All Articles Tagged "STDs"
Today, we know enough to understand it isn’t just reckless, irresponsible, ignorant individuals who pick up STD’s—we can all be at risk sometimes, even when we take precautions. Many STD’s can still be passed even when there is a condom present, and the most evil ones show no symptoms for a long time—if ever—leaving the carrier to believe he or she is perfectly clean.
It’s very likely that in your life you’ll date, fall in love with, or even marry someone with a permanent STD like HPV or Herpes. Here’s how to navigate it so that you can increase your chances of staying STD-free, and minimize your chances of offending your partner.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 19 million new cases of STDs in the US each year and an estimated 110 million infected citizens total (there are a little more than 316 million people living in America, so that means almost half the country is burning). One in two sexually active people contract an STD before the age of 25, with women being more likely to acquire a sexually transmitted infection than our male counterparts. Assessing stats this high can make you wonder what the heck is going on. Well, I’m not God, surely ain’t Jesus Christ or Prophet Muhammad, nor am I a super-know-it-all psychic, but I’m pretty sure people’s misinformation about STD contraction has a lot to do with it. Take a look at some of these common beliefs that, if followed, increase people’s risk of catching a disease.
Back in August popular Cameron Bay was shocked to learn that she tested positive for the HIV virus. When Bay learned of her diagnosis, she released a statement to inform the public, which ultimately led to the temporary suspension of the adult film industry. The actresses boyfriend, Rod Daily, also tested positive for the virus weeks later. Now, the couple hopes to use their unfortunate circumstances to raise awareness regarding sexually transmitted diseases and the adult film industry, the Huffington Post reports.
During a recent press conference organized by the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Bay and Daily, along with three other current and former adult actors told reporters about the unsafe working conditions of the p*rn industry. Bay tearfully told reporters the shocking tale of her last shoot before testing positive. She revealed that her costar actually began bleeding from his p*nis and he was not wearing a condom. Bay went on to say that although the cameras stopped rolling momentarily, the actors eventually continued the scene.
“We continued to work even though he had a cut and we did not use a condom,” Bay revealed.
“There were up to 50 people in the room with us. And we were laying on top of them. And they were touching inappropriately. It all happened so fast. I didn’t realize how unsafe it was until I saw the pictures … You’re on a whole other level when you’re doing something so extreme,” Bay went on to describe her final shoot.
One performer, Patrick Stone, claimed that although he tested positive for HIV, his employer, Kink.com, knew this and asked him to perform in a shoot the very next week. The company, of course, denies these claims, insisting that they were never made aware of his positive test. Thankfully, Stone has taken two tests since his initial positive test, which have both come back negative.
“It’s been kind of a whirlwind week for me emotionally. I feel that the testing process for Performer Availability Screening Services is not working. If I was allowed to fall through the cracks like I did, who else is out there? I mean, they had me scheduled for a shoot tomorrow and as far as they knew, I was HIV-positive,” Stone said.
Daily also voiced his issues with the industry and their lack of concern for their actors.
“I just don’t know how an industry stands here and says they care so much about their performers and, a week after someone tests positive, they’re out there shooting without condoms,” Daily said. “Ultimately, it’s a business, and their main concern is money and not their performers.”
Bay also took to her Twitter page to say that she hopes her story will help someone else.
“I have said many times… if my story can help at least one person then good. Im not fighting for or against anyone other than fighting against HIV/AIDS,” the retired actress tweeted.
Watch full coverage on the press conference on the next page.
Back in 2012, during a routine screening, the adult film industry discovered that veteran actor Mr. Marcus, real name Jesse Spencer, had syphilis. He received a penicillin shot immediately. But when he was screened 11 days later he still showed signs of the disease. But instead of sitting out of the next shoot, Mr. Marcus altered the results of the second test and returned to work.
Well, earlier today Spencer, who plead no contest to the charges, was sentenced to 30 days in jail. He was also ordered to perform 15 days of community service and serve three years probation.
Spencer is also jailed with a $200,000 bail for an unrelated drunk driving case.
Mr. Marcus, 42, claimed that when he went back to work and took part in two shoots, he thought he was no longer infectious. A producer found the altered test results and told the two actresses he worked with and they called the police.
Spencer wasn’t the only actor who tested positive for syphilis last summer. In fact he was one of nearly a dozen. The outbreak lead the adult film industry to implement a filming hiatus and established a new condom law.
30 days, community service and probation seems like a light sentence for knowingly endangering people’s lives but who are we to judge.
What do you think of this story and the ruling?
Herpes is common. Really common. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about one in six adults has genital herpes, a sexually transmitted infection (STI) caused by the herpes simplex virus.
While it may be super-common, there are still a lot of myths out there about it — here are five I hear a lot.
Myth 1: If I don’t have any sores, I don’t have herpes.
Herpes can lay dormant (sort of like it’s in hibernation) for years without causing any noticeable symptoms. Because of this, many people don’t know they have it and may have trouble figuring out how or when they got it. When symptoms do occur, they often appear as small blisters on or around the genitals. The blisters may look like pimples with clear fluid in them, and they may be painful or have a burning sensation. The best way to find out if you have herpes is to see a health care provider if you have pain, blisters or a sore.
Myth 2: We didn’t have sex, so there’s no way I have genital herpes.
Herpes is spread by skin-to-skin contact with someone who carries the virus. That means you can get herpes by touching, kissing and oral, vaginal or butt sex. People who carry herpes don’t always know they have the virus, and they may not have any visible sores on their skin.
That said, your risk of getting the virus is higher if you’ve had contact with a partner who does have a visible sore. Using condoms can majorly decrease the risk of spreading the virus, but doesn’t eliminate it completely. Unfortunately, no other type of birth control reduces the risk of this STI.
Read the rest at YourTango
As close and in love as you may be with your current partner, I think it’s safe to say there’s something your partner doesn’t know about you. While I believe that most couples should have little to no secrets between them, revealing too much or digging up the past that has no bearing on who you are today may be irrelevant, and cause unnecessary drama in your relationship. All couples are different, and if you feel your union is so strong that it can sustain anything that you divulge about yourself, then great! But if you don’t feel obligated to reveal everything there is to know about your life, here are a few things we feel you might be able to keep close to the vest…with a few caveats of course.
Recently I was having a conversation about the responsibility of maintaining birth control with a friend of mine and she said, “I can’t until they make effective birth control pills for men. That way one gender wouldn’t have to shoulder the primary responsibility of preventing unplanned pregnancy.” I feel the same way about STD and HIV prevention too.
And then I read a piece in the Washington Post and remembered the female condom:
“The Food and Drug Administration has approved Female Health Company’s second-generation female condom (FC2). Now the company must figure out how to get it to the markets where it’s most needed. In 2010, the World Health Organization cited HIV/AIDS as the leading cause of death worldwide among women 15 to 44 years old. Mary Ann Leeper and colleagues knew that the female condom provided life-saving empowerment to women. It is the only protection against HIV/AIDS controlled by women.”
In an effort to help raise the profile of the female condom, Female Health Company created a number of public-private partnerships in cities across the country including Washington D.C., which has the highest infection rate for African American women in the country. According to a previous article in the Post, the partnership distributed 200,000 female condoms to beauty salons and community clinics and provided over $400,000 in educational services just in the D.C. area alone. The results proved to increase acceptance of female condoms among both men and women. While this proved to be a highly successful and clever marketing tactic to get female condoms into the hands of a core demographic, it was also a great way to increase the visibility and produce an adequate buy-in of a product, which has to overcome some stigmas and the popularity of the male counterpart.
As long as I can remember, the commonplace belief has always been the women tend to take care of the birth control and the men, the STD prevention (i.e. condoms). I get it, it is a lot easier for a man to slip on a jimmy (they still call them that?) than a women to jam some device up in the snatch and apply all those messy spermicidal creams properly. But with the rate of HIV/AIDS still prominent in the community, particularly with African American and Latino women representing a sizable number of Americans disproportionately impacted by the epidemic, we have to ask ourselves if the task of protecting our sexual health in the sole hands of just one gender?
I know from personal experience there is nothing more frustrating than hearing a dude say he forgot to bring a condom. And even if you are among the well-tuned women, who carry around their own prophylactic, there is no guarantee to ensure that your date for the evening won’t decide to take it off (that stuff happens too) during the act. Therefore, women having power of the condom situation seems like the best course of action to help decrease the spread of sexual diseases – as well as infections. It is said that the female condom actual provides greater skin coverage, thus not only sharply reducing your chances of STDs and HIV but also providing coverage against more topical diseases like Herpes and the human papillomavirus (HPV).
When they are used properly, it is said that female condoms are 95 percent reliable – of course, that’s if they are used accurately. The most common complaint I heard among those friends I know, who have tried it, was that if not careful, a man can bypass the condom all together. But with a little practice, a woman (and man) can certainly learn the proper way to use them. Heck there are even YouTube videos available for those too shy to seek out help.
However for the female condom to become more popular and acceptable, they are going to have to continue on way to make it more convenient and affordable. A three-count box of FC2 will cost about between $4.49 and $5.99 at Walgreens. While this is way cheaper than what they used to cost (I remember when it was $10 a box), they are still a bit more expensive than male condoms. Also, men have the option of going to the corner bodega or Chinese store, if needed. Women on the other hand, have to seek out a drug store or go to an authorized supplier, which might not be fitting when some spontaneous sex just so happens to spring up (no pun intended). But it is certainly not a bad idea to one day, while at the drug store, pick up a box and keep them next to your bed stand. I remember that the year I got a bunch of the FC free from the health clinic. Unfortunately 2010-11 was a bad year for the kid and eventually they dried out before I got a chance to test them out. But I had them – just in case.
What do you think about the female condom? Have you ever used one?
“He doesn’t like to use protection”, “Stopping to put on a condom ruins the moment”, “I don’t want to ask him because he may think I don’t trust him”, “We got caught up in the moment and forgot”. How many times have we heard or said one of the phrases and excuses above, or other phrases and excuses about the man’s use of a condom during intercourse, or the lack thereof? And how many times have these phrases instantly turned into “I think I’m pregnant”, “I’m in pain”, “I’m here for an HIV/Aids test”, or “I’m sorry Ms., but you’ve tested positive for…”
In today’s world of sex, it is vital to one’s health and survival to prep and practice safe measures before engaging in intercourse. With the rapid number of unexpected/unwanted pregnancies, the growing rate of HIV/Aids cases, and other sexually transmitted diseases it is imperative for one to protect themselves during sex. But who is solely responsible for having protection, the man or the woman? The answer to that question is… both! One mistake both women and men make is placing the responsibility of using or being prepared with protection for intercourse solely on the man. I say that both women and men make this mistake because in most cases women expect men to always be prepared with fresh condoms in their wallet ready to pull out for action, and men simply expect women to be prepared with birth control-subconsciously disregarding the fact that sexually transmitted diseases exist; but neither party would expect for a woman to be prepared with her own condoms. Yes, her own condoms for use in her body. I know many of you have heard of the FC-female condom, but let’s take a crash review course in what it is.
According to www.avert.org, the FC is a thin sheath/pouch that women wear during sex that lines the vagina entirely. There are a variety of female condoms such as the FC, FC2 (which is a nitrile sheath or pouch 6.5 inches long,) the Condom Feminine (VA for short), the Cupid female, etc. Female condoms have flexible rings at each end, and at the closed end of the sheath the flexible ring is inserted into the vagina so the condom will hold in place, while the other end of the sheath remains outside of the vulva for entrance into the vagina. This ring serves as a guide during penetration and prevents the sheath from moving further inside the vagina. Now that we’ve had an abbreviated course on what the female condom is let’s look at the advantages of a woman using a female condom for both men and women.
Advantage 1- the female condom can be inserted into the vagina prior to sexual intercourse and it won’t interfere with the heat of the moment. Advantage 2- the man is not solely responsible for having protection. Advantage 3-it will save the man money! Advantage 4- a woman can protect herself from unknown sexually transmitted diseases her partner may have (and may be unaware that he has), and she can protect herself from unwanted pregnancies if it is used properly. Of course with every set of advantages come disadvantages. Disadvantage 1-the outer ring is visible outside of the vagina which can be unappealing, and may cause some women to feel self-conscious. Disadvantage 2- some may find the female condom difficult to remove or insert and many women may feel uncomfortable inserting it. Disadvantage 3- female condoms may be relatively expensive.
While it is true that condoms, both male and female, are not one hundred percent effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies or STD’s, they can be effective if used properly. The safest practice of premarital sex is the practice of celibacy until marriage; however, if your urges to engage in intercourse take over and turn into action, you should always have and use protection. If both parties are planning to have sex, both parties should share the responsibility for their individual safety as well as each other’s. Ladies, there is no excuse for you to not take a stand and protect yourself against the many STD’s that exist. Learn how to protect yourself even if your sex partner won’t because when the sun sets and the moon rises you will be the one at the clinic or in the Doctor’s office, crying, or in a panic state because your world has been turned upside down. Protect yourself even if he won’t protect you. Why? Because your life is worth it.
Liz Lampkin is the Author of Are You a Reflection of the Man You Pray For? Follow her on Twitter @Liz_Lampkin.
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We can all make a compelling argument for why we SHOULD have sex. After all, it’s fun, it feels good and is good for you, and it’s the most intimate way you can share yourself and your love with your partner. But there is a flip side to that frisky coin, and varying attitudes towards sex show that there are plenty of reasons why you should hold off on doing the do. If you’re on the fence on whether or not you should have sex with a new guy, or for the first time ever, here are some things to consider before going all the way.
When starting a brand new relationship, it’s understandable to be cautious when divulging personal information. After all, you don’t want to tell someone you just met how many sexual partners you’ve had on your first date, and anyone who wants to know EVERYTHING about you before dessert is a bit creepy. It can be overwhelming, and if you have issues with “your business,” you may not want to share EVERYTHING.
But as a relationship progresses, getting close to your partner should foster a deeper level of intimacy where sharing information becomes easier. However, for some, being completely open and honest about all aspects of their lives is a scary thought – or simply unheard of – because they feel that their business is simply that…their business. We can all expect that there will be some level of secrecy in any relationship, but some go from being mysterious to downright manipulative – which is where the relationship can run into trouble. While you may be afraid that “oversharing” will either scare your partner away or cripple the relationship, the key to any union is communication and honesty; whether you have just started dating, or are in a full-blown, long-term relationship. While your man may not need to know that you secretly watch trashy reality shows, there are major things you should never keep from a significant other – here are 5.