Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Monogamy = Safe Sex ?

It’s amazing to me the amount of people who don’t get tested for STIs on a regular basis. Even if you’re married you should still be tested as part of your annual or biannual checkup. Recently I was scheduled for such a visit and I couldn’t believe the number of times I was asked why I was requesting a STI screening. Ladies just because you are only sleeping with your husband doesn’t mean he is only sleeping with you or hasn’t had at least one “slip up” along the way. Is your health really worth your denial of reality? I have spent many years working in a walk in clinic and let me tell you, many, MANY times people who test positive for STIs are in committed relationships. Either their partner cheated or they themselves cheated and are in with symptoms. I've been in the room when the doctor asks if the patient is in a relationship with only one sexual partner and the patient always assures us they are. I call that same patient to give them positive lab results. Someone wasn't telling the whole truth.  

I once had a Nurse Practitioner tell me that she didn’t have her daughters vaccinated against HPV, the virus that causes certain types of cervical cancer, because she told them to just not sleep around. I was horrified a health professional would actually think that way. First of all, men do not have symptoms and are carriers. Even if a woman was a virgin on her wedding night, she could still contract the virus from her partner. We have got to stop associating STIs with promiscuity. It only takes one time to contract anything!

Just remember you never really know what people do when no one is watching. Be smart, be safe, and trust no one.

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