Destigmatize Sexually Transmitted Infections
What are STIs?
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are bacteria, viruses, and parasites that are passed through intimate contact. Some infections, such as Chlamydia, Gonorrhea and HIV occur through penis in vagina, anus or mouth sex but some, such as Herpes Simplex, HPV, Pubic Lice and Syphilis can also be transmitted through skin to skin contact.
STIs have also been referred to as STDs (Sexually Transmitted Diseases) and VD (Venereal Disease). I refer to them as STIs because I am not referring to the disease state, but the infections themselves.
The lack of information outside of scare tactics increases our fear about getting one of these infections. The truth is, like most communicable pathogens, they are more common than we would like them to be.
Understanding the most common infections: Human Papillomavirus (HPV), Herpes Simplex 1 & 2 (HSV 1& 2), Gonorrhea, Chlamydia and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) will help us minimize transmission and allow us to enjoy sexual and sensual activity without guilt or fear.
Creating a Sexual Health Positive Perspective
Shameless STIs Series
"How I Told My Partner That I Have an STI"
by Varuna Srinivasan
In this day and age, why is it such a big deal?
Whether you’re engaging in sex with a long-term or casual partner, disclosure is essential if you have an STI. In fact, it is a vital part of consent. It can be simple: "By the way, I have herpes," or maybe, "Just so you know, I was recently diagnosed with an STI." Unfortunately, our culture makes this far more difficult than it needs to be.
Read how The STARS Talk comes into play when disclosing STIs!
Sexual Health, Knowledge and Liberation Handbook
Below are a few resources to help you further understand the real risks and ways to decrease transmission without stigma.
At Home Self Tests
Getting tested for STIs is just a finger click away, below are some links to STI self-tests that you can order online.
The second link also is an extensive, medically reviewed guide on the Best At-Home STD Tests, deep-diving into some of the most popular kits, why testing is important, and comparisons of at-home vs. in-lab testing.