April is STD awareness month and I'm very excited about it! I'm a firm believer that people should know their status in order to live their best lives and to remove some of the risk of spreading these infections to others. Notice I said some of the risk.
Speaking of living your best life. If you just recently got a diagnosis that you have an STD, whether it's curable or not, know that this isn't the end of your life. This doesn't mean no more parties, or sex, or relationships, or kids, or whatever it is that may be worrying you about your positive status. Trust me, I've been there and I've come out on the other side and thoroughly enjoy my life. This is why I offer consulting to those dealing with HSV. I know what it's like to live with it and I know the most about it over any other STDs. Specifically, I look to help women who are pregnant or breastfeeding and are HSV positive.
Why Does It Matter?
Unfortunately we live in a society that doesn't talk about STDs or sex very openly. This shying away from the subject and making it taboo only heightens the ignorance surrounding STDs, such as how you get an STD or how to prevent spreading an STD. Maybe this is why we have such a high percentage of Americans living with STDs? There are a lot of myths out there getting passed around like rumors in a high school. It doesn't matter where the information came from as long as it's a juicy story.
We have this idea of what a person with an STD "looks like". I'm here to tell you, there is no such person. STDs will effect most of us at some point in our lives. And guess what?
It's not only people who sleep around.
It's not only homosexual people.
It's not only people who cheat or who have cheated.
It's not only people who aren't clean.
Seriously, I could go on forever. So I ask you right now to help break the stigma that follows STDs like the rain cloud that ruins your picnic. STDs aren't an automatic death wish and they don't mean you can't live a meaningful and fulfilling life. You probably have known someone who has or has had an STD at some point.
What Can I Do?
The very first thing that you can do if you haven't already is to GO GET TESTED. Go find out your status. Many people who have STDs don't know they have them. Crazy, huh? It doesn't always come with symptoms to tell you to go to a doctor. Some STDs are sneaky lil bitches. And for those with HSV (herpes) you may never know because it's such a tricky one to catch unless you have outbreaks.
Secondly, stop the judgement. Toward yourself. Toward others. Just stop.
It doesn't help anything. If anything it's a hindrance. It keeps people from seeking helping or reaching out in fear of being judged and isolated.
I'll leave a link below that you can follow to learn more about STDs.
As I've mentioned before I will be hosting a month long campaign for STD Awareness month that you can join in on at my Instagram page. Look for posts this month including going through pregnancy with HSV. See you there!
Here's a sneak peek into Myth #1...