Preparing to receive the results after a HIV or STI test can be nerve wracking. Your mouth is dry and your palms are sweaty but you are glad you were able to work up the confidence to get the tests done. You had been concerned about one slip up without a condom a few weeks ago with a new partner and decided to go to your local clinic.
As the nurse enters the room, your gut tells you the news isn’t good. She lets you know that one of your tests came back positive and that a round of antibiotics should clear it up. Though sad, you are relieved that it is a disease that is curable and vow to yourself that there will be no more slip ups. As you wait on your prescription, other thoughts begin to flood your mind. Where did I get this STI? Should I tell anyone? How would I even start that conversation with previous or current partners?
These thoughts are very common and may be one of the toughest things you’ll have to do. In order to prevent the spread of disease, you have to let other people know that they may have been exposed. On the other hand, feelings of anxiety and embarrassment, and even anger, may make it difficult to speak about the situation.
Thankfully, with technology it has become a tad easier to deliver news that may make you feel uncomfortable. There are now several apps that allow you to let folks know they may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted infection and still remain anonymous. Below are the apps:
By no means is revealing something like this easy, but it is the right thing to do.
For some, the constant reminder to get tested for STDs helps them stay on top of their game and for others it may be an annoyance. Despite whatever your opinion of STD testing reminders, it is important that you stay up to date on potential consequences of unprotected sex.
Up until recently, all strains of Gonorrhea were able to be treated and cured with antibiotics. However, there is a new strain of Gonorrhea that cannot yet be cured. In 2012, Genesee County had the second highest rate of gonorrhea in the state of Michigan.
In order to protect yourself consider putting some of the tips below to practice:
1. Though unrealistic for some, abstinence is the only way to remain 100% Gonorrhea free.
2. Establish a monogamous sexual relationship. This means that you and your partner don’t have any other sex partners.
3. Get tested together. This is important so that the sexual relationship starts healthy.
4. Use a LATEX condom for all types of sex including oral, anal, and vaginal. Animal skin condoms allow for the bacteria to pass and don’t protect you from disease.
5. Dental Dams can be used for oral sex to the vagina or anus. You can buy them when you buy your condoms or make your own by cutting open a condom!
6. If sharing sex toys, be sure to use condoms on those as well because Gonorrhea can be spread on through sexual devices.
7. Do Not have sex if you or your partner have been experiencing symptoms of Gonorrhea which include burning sensation while urinating, unusual discharge, pain during sex, and painful or swollen testicles for men. In this case, go get tested together!
THE BENEFITS OF SEX TOYS
THINGS TO REMEMBER…
Lastly, it is essential to properly clean sex toys to avoid bacterial infections or sexually transmitted infections (if toys are shared).
For basic toy care:
1) Ejaculation happens in gallons. This is one of the most absurd myths because men only ejaculate about a teaspoon worth of semen! Even with this small amount, there are 200-500 million sperm and it only takes one sperm, to make a baby!
2) It should take at least an hour before a man reaches an orgasm when in reality it takes THREE to SEVEN MINUTES. Porn creates longer lasting sex through filming techniques. If a man doesn’t ejaculate for 30 minutes or more researchers believe this to be delayed ejaculation. Ejaculation that occurs in less than one minute is considered premature ejaculation.
3) Size Matters. Is it the size of the boat or the motion in the ocean? Research studies show that size is actually more important to men than to women but most people don’t know that the average penis size is a little over 5 inches when erect. Comparing penis sizes to others, especially men seen in pornography, isn’t healthy for self-esteem and may set unrealistic expectations. Things that may matter way more to a sexual partner may include touch, smell, creativity, and ensuring that their partner protects them from sexually transmitted diseases.
4) An erect penis has no conscience. It has often been said that blood leaves from the brain to help the penis become erect and therefore men can’t make logical decisions because they are thinking with the wrong head. This is completely incorrect. The brain functions the same way whether a penis is soft or hard.
5) The last and most important myth to address is that men have a ton of sex partners. On average men only have about 6-8 sex partners in their lifetime. This is important to realize because having a lower number of sex partner decreases the chances of transmitted STDs. Don’t believe the hype or try to get your numbers up when you hear about how many sex partners someone else may have. Protect yourself by using condoms, getting testing, and minimizing the number of sexual partners you engage with.
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