Aww Shucks, you shouldn’t have…
Written by Daniel Casiilas
“Aww shucks, you shouldn’t have; really there was no need,” is probably one of the most used lines when we get a gift that we don’t like, won’t use, or have no clue of what to do with it. To be polite, we accept the gift, all the while thinking: “What were they thinking”. The next thing we do is scan the box for the gift receipt. For some of us, with courteous friends, a gift receipt means we’ll be able to return the item and exchange it or get the cash. For the unlucky ones stuck with a gift because there’s no gift receipt, we do the next best thing: RE-GIFT.
Imagine having to use the same line when you learn that the person you had sex with last night or last week left you with a gift. Except the gift isn’t a brilliant red rose, a box of chocolates, or their phone number, but an uncomfortable itchy rash, an unusual group of bumps on or near your junk, a cold sore — or, as in the case of Charlotte York, in a scene from the popular HBO show Sex and City, pubic lice (a.k.a crabs).
If you’re a sexually active male or female in Dallas County between the ages of 15 and 34, then you have an increased chance of being gifted with a sexually transmitted disease (STD), or at least knowing of someone who has been gifted (infected). The three most prevalent gifts being shared within this age range, in 2009-2010, are syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. All three STDs of course are curable and preventable — if you know what they are and how to prevent them.
The important thing you need to know about sexually transmitted diseases is that anyone could be infected. STDs are often passed through sexual contact by persons who seem completely healthy or don’t show any symptoms of having an STI. While there are commonly known STDs like gonorrhea and chlamydia, there are over 30 different types of bacteria, viruses, and parasites that can cause an infection. Understanding how diseases are transmitted and methods of prevention will make it possible for you to reduce your chances of becoming infected.
The Mayo Clinic explains that there are many different signs or symptoms that you should be aware of as a sexually active person. What is important to understand about the possible symptoms is that often they can go unnoticed. Symptoms that go unnoticed are usually not treated until the infected person develops complications associated with the infection. Symptoms that could indicate you’ve been left a gift could include:
- yellow or greenish discharge from the penis
- vaginal discharge
- pain when urinating
- sores or bumps on the genitals
- sore throat (orally infected)
- The 100% method to avoid infection is abstinence. People who choose to be abstinent (orally, vaginally, anally) will have the best chance to avoid receiving any gifts.
- For individuals who are sexually active, getting tested for HIV and screened for STDs is very important. Knowing your status is a first line means to protecting yourself and your partners.
- Use protection– A latex condom, used properly, can reduce the chances that you become infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
Posted on March 26, 2012, in Health, Sexual Health, STDs and tagged abstinence, condoms, prevention, screening, Sexually transmitted disease, STDs, STIs, Symptom, testing. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.