Sexually transmitted diseases: Silent Infections

Do I really need to use condoms since I only have sex with my partner?  And he is _________ (fill in the blank here)


It would be wonderful if we could tell who has a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by just looking or talking to a person.  Unfortunately most people who have a STD don’t realize it.  It is worth saying again that the Head Bacteria or the Head Virus does not know that this person is a good kind, hardworking special individual from a good family, etc and will not tell the other bugs to stay away from this person and wait for someone to come along more deserving of a disease.

Since the days of the sexual revolution of the late 20th century, the number of STDs has skyrocketed.  There’s genital herpes, chlamydia, syphilis, molluscum contagiosum, gonorrhea, hepatitis, human papilloma virus, AIDs, and on and on.  Most of these diseases are silent, you don’t have any signs or symptoms of the infection at least initially and they can be passed on to a sexual partner without any symptoms as well.  Some of these diseases are treatable, others are not.

It’s been said that when we have sex with someone, we’re having sex with everyone that person has had sex with for the past number of years, and everyone they have had sex with and on.  Depending on the person’s history it may be very crowded in that room.

The only protection we have is knowledge, education, and good common sense.  Talk with your partner and sound out his or her attitude about STD prevention.  A waving red flag is someone saying something like nice people like the two of you don’t get STDs.  Understand the person’s attitude and feelings about having other sexual partners or casual sexual relationships.  Even if you and the partner have already engaged in sexual activity consider starting the use of condoms; it could be the one thousand and one time that you have sex that you will pick up the HIV virus.

Everyone who is sexually active should be tested for any all diseases that can be tested.  You may want to accompany your partner to the doctor or clinic and sit with him to receive the results of regular testing.

When we think about all the various STDs and the way they can harm us, you may be so worried you don’t even want to shake hands with other people.  If we plan, use that good common horse sense, and have some frank open discussions we can’t help but be safe.