Sex, Love, And Psych
Sex, Love, And Psych

Episode · 10 months ago

Episode 26: STI Facts and Fiction


What to look for, what to do, how to get tested and treated and why you shouldn't feel ashamed when it comes to sexually transmitted infections.

Hello and welcome to you episode Twenty Six of Sex, love and psyche. Thank you so much for tuning in this week. Before I get into today's topic, I wanted to plug a couple things here. I did for those of you who know about my little like rave, custom Bra Bodysuit Business, whatever you want to call it, I did make an instagram page for it. It is tasteful. Taut has pl you are tasteful. Tautos player all one word, super easy to find. Just started it. I'll be posting more on there soon. Also, for the podcast, what you are listening to right now, I'm going to be moving it to a new platform. This doesn't mean anything will necessarily change as much for you about where you can find it. It'll still be posting to spotify, apple music, all of that. As far as I know, this other platform reaches all the same audiences and accounts as the one I'm currently using. But the one I'm currently using only monetizes US accounts and I have given it a lot thought, did a little bit of Research John At this new one that I'm moving to doesn't have that restriction. So one thing it does mean for all of you is that there's probably going to be an ad here and there. I'm not going to do like five ads an episode or anything, but it will allow me to bring in a little cash for the amount of effort I'm putting into this and I didn't think any of my wonderful friends in family that do support me would really mind listening to like a thirty second ad here and there to help support my podcast. And Hey, maybe I'll get better equipment at some point... so. With all of that being said, let's jump right into today's episode. Sti's fact and fiction. Today's research comes primarily from my human sexuality course that I took about a year and a half ago. I thankfully still have access to all the course content on my blackboard, so I was able to go into that and pull up the powerpoint from that lesson. So super thankful I still have access to that one. Some courses close out, some don't. So let's start super basic. What is an STI? It's a sexually transmitted infection paths from one person to another through sexual contact, including skin to skin, oral, vaginal or a or anal contact. So one thing I wanted to start off by saying before we get into more of the specifics is kind of questioning why there's this stigma around Sti specifically. There's not stigma against a lot of other communicable diseases through other ways, like colds, fluid, it's all of that stuff. You're not kind of look down on for catching one of those. So what is it about Sci specifically? I think this isn't based on my research, but this is just personal opinion. I think it could be a variety of reasons, but one of the big ones, in my opinion, is the is how it's rooted in the shame and Taboo we put on sex in general because we kind of shouldn't talk about it. Sex is dirty. We've done a lot of progress over the last few decades, but there's still that stigma and tapoo around sex specifically. So adding an infection just seems absolutely dirty and scandalous. And with HIV specifically, the...

...stigma around that. I think a lot of it is rooted in that sexual shame, but it's also rooted in Homophobia. We've placed so much shame and stigma on talking about sex that discussing stis seems absolutely unthinkable and that's actually perpetuating a lot of the problem and the just frequency of how often people get stis because we don't talk about them and we feel weird and awkward and shameful in asking our partners and going and get tested and all of that stuff. So we'll cover all that. There's also this big stigma and I do like misconception. So first fiction here is that you must have had sex with like hundreds of people if you're going to catch s Tis, like you must be written like the town bicycle, personal opinion, no shame and being ah if you're doing it safely and consensually. But that's just also not a fact. When it comes to stis. You can have sex with one person who may not even know they have it and you can get one. You don't have to be a whore, you don't have to be dirty, you don't have to be any other thing to get an Sti, and as Tis aren't dirty, they're just an infection. So with that being said, let's dig into some stis and get some base in Ledge. Out there a lot of this I didn't know before I took this class and with the conversations I've had with friends about stis, there's a lot of misinformation and just lack of knowledge surrounding ski. So let's happen. So I wanted to start with some sexually transmitted viruses. So those include like HPV, Hepatis, A, B and C, and HIV. So HPV oh also as HS v one and two, which...

...we will get into. HPV will start with. It is more commonly known as like the genital wards. Many strains, though, this is a big fact to know, are asymptomatic and harmless, but in some strains can cause cancers. This is generally diagnosed visually. This is why it's so important to get those yearly checkups and be familiar with your own equipment. So get on that again. Many strains a symptomatic and harmless, but there are those certain strains that can cause more serious issues like cancers down the line if you and you may not even be aware that it's happening. So Hs v one and two. I'm not sure why I'm having such a tough time with that acronom at the moment, but it is. What is more, more commonly known as herbies. So the number one type is going to be like the oral herpes, cold source, super common, and H s. The two is typically genital. It's also very very common, which a lot of people don't know. It's based generally on a visual identification. If someone is showing symptoms. There's no cure, but there is. Once you have the knowledge that you have it, you can keep an eye on outbreaks. It is way less communicable when you're not in an outbreak and most people have it and they're asymptomatic and it causes no problems. I have see multiple tick tock accounts about it. They've started popping up now that I like a lot of sexual health therapy and all that kind of stuff. The Algorithm. Algorithm has shown me...

...some people who are working on destigmatizing herpes and really erasing the misconception that you have to be dirty and only a few people have it. It's so common. One of these accounts is Suz said be you be. It is a girl who got diagnosed with her bees. She and she just works too kind of a rase some of that stigma and start the conversation, kind of normalize it and point out that most people haven't and they don't even know it and that doesn't make you a bad person at all. So moving on HIV. I didn't want to get in as much into because there was so much I could get into and there is a lot of different information out there, but one thing I did want to mention was that people with HIV who take medication can have undetectable viral loads, which leads to them being unable to transmit the virus. So in more recent years HIV medication and treatment has come so, so, so far and those people who do have it and catch it and take that medication and take prep and Aart they are able to have regular, healthy sex lives and just have that undetectable viral load without passing it to any partners. So next I wanted to jump into some of the bacterial infections, which is probably the ones that people might talk to talk about the most. I'm going to just chat quickly about Lamidia, Gonorea and syphilis. So chlamydia is actually the most common sti in Alberta and Canada. It can in fact...

Eurythrow Cervix, rectum, eye and throat, so it's not just the bits. It can be spread as well to other areas. One fact about chlamydia is that seventy percent of women and ninety percent of men show no symptoms. So so, so many people can have it and not know it if they're not getting tested regularly, and they can pass that on to other people. If you do have symptoms, they can include painful your nation, a thin whitish discharge and internal pain. Now there is a huge stigma around chlamydia and stis in general, as we discussed, but treatment for chlamydia specifically super easy. They give you some antibiotics, you don't have sex for a week to allow the antibiotics to kick in so you will no longer pass it to anyone else and it will be cured. And you just have to contact any sexual partners that you've had since your last task and notify them so they can also be tested and they also won't be passing it on to people asymptomatically without them even knowing it. So gonorrhea fairly similar to chlamydia. Eighty percent of women and sixty percent of men show no symptoms there, but in the case of when they are showing symptoms, they'll be similar to chlamydia, with the painful of your nation and internal pain, but instead of that thin whitish discharge, it's going to be thick and yellow and greenish. So if you're having any of these issues. Pop into your clinic. Go See your doctor. Make sure you're getting tested. Syphilis is the next bacterial infection that I wanted to discuss. The rates in Canada have been rising since two thousand and one.

It just broke. Disproportionately affects men over thirty. There's four different stages. If you catch it at the earlier stages it's going to be a lot easier to treat. It is treated with either injectable or oral antibiotics, depending on the stage you catch it out. There's a variety of symptoms. Yeah, you can look it up again. None of these are death sentence. All treatable catch you merely get tested regularly. Condoms are going to be the number one way to prevent stis from being passed and transmitted. Your partner may complain about not being able to feel as much during sex, but they also may not know they have an STI, especially if this is just a hookup or someone you don't know or you're not sure if they get tested on a regular basis. Condoms are going to be the number one way to lessen the chance of you getting a transmittable infection from them. Have that. Try to have that conversation with new partners about being tested when the last time they got tested was. This is not to shame anyone, this is not to get answers about how many partners someone has or be jealous or anything like that. But getting tested regularly is going to catch more of the asymptomatic stis get you be able to be treated sooner and not pass those infections to other people who may show symptoms and may have worse time with it. Get tested at after every new partner, even if you've had this talk, or at least every six months, is what I've also seen recommended. But if you have regular new partners, it is not a matter of shame, it is a matter of... and health. Just make sure you're getting tested on a regular basis. What to expect out a test. If you've never been tested before, you're gonna they're either going to ask you like verbally or you're going to fill out a little form about your sex history. You'll probably do a yearn and or blood sample test and if you're showing symptoms or have any specific concerns, then you may get that physical exam where they check everything out visually. They might take a swab playing. There are plenty of places to get tested. There is an STI clinic at the General Hospital in Edmonton. There's a few lgbtq plus focused clinics as well. Or in the past I have just went and got tested at regular walking clinics. If you're going to do that, maybe just call ahead and make sure they do that. Make sure they have time take walk ins all that. There's no shame and getting tested. It's just you looking after your body. And just one thing to note about getting tested. Swaps in your intests. They don't test for every single STI. You're not going to get tested for literally every possibility every time you go in. So if you are having symptoms or you have any concerns or someone has contacted you to say that they have tested positive with something, make sure you mention these things to your doctor, nurses or whoever you are speaking to you at wherever you are, so that they know what to look forward. They know what's a test for because, as we said, a lot of things are asymptomatic. So if you know a partner has tested positive, they're going to want to make sure they test for that specifically. If it's not something that's already included in the general test. So just a little bit of a review... between some fact and fiction. One big fiction is your dirty person if you have an STI. The fact is anyone who is sexually active can get an STI and most people who are or have been sexually active have probably had an STI or currently have one, including like those Herbes, which aren't as tested for as commonly and probably most of the time asymptomatic. Fiction number two, you must be sleeping around to get an STI. The fact is you can have unprotected sex one time him with someone who's asymptomatic and shows like shows no symptoms, and you can get an Sti. Fiction number three, I'll stis show symptoms, as we've discussed here. The fact is that in most cases, for most of the more common stis, they show no symptoms. So that is why it is so important to get tested regularly. A another fiction is that you've should feel ashamed or alone if you have an STI. The fact is there's no shame. Just make sure you're getting tested regularly, checking with your partners, having that healthy communication. You shouldn't feel alone. Millions and billions of people across the planet have had or will have an STI. It's super, super common. That doesn't mean that we should just shrug it off and not do anything about it. We should be getting tested regularly after every partner, or at least after every six months, especially outside of a monogamous relationship. There's no shame in having multiple partners. There's no shame in having as much or as little sex as you want. Just make sure you're doing it safely, make sure you're communicating and, of course, always...

...consensually. And that that is my little brief discussion on stis. I really just want to start more conversations about them, because they are so common and there is so much shame attached to them right now. Let's just start having those conversations. There's probably more people in your life than you know that have had stis and they are just keeping that they're dirty little secret. Maybe you have and you feel like you're the only person in your life that has. I'm going to bet that that's not true. There's probably people you know that have had them and most, as I've said, are easily treated, especially when caught early. So just make sure you're getting tested regularly. You're going for those regular physical exams. When you're sexually active and you're just being SMART, we're in condoms. So thank you so much for tuning into episode Twenty Six of Sex, love and psych I am hoping that I will be moved onto this new platform in the next few weeks, but I will keep you all in the loop with that on when ads might be popping up, if there's going to be any changes to the format or anything like that. So again, thank you so much for tuning in. I hope you have an amazing week. Thank you so much, but.

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