STD Taboo... advice is also lovely, but you guys can discuss whatever.

STD Taboo... advice is also lovely, but you guys can discuss whatever.

emiliaa emiliaa
I feel like almost everyone in American society over-reacts GREATLY to STD's. All STD's should be precautioned around and all partners should be informed before sexual interaction takes place, but why is it that certain diseases that don't even cause large problems (Herpes, warts, curable ones such as syphilis and chlymidia) are so horrifying to everyone? I don't really understand it. My doctor told me I might have HPV (the wart kind) and it will probably go away on its own... and I'm not really that upset at all. Neither is my partner. Kind of concerned, though, because I am polyamorous and have been dating (non-sexually) a few people...and because of American society I'm just afraid that they will hate me for it. How can I tell people without having them freak out? I'd hate to just NOT tell them I am at risk, but it's so damn taboo, even though some 80% of sexually active people have HPV of some kind. -_-
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
I would never go near anyone if they told me they had an STD. I wouldn't even want to be friends.
I would not have sexual contact, romantic contact, or cuddle, but I would remain friendly.
16
I would cuddle and have limited sexual contact as long as it wouldn't be spread.
16
I would have only low-risk sexual content.
10
I would do everything as I normally would.
9
I am currently suffering from an STD.
10
I have been diagnosed with an STD in the past, but it is gone.
4
I have never been diagnosed with an STD.
31
Total votes: 96 (53 voters)
Poll is closed
07/19/2011
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Ansley Ansley
HPV is an STD that can be transmitted with or without the use of condoms and there are many strains that cause cervical cancer. There are also many that do not. I was told by my general practitioner, whom I have trusted since I was fifteen, that the more partners I have in rotation at once, the less likely the virus will go "dormant". It makes sense, sort of...

I think people over-react because they are vastly under-educated about how common these diseases really are in the human population and it digusts me when I hear someone regard me as dirty or tainted because I was trusting of someone close to me. I am not a leper. I have a healthy sex life. I do not have cervical cancer and I have been monogamous for a very, very long time.

It's not an easy conversation to have but it's a necessary one, nonetheless. You may find yourself rejected and all you can do is attempt to explain it and educate the person you're with. I think it's a moral imparitive that you disclose your status and develop coping mechanisms if your tests do come back positive for the virus. Best wishes!
07/19/2011
Tori Rebel Tori Rebel
Warning: Opinionated text all ahead.

In my personal opinion, I don't think people overreact, per say. I think people with STD's can be perceived with something of a scarlet letter - and that is NOT ok, but I think the caution surrounding people carrying STD's is warranted. I don't think people with STD's are dirty, and I am aware of how common some of them are, but in the same respect, would still like to keep my blood stream clear of these viruses if possible, so I can see people choosing not to participate w/ infected partners. I think some people have become too casual about it because of the statistics of how common they are and that bothers me because while the odds are good you will be fine and it will never be a major life issue, there are a lot of really scary complications that come with some viruses as well.

Can Gonorrhea and Chlamydia be cured? Yes, and easily at that. But if I were to meet someone with one of them I would wonder if this person had been participating in high or higher risk behaviors to get that preventable disease? And would this person behave that way again? I don't have unprotected sex with a person until all tests have shown up clear, and I would have expected them to be equally as cautious in the past, so unless they were with a monogamous partner that cheated, how did they end up with something so easily prevented? If they were cheated on, it's understandable and once cured, I would have no problem keeping that person in my life.

As far as HPV and Herpes go however, I would stay further away from those. I do know they can be spread even with a condom and a high percentage of the population is exposed at one point or another BUT they can both have much more severe implications and while some cases are mild and go away, they can both be permanent as well.

Strains of HPV are linked to cervical cancer and while the strain that causes genital warts generally does go away on it's own - it doesn't always. You can carry that virus, active or dormant, for years or even decades. I would not want to live with a recurring STD, especially once that requires treatment by topical strongly acidic substance. It's extremely painful. In addition, HPV (all forms) can be passed to babies by pregnant mothers and if delivered and exposed to the genital wart form (which can develop inside the birth canal) can cause a life threatening disease in the baby that infects its mouth and throat with the warts (Laryngeal papillomatosis). This has to be treated with measures such as lasers and interferon (a very serious and strong drug) to prevent the warts from growing so quickly they stop the infant from breathing. And even if that doesn't happen, you have STILL infected your child with HPV, not to mention that the immunosuppression that takes place during pregnancy causes severe flare ups of genital warts that can grow much faster and spread much faster than under normal circumstances. So then you're pregnant, running a risk of giving your child a fatal disease, and swabbing your genital and anal region with acid to get rid of them isn't even an option because the salicylic acid is harmful to the fetus. Common or not, I don't want that if I can possibly avoid it.

Herpes, like HPV, can also be spread to a woman's child and can also cause herpes of the eye in children which can be more serious, in addition to even more serious complications such as water on the brain. The odds are low - but they still exist and I, if I were to have children, would want to do everything possible to protect them. And since Herpes stays in your system forever, that means any child you have in your entire life runs the risk of contracting the virus. And while the general and typical symptoms of herpes are just considered an inconvenience to some, they're also VERY VERY painful for a lot of people and take strong anti-virals to combat (I have 2 friends that contracted it from cheating partners) that can make you ill by way of side effects. There is also a complication called herpes encephalitis that is caused by HSV-1 and HSV-2 that can be fatal as well. If herpes encephalitis is not treated almost immediately, it is more common than not, fatal. Again - the statistics for these complications aren't high but they still exist.

Also, in anyone that comes down with an immune compromising disease later in life or who is put on immunosuppresent treatment (not terribly uncommon, used for several conditions), both HPV and HSV can cause more complications and repeated flare ups.

Bottom line - protecting my own health and body comes first. What people do with their bodies is entirely their choice and I prefer to be as cautious as possible. I do not, however, to reiterate, think it's acceptable to make people feel bad for contracting a disease that is so common. Some don't even show up on STD blood panels, so there is no way to protect yourself entirely because some people don't know what they have. If I were approached by someone carrying a virus though, I would avoid sexual contact with that person. While the viruses are very common, I'd still rather not be exposed to them, if at all possible. The risks just aren't worth it to me. To quote, P'Gell, mileage and all that.
07/19/2011
emiliaa emiliaa
Well thanks ladies, sounds like I'm going to have a hard time explaining this to people. :/ And although the risk is low I found that it can still occur through oral sex, so I feel like I have almost no options for safe sexual contact... It sucks.... I'm shy enough to have sex as it is. I'm horrified of making the first move, and reciprocating, even if I'm attracted to the person. So how I'm going to manage with THIS going on in my head, I have no idea...let alone the fact that those who don't turn me down for my shyness will surely turn me down for my disease. :/
07/19/2011
PassionQT PassionQT
The only way to be certain is to go get tested for EVERYTHING, and that does not mean "hey doc, can I have an STD test" . We all should be asking "hey doc, can you please run ALL the STD tests". Until you have that done, no one can run around saying "I'm disease free" or chastise anyone else for it.
07/19/2011
Tori Rebel Tori Rebel
Quote:
Originally posted by emiliaa
Well thanks ladies, sounds like I'm going to have a hard time explaining this to people. :/ And although the risk is low I found that it can still occur through oral sex, so I feel like I have almost no options for safe sexual contact... It ...
Just be honest. While I know I'm really stringent, a lot of people, even most of my friends aren't - and a lot of them already have some of these viruses. The statistics are in your favor that some of your potential partners have experienced similar things, in which case they may well be very understanding.

And you can still have safe oral sex with a barrier - that's what they make flavored dental dams for

And if your dr. is correct and you have a genital wart form of HPV, have it treated and continuously get your blood screened for it. That form does, more often than not and more often than the other strains, dissipate over time. That way once it's out of your system you can tell people you experienced it but then have the paperwork to back you up that it's no longer in your bloodstream.
07/19/2011
Tori Rebel Tori Rebel
Quote:
Originally posted by PassionQT
The only way to be certain is to go get tested for EVERYTHING, and that does not mean "hey doc, can I have an STD test" . We all should be asking "hey doc, can you please run ALL the STD tests". Until you have that done, no ...
You're very right! A lot of doctors don't include HSV or HPV in an STD panel. I've had to specifically list to doctors what I want to be screened for and a couple looked at me like I was a little crazy - but it's my body. And if you have a doctor that says you don't need those tests, find a new doctor! I had one once tell me she'd just do an HIV test, that I didn't need the others... so I walked out of her office and found another doctor that tested me for everything I requested.
07/19/2011
Ivy Wilde Ivy Wilde
Quote:
Originally posted by emiliaa
Well thanks ladies, sounds like I'm going to have a hard time explaining this to people. :/ And although the risk is low I found that it can still occur through oral sex, so I feel like I have almost no options for safe sexual contact... It ...
edited
07/19/2011
MaryExy MaryExy
All STDs have some sort of consequence if you catch them. Even if you can get it treated, you still need to get it treated. I think many people will want to avoid the hassle of STDs if it means ending any budding romantic contact when there isn't already a deep connection with the carrier. Does that make sense...?

Personally, if I found out a partner or potential partner had an STD, I'd research it like crazy (even if I had done so in the past) before making any move. I would want to know how to avoid transmission, what the effects were, and what the treatment was (if there was treatment available.) I think it would have to go case-by-case.
07/19/2011
shySEXXaddict shySEXXaddict
everyone has some strain of hpv in their bodies its just whether or not its active.According to my doctor anyways.... .I can count on my hand the number of sexual partners i've had,and i was diagnosed with HPV a year and a half ago.I freaked out thinking that I could get cancer,as my spouse had just past away with a different cancer so the word alone scared me.Anyways i went back and had biopsies taken and everything was okay.I had to go back 6 months later for a pap smear and they said it was gone.You need to keep your immune system well so take vitamins and b12.Thats what they recommended to me.So now for the next couple years I have to back every 6months to double check,but my doctor told me not to worry as the chances of it actually turning into cancer are slim and if it did it does not mean you would die from it.I had just had a child 4 months before and I didnt have it then,and I was with the same partner for 8 years AND from the time I was checked during pregnancy to when I had the pap that said abnormalities I didnt have sex so I dont know how or when it became"active".
07/19/2011
boobookittyfuk boobookittyfuk
One of my best friends has an un curable std and i treat her normal as i would anyone. I dont see a reason to make a big deal.
07/19/2011
married with children married with children
I have no problem being friends with people who have std's. But I would never date one, if I was still dating. I would not want to get a std. I have friends who have told me about the painful tests for std's they have had to go through. Not something I ever want to experience.

With that being said. Just think about all the lives that could have been saved if only people would pick one partner and stay with them.
07/20/2011
Ms. Spice Ms. Spice
STDs are a big deal because they can lead to infertility and other nasty health defects if untreated. if anything, our country doesn't do enough to prevent themselves from getting diseases.

i would probably have a relationship with someone who has a curable STD (no sex till its totally treated tho) but if it's incurable, i wouldn't want to risk my own health.

i would have no issue if my friends having STDs; i would avoid sexual contact with them tho. the most i would do with them is cuddle and that's probably it.
07/20/2011
bayosgirl bayosgirl
I would be friendly, but not a romantic/sexual relationship.
07/20/2011
Noira Celestia Noira Celestia
Be up front with people ahead of time and you may be surprised if someone really likes you I don't think they will be too discouraged.
07/20/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by emiliaa
Well thanks ladies, sounds like I'm going to have a hard time explaining this to people. :/ And although the risk is low I found that it can still occur through oral sex, so I feel like I have almost no options for safe sexual contact... It ...
I agree that a lot of people over react to some very mild and curable or treatable STDs. While no one wants these diseases, getting some of them is NOT the end of the world.

The medications used to treat herpes are really not "very powerful" in terms of antiviral drugs. They are basic, garden variety antivirals. Nothing like the meds used for, say, HIV! They are virtually side effect free in real life usage. And very very safe (shit, we give anti-virals of this type to both pregnant women and premature babies! They aren't dangerous drugs by any stretch of the imagination.) And very effective. Also, herpes tends to burn itself out after about a decade or less. Meaning people who have contracted it (and in one study 98% of people tested were shedding herpes virus. And MOST of them, about 80 to 90% didn't even know they had it) have fewer and fewer symptoms over time. Add that to the fact that MOST people will or do have herpes and it's, like I said, a NON issue.

My GYN has said in nearly 30 years of practicing and delivering babies, many of who's mothers were positive for herpes, he has never delivered a baby with an active herpes infection. It CAN be avoided, by performing a C Section if sores are present, but he says, in these 30 years, he's only had to do this a few times. The woman's body DOES NOT transmit the virus to the baby, only contact with the sores, and that can be completely avoided. After a few weeks on human milk, or a few months on formula (the immune systems are different depending on the food the baby is fed) the baby has a strong enough immune system that herpes would no longer be dangerous IF he were to contract it. As long as mom washes her hands after using the bathroom and doesn't have sores on a nipple, it isn't a problem. (And in years of practicing lactation, I have YET to see herpes on a nipple, although I've seen a picture of it. Herpes on both nipples at once is a virtual impossibility. AFAIK, it's never been seen.)

As for HPV, it's not as scary as the people who want to sell your daughters the (dangerous) "vaccine" for. I have not allowed my daughters to get this vaccine, as it not only doesn't cover most forms of HPV, but the vaccine itself is dangerous, not very effective, either (naturally acquired diseases are often less dangerous than injecting weakened or even dead viruses into children) but most cases of HPV disappear by themselves, with no sequelea. The vaccine companies have exaggerated the "danger" of HPV and also exaggerated the percentage of women who have had HPV who get cervical cancer. It's really not a huge problem (not to mention, IF you get it, and you probably won't, even if you DO have HPV, cervical cancer is the most curable form of the cancers. Usually nothing more than a minor office procedure is needed to cure it. And MOST women with HPV NEVER get cervical cancer.)

If a woman has HPV and it's active during late pregnancy, again, a C Section can be performed so the baby will avoid contact with the virus. Anyone who is really afraid of this needs to realize what kind of damage even things like Influenza,or feeding choices can to to a fetus or newborn baby. It isn't just STDs that can harm babies by a long shot.

Things like syphilis and gonorrhea are curable. So is chlamydia. They are not pleasant diseases to have (although syph doesn't have symptoms in the early stages) and can certainly be dangerous if NOT treated, but they are usually treatable with a round of antibiotics.

Of course HIV is terrible, but in this day and age it is now considered a Chronic Illness and no longer considered a death sentence by most health care professionals. Still, using safer sex is a good idea.

My advice is to certainly use safer sexual practices, but don't freak out about every single disease that could be caught.

Being fearful of every single disease is an illness in itself (take if from someone who has a "germ thing" even I'm not afraid of most common illnesses, just because something has the label STD on it doesn't make it worse than anything you can catch by casual contact. My husband knows a guy who is in a wheelchair from meningitis he caught from a mosquito bite! People die from common forms of Influenza. You can't stop living or live in FEAR simply because there might be.... diseases out there.

I suppose one could never leave the house and never have sex, but that isn't a healthy or viable solution. LIFE is a risk. That shouldn't stop people from LIVING.
07/20/2011
emiliaa emiliaa
Quote:
Originally posted by P'Gell
I agree that a lot of people over react to some very mild and curable or treatable STDs. While no one wants these diseases, getting some of them is NOT the end of the world.

The medications used to treat herpes are really not "very ...
Thanks for that, it's very true and that's exactly how I feel. I mean, Ebola isn't an STD and it's probably the worst thing in the world to catch >.> I spent my whole high school career researching it just out of pure fascination, so I know quite a bit about viruses in particular.
07/20/2011
kinksters kinksters
hm...
07/27/2011
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by emiliaa
I feel like almost everyone in American society over-reacts GREATLY to STD's. All STD's should be precautioned around and all partners should be informed before sexual interaction takes place, but why is it that certain diseases that ...
It would greatly depend on the disease in question what my reation would be. If it's curabe I would continue to abstain from sexual contact until I or my partner(s) have obtained a clean bill of health. If it is incurale I truly dont know how I would react but I would like to believe that I would be kind and handle the situation appropriately.
07/27/2011
P'Gell P'Gell
Quote:
Originally posted by emiliaa
Thanks for that, it's very true and that's exactly how I feel. I mean, Ebola isn't an STD and it's probably the worst thing in the world to catch >.> I spent my whole high school career researching it just out of pure ...
I agree. Aside from untreated syphilis (which causes brain damage and dementia, but IS totally treatable) or HIV, things like Ebola are not only more horrible but kill so much more quickly.
07/27/2011
lanky lanky
never had an std
07/28/2011
LostBoy988 LostBoy988
I don't have any nor do I want any
08/12/2011
BellaDonna2884 BellaDonna2884
I may be wrong but my understanding of HPV and herpes type viruses is that they can go into a dormant state where no signs or symptoms are present. However these disease are still contagious in there dormant states which is part of the reason why they are so prevalent. I find it somewhat disturbing that many of you have mentioned that your doctors claim the virus is gone because this would mean your body "cured" an "incurable" disease. It sounds as though these doctors are being medically irresponsible and contributing to the confusion about etiology, treatment, and prevention of these diseases.

I think people fear these diseases because of the stigma that is attached to them and because STDs and STIs can permanent or life threatening.
08/20/2011
Sublime Sublime
I've never been diagnosed with an std thankfully and before going condomless with any partner I always insist on us both getting checked.
12/15/2011
Undead Undead
Quote:
Originally posted by emiliaa
I feel like almost everyone in American society over-reacts GREATLY to STD's. All STD's should be precautioned around and all partners should be informed before sexual interaction takes place, but why is it that certain diseases that ...
I could never be in a sexual relationship with someone that had an STD
12/31/2011
Beck Beck
I have never tested positive for an STD. I would never want to have sexual contact with anyone who has an STD. I would be friends with people who have one or many and I am friends with people who have them.
01/17/2012
Badass Badass
Quote:
Originally posted by emiliaa
I feel like almost everyone in American society over-reacts GREATLY to STD's. All STD's should be precautioned around and all partners should be informed before sexual interaction takes place, but why is it that certain diseases that ...
std's are so scary..
02/01/2012
Sex Positivity Sex Positivity
I've never had an STD, nor do I currently know anyone who does. However, my uncle was HIV+ and the stigma for him was unbearable. The stigma for all people with STDs is absolutely preposterous.

Now, I understand the argument of wanting to keep yourself safe. I really, truly do. But if someone you were hopelessly and madly in love with told you that they had HSV-2 (genital herpes), could you really turn away from them? I can understand not wanting to get sexual while they were unmedicafed or while they were having an outbreak, but most people dont realize that you cannot give someone herpes by lying next to them or by wearing just your underwear. (The most common time you can give someone herpes is by having unprotected sex during an outbreak.)

For things like pubic lice? Just wait for the person to be healthy again, then go on loving them as usual. For things like HIV? Evaluate what your partner means to you and if having unprotected sex is necessary for your relationship - and remember, HIV is not the death sentence it once was. There is one man, now, who has been effectively cured. If you choose to be in a committed, monogamous relationship with someone who has HIV, you get to choose if you are exposed to it or not, but you can still have sex with them, kiss them and cuddle them all you want.

Having any type of STD/STI is not dirty, does not make you a bad person, and does not reflect the number of sexual partners you have had.
04/03/2012
Zombirella Zombirella
I wish they would have shown photos of what they can do to your body back in school. I'm not sure if they do that now. But they were lightly mentioned and I found out more on my own by the internet but not everyone is curious/paranoid like I am so they won't look.
I honestly probably wouldn't have slept with my first serious boyfriend had I known what could happen since he wasn't a virgin. He also cheated on me and I was SO scared something was going to happen to me.

I would still be friends with someone, I'd hug them and what not but I wouldn't have sexual contact with someone with one or share drinks/food that could transfer saliva if it can be caught that way.
04/03/2012
yummyinmytummy yummyinmytummy
Syphilis and Hepatitis can be incredibly serious if not cured, and some recent strains are showing to be more resistance to typical treatments.

Your nonchalance is a little bit scary. If you have a disease or contagious medical condition, you have an obligation to inform everyone that you could have give it to.

That said, I don't look down on people for having gotten an STD. I just think people need to take it seriously, get it treated, and prevent it from being spread.
07/28/2012
Total posts: 30
Unique posters: 25