Sex Ed Saturday: A Sexually Transmitted Disease Is Not The End Of The World

final sex ed saturday

Compassion should be ingrained into the very core of our beings as members of the queer and geek communities.  We have embraced the idea of being “other”, of being the outcasts.  We are the very picture of the kids who got picked last in gym class, and yet, we often fail to treat each other with compassion and acceptance when it comes to one issue in particular: STIs.  Medically speaking, we are at a point where we are either curing or living with these diseases, not dying from them.  A member of the queer community is more likely to contract an STI during their lifetime than any other group and yet, almost without fail, our communities ostracize and gossip about those who get infected as badly as the rest of society.Infection is not a death sentence. Syphilis is most commonly treated with a course of penicillin.  We have a vaccine for most forms of HPV.  Crabs are in reality just lice in your pubic hair which shouldn’t even register as something to freak out over. The only STIs that we do not have cure for are Herpes, HIV, Hepatitis, and HPV and none of these are a death sentence.  We have medicine; we have preventative care; we have testing, we have maintenance drugs for the infected. STIs should not be the boogeyman hiding under our beds anymore.

Prevention is key but frequent testing and early treatment are equally as important. All of these infections are completely preventable with the proper precautions. If an accidental infection occurs or is suspected, it’s critical to seek treatment as soon as possible. Medicine can treat and maintain a variety of the diseases but can not repair the damage the infection can cause if left untreated. With early detection and treatment, an STI is certainly not the end of the world.

A person’s life after contracting a disease in our community is changed more by the stigma, isolation and gossip than by the actual disease itself.  We demonize someone who themselves is a victim.  No one spontaneously develops a sexually transmitted infection.  The key word there is transmitted; they had to contract it somewhere as did the person they contracted it from and so on. Someone getting sick is a chance to show compassion to our fellow human beings and to prove we are better than the catty, gossiping, caricature that the media has turned us into. Instead we make members of our own community feel unwelcome.

No one in our community is without sin. Everyone has engaged in a sexual encounter that could have been safer or has gossiped about a member of our community behind their back.  We are all guilty because we are all human, but it is time to prove that we are better.  

We should not make infection yet another closet that we have to hide in.  Discussing your status should be something you do with every partner and getting tested should be as normal as running to the store.  No one else is going to stand up for us.  No one can do more damage to our community than we can do to ourselves.  We have to take care of each other because no one else is going to.  Get tested every 3 to 6 months. Talk to your partners. Be compassionate.  There is a pill or shot for everything, but there is no cure for being a terrible human being.

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One thought on “Sex Ed Saturday: A Sexually Transmitted Disease Is Not The End Of The World

  1. Sam September 15, 2016 / 4:03 am

    As someone with a STI, you are absolutely right–it’s not the end of the world.

    Like

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