What is it about a STD clinic that gets people weirded out? Is it because they must confess their sexual histories to a stranger? If you’re a Catholic, that’s what a priest is for, after all. (By the way: you DO NOT have to confess your sexual history to an STD clinic.) Is it facing the fear that you might have to finally deal with the consequences of your past actions? Perhaps. But most likely, the reason people get weirded out about visiting a STD clinic is that it is easier to bury our heads in the sand than pretending we do not have all the responsibilities that, in fact, we do have.
When we began having sex, responsibility was the last thing on our minds. For many of us it was do what we can do, as soon as we can do it and worry about the consequences later, in other words, the sad philosophy of a teenager! For those of us past those somehow-wonderfully risky teenage years, it may be daunting to realize that it is time to grab the bull by the horns, so to speak, and commence with regular visits to a STD clinic.
There are over twenty-five completely separate diseases that can be qualified as STDs. For those who do NOT know, STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease-and they are abundantly prevalent in our society. Look, no one is making moral judgments (well, that’s not true at all, it’s that WE are not making moral judgments), it’s just that it may be time to do the right thing and find out if your past has taken you to a place infection.
A STD clinic will test for a host of different STDs and it will be done quickly, painlessly and affordably. Truth is you can’t say that about much else these days. But it stands, getting yourself to a STD clinic may be the best thing you’ve done for yourself in ages. Some diseases that fit into the STD category work inside the body slowly, day by day, removing your ability to have children, or lazily working their way into your brain until dementia hits you like a ton of cinderblocks-and it’s too late.
This is not an article meant to frighten. It is article meant to tell the truth about sexual responsibility. In fact, many sexually transmitted diseases could have their numbers dwindle significantly if all at risk would step up to the plate and be tested. But this seems too much to ask these days. We are bombarded by competing media sources, TV, computers, cable, hand-held devices, theaters, you name it it wants a piece of you. These days, acting like a grown-up and making detailed plans to walk into a STD clinic, seems like number 347 on the average Joe (or Josephine’s) list of to-dos.
Just take two of the over twenty-five common STDs that afflict men and women in this country at an alarming rate of infection.
This disease is powerful because it can be silent. It is only through complete testing at a certified STD clinic that one can be sure that they are negative. It is estimated that over two and half million Americans are infected with chlamydia every year.
Chlamydia can cause pelvic inflammatory disease in women. It can also spread to the reproductive organs, and if left untreated can pass to a woman’s unborn child. If it gets to this point, the baby can be born blind. In men, Chlamydia causes an infection of the urethra.
Known as genital warts, this STD is as ugly as the name suggests it is. HPV is caused by the Human Pappillomavirus and over twenty million Americans are currently infected. Over six million additional people will catch it next year. These statistics are frightening and it’s up to you to protect yourself and your loved ones. Of course this starts with a visit to an STD clinic.
HPV’s symptoms are painful and unsightly warts and blisters all over the genital area. Breakouts in men are typically up and down the penis shaft and also the rectum. In women, the breakouts can occur on the labia, rectum and entire genital area-but more importantly the warts can grow INSIDE of the woman’s cervix and can cause cancer.