March 21st, 2020
One in two sexually active persons will contract an STI by age 25. But, as a part of society, your responsibility doesn’t end with yourself. Each of us must work collectively to make our communities better. So, while you’re healthy, you must also ensure that others around you are in the same line as well.
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are a serious problem…
Did you know that more than 1 million sexually transmitted infections are acquired every day worldwide? (Source)
In fact, in the USA, the combined cases of syphilis, chlamydia, and gonorrhea touched a record high in 2018, totaling at around 2.4 million cases. (Source)
In its release last year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) called in for action from every stakeholder. It called syphilis in newborns a tragic consequence of the growing STD epidemic. CDC urged, “urgent action from all types of stakeholders is needed to help control the increases in STDs. Health care providers should make STD screening and timely treatment a standard part of medical care; this work can start with taking a complete sexual history.” (Source)
The problem is big. It demands collective action from all the communities. As part of a community, it’s essential that you play an active role in the fight against STDs.
Now, this doesn’t mean you spend your days on this and dedicate your life to this cause. If history teaches us anything, it’s that the little efforts can make a big difference. And that’s what the community needs from every stakeholder – little efforts.
For starters, you must make sure you aren’t STI positive and that you remain safe. If you haven’t tested in a long time, go to a good STD testing center. If your test comes out negative, continue practicing safe sex. If the result comes out positive, don’t panic. While a lot depends on the spread of the infection or the stage you’re in, you can still live a happier life by taking better measures on your end. Here is an interesting article that shows what measures to take: Tested HIV Positive? Here’s What You Should Do (And What You Shouldn’t)
Next, encourage your friends, family members and colleagues to get tested. Tell them why it’s important and how it can make the community better. At a good community health center, STD tests are very cheaply priced or are even free. Take them there.
In case if any one of them test positive, support them emotionally. Be by their side and assist them to take the next steps. We have covered how you can help, if your loved ones are diagnosed with STD. Please read: 5 Tips to Support Your Loved One Diagnosed With STD.
Create awareness about STIs wherever and whenever you can. While majority of people do know what the problem is, few have an idea of how serious it is and how little lags on their end can destroy lives.
So, if you can reach out to them in whatever way –you can make a difference in so many lives. Talk about sexually transmitted infections on your social media page. Talk to people in person. Let them know more about this cause. Advise them to practice safe sex. Make them understand the importance of visiting a good STD testing center every once in a while to get tested. Also, encourage them to take this message and spread it in their circles.
We can’t completely eliminate STDs very soon and the journey is indeed long – but every journey requires a first step. Take that first step today. Let’s walk towards a community that’s healthier and happier. Every individual’s efforts can combine to fight STDs. We just need to come together.