As the science around sexual and reproductive health improves, the stigma surrounding(STI) is lagging. In fact, the stigmatization of STIs doesn’t do anyone any good. Instead of creating fear and embarrassment in the people who think they may have contracted an STI, we need to promote awareness and testing. With modern technology and science making it a lot easier to test for these infections, there is no reason not to. Below are five reasons to end the stigma surrounding STIs.
One of the most significant reasons to end the stigma surrounding STIs is to increase the amount of testing. If people weren’t ashamed to get an STI test, more people would detect that they have something earlier and test regularly to be safe. Nowadays, there are testing supplies and services you can perform at home, but if you have to send the test back, it could take a while to get the results that you need. The biggest reason to end the stigmatization of STIs is to get more people tested.
Control the Spread
Another reason to stop the stigma surrounding STIs is to control their spread. If people aren’t afraid of talking openly about STIs, there will be fewer people who contract them. This is because sometimes people are afraid to speak up about their STIs before they have sex with someone. The condom could break. Even if you aren’t having a herpes outbreak, you could still spread it to your partner. Failing to get tested also contributes to the spread of STIs. Whatever the situation, ending stigma will facilitate the control of STIs and how they spread.
People don’t have an accurate idea of how many people have an STI. One in five people in the United States has one. Genital herpes is extremely common. STIs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can be treated and go away with time. When you put an end to the stigmatization of STIs, you can have a new awareness that helps people understand the commonalities of these infections and that there is no shame in contracting something. People need to know the facts of STIs so they can better avoid them.
With awareness and the ability for people to speak up about their STIs, sex will be safer. The awareness of STIs leads to more frequent condom use and better communication when it comes to alerting a prospective partner that the person has an STI.
Furthermore, sexual, and reproductive health comes from a comprehensive approach. The more people know about these things, the fewer problems we will have with them. Safer sex is a byproduct of ending the stigma around STIs and that way, people can enjoy it more.
Prevent Teen Infection
One of the biggest reasons to put an end to the stigma surrounding STIs is to prevent teen infection. If you talk about STIs to your children and explain that there is nothing to be ashamed of, you can also talk about how they should protect themselves from contracting an infection. If you don’t talk to your children about STIs, the risk of them contracting one goes way up. Don’t be afraid about broaching the topic, but you should, of course, bring it up at the right time. Don’t talk to your kids too early about STIs but don’t wait too long either.
The stigma that surrounds STIs is quite damaging. It doesn’t help anything. Stigma doesn’t prevent the spread of these infections, nor does it encourage safe sex because people don’t talk about it. It’s important to be open about STIs so that we can mitigate the stigma and help people get tested and treated for the STI should they contract something.
If we can end the fear, embarrassment, and stigma that results from STIs, we can better avoid the spread of them. Testing is imperative. Awareness should be the only thing we are spreading about STIs. Instead of avoiding the conversation, bring it up. People who have STIs could help by talking about it. It’s important to get rid of the shame surrounding STIs. If we can get rid of the shame involved, we can better test, treat, and avoid transmissions.