You and your current beau have been dating for a while. Things seem to be going well. The icing on the cake: the sex is BOMB! The only problem is, lately, you’ve noticed he’s been more reluctant to reach for condoms. You’re on birth control, and you trust him, so no biggie, right? Wrong!
Let’s talk STIs and STDs. This topic is taboo! No one wants to talk about it, no one ever admits they’ve had one, and no one knows who’s passing them out like party flyers. One thing is for sure: the STI\STD rates in America are on the rise, according to recent studies. If no one is admitting to having one but the number of people contracting them is increasing, something ain’t adding up. Men lie, women lie, but numbers don’t.
According to research, One in two sexually active persons will contract a STI/STD by age 25. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that nearly 20 million new STIs occur every year in this country. The CDC also estimates that undiagnosed STIs cause 24,000 women to become infertile each year. Ladies, this means the risks are far too great for you not to be cautious.
We need to be more honest and realistic about the current dating arena. With social media leading in how we meet boos and lovers, we have to be even more careful about how we’re giving up the goods and to who. If you’re sleeping with someone and don’t know their real name (because it’s most likely not @MoneyCarsClothes_allforeign *insert side eye emoji*), then you likely don’t know their status. Many people have let a great vibe or one too many drinks lead them to a night of unprotected sex. We all like to think that the connection we have with someone is special, but just imagine how many other people they may have had unprotected sex with if they’re hesitant to pull one out with you right from the beginning.
Bottom line, the decision to stop using condoms should ONLY be made by two people who have agreed to be in a monogamous relationship. Continuing to use condoms is always a good idea, but if and when you’re deciding not to use them anymore, you and your partner should schedule HIV and STD/STI testing. Blossoming trust won’t kill lingering infections.
The initial test before you make the switch is not only a good idea, but necessary, so you know for sure you’re both starting with a clean slate. More importantly, putting your health at risk is NOT sexy. Knowing your status is a public service to yourself and others. One day, being messy and reckless might leave you with something that can’t be cured. Keep it safe.
If you don’t know where to start or are worried about not having health insurance, there are clinics across the country that offer free STI/STD testing. You can call the number listed below to get information and find a free testing clinic in your area.