes is highly stigmatized to the point that people living will this virus will deliberately want to quit dating and other love related things. Going by the educative and enlightening information that is being passed across steadily, it is up to you as a herpes patient to take up the challenge, and go on the type of relationships you desire. Do not settle for less, herpes is not what people think it is, you can live a happy and enjoy love life while you make the perfect choice for a relationship. Keep your heads up and go for that level of relationships that you want, a standard that you have always wanted.
The herpes virus, a sexually transmitted disease has been one of the STIs which many people have a wrong impression. Most American comedies portray the herpes virus as an embarrassing thing that can happen to people who have sex, a stigma that follows you and prevents you from loving and having sex. This view of the herpes has left most patients of herpes ashamed and isolated, people who are free from this virus tend to go far and stay away from these victims. But why can’t we look at herpes from the view of what it is? Of course, there are many reasons that underscore the idea that you shouldn’t hate on the herpes.
Many People Have It. The herpes virus is a super common STI, virtually about two-thirds of the population has the HSV, and this is true according to the information released by the World Health Organization (WHO). Researchers of the WHO has it that about 3-7 billion people under 50 years have this virus. Going by this statistics, a rational person should understand that the herpes is not much a big deal to freak about because many people have it. If you decide to break up your relationship with your partner because of the herpes virus, you may have a family member with this virus, and unknown to you. Laying much emphasis or hating on the herpes virus is not a way forward, as it is common. If you have the virus, be enlightened and play safe, it is clear that you are not alone.
You Can Have a Safe Delivery. Every couple would love to have a healthy kid that will look fresh and fly. Unlike some other STIs that harm the fetus, a woman with the herpes virus can still have a safe vaginal delivery when she doesn’t have an outbreak. An infant delivered via an infected vulva stand the risk of infection and perhaps death, the CDC emphasizes that a pregnant woman should strive not to contract a fresh herpes virus during pregnancy, as the rate of outbreaks reduces with time. You should stop hating on the herpes virus as you can have your kids safe and healthy even when you are a herpes patient.
Preventive Methods Can Reduce your Risk. When a herpes patient is placed under suppressive antiviral medication, its transmission risk is reduced. Contrary to what some people think, you can have sex with your infected partner, and still not contract the virus. When safer sex is practiced, you don’t have to hate on herpes. The use of condoms, abstinence during outbreaks, and therapy helps cut down the risk of contracting this virus. Asymptomatic virus shedding can be prevented using the necessary therapy. There is no gain saying that you can still have a happy, love life while having the virus.
Herpes is Not the End of Your Love and Sex Life. One common thing about people with the herpes virus is the inability or lack of ‘how to’ communicate their health status to their partner or love interest. The idea portrayed by the naïve culture puts herpes patients in a scenario where they struggle to maintain or find a new love. However, having the HSV doesn’t mark the end of your love life; your real lover will not fail to roll with you once you divulge you status to him. Moreover, there are dating sites for people with herpes; there you can see many individuals who have herpes, perhaps you will find your perfect match there. Albeit it might not be very easy at the beginning, your sex and love life is way far from being over.
You Will Be Enlightened. Despite that virtually everyone who is diagnosed with this virus undergoes emotional pain and dejection, you will stand to be enlightened and be aware of so many things about STIs. At the initial stage, herpes victims may want to doubt the fact that herpes is not the end of life, but with time, they come to realize and accept their fate. An ordinary person without the herpes virus may not bother or want to know more about STIs, perhaps herpes, thereby being exposed to high risk of contracting it, but a herpes patient strives to know more on how to play safe, live healthily, as well keep their partners safe.
It is point clear that contracting the virus is not an entirely nice one, but no one gets through life unscathed. There are so many STIs, of which herpes is not the worst, hating on herpes doesn’t showcase what it really means. Herpes patient have the potential to live a life free from stigmatization and isolation, it all lies on us. Stop the marginalization; while you play safe alongside the patients, then we will have a happy world.