There must be something about the warm weather and sunshine of the summer that causes some young (and some old) minds to become reckless. I say this in awe, as I seem to have been treating many more sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) within the past couple of months than I have all year long! And unfortunately, those that I have been treating for it are my young teenagers and 20-somethings. This inspired and prompted me to do a review of the most common STDs and myths about them. I hope that if you’re a parent with a child in this age group that you remind them of a couple of things.

The first issue is a scary one. As a doctor I hear this statement, “But I feel fine and don’t have any problems” as a frequent answer to whether a person wants to be tested for STDs. Let me say that this is an uninformed statement to make, especially for my men out there. STDs often are transmitted and can linger around and inside the body for years before they’re detected with testing. Even though you personally don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean that you can’t pass it to the next person. Don’t ever let the fact that you don’t “feel bad” be your rationale for declining testing.

 Statistically, all women between ages 15-25years should have testing for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia every time they have their annual pap smears and physical exams, regardless of whether or not they have any symptoms. Both are bacterial infections of the sexual organs. Typically, women will complain of a different kind of discharge (mucus) than they would normally have. Sometimes, this mucus is of a different color or character (yellow or green, thick) and may cause irritation, itching, or burning with urination or with intercourse. Both men and women can experience these symptoms, but what I’ve noticed is that men may not suffer ANY of these classic symptoms and still have the infection.

But, guess what? These misconceptions don’t only occur in the young population. I had one older male patient, who doesn’t use condoms with his 2 female partners, recently tell me that he was “fine” because he urinated and wiped himself clean after intercourse. Oh no! He’s putting both himself and his 2 partners at risk for all sorts of infections. Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Trichomonas, HPV, and Herpes are transmitted the very same way that HIV/AIDS, Syphilis, and Hepatitis are transmitted. If you’ve never heard of Trichomonas, or “Trich”, it is also an STD. It is characterized as a frothy, greenish discharge that causes irritation in the abdominal and pelvic area that needs antibiotic treatment.

Are all STDs fatal? No, but women in particular can have damage of their female organs to the point they have to have surgery or can’t have children, which can be devastating. Sometimes these diseases, such as Herpes, can cause meningitis. Hepatitis causes liver damage and can lead to death. Syphilis, which still exists, can cause neurological problems. HPV, clearly, is concerning because of its link to cervical cancer. HIV/AIDS goes without saying.

What’s the best way to never come into contact with these infections? Never have sex. But because this isn’t realistic in the real world, don’t have sex until you’re ready and for goodness sakes, use a condom. Plain and simple. Ladies, protect yourselves because not everyone is looking out for you and your safety. Men, be smart and protect yourselves as well. If you have any questions, go to the doctor to be tested, and please have regular HIV testing. Don’t be afraid to talk about those things that can potentially save your life.

Be safe and be blessed,

 Dr. Swiner

C.Nicole Swiner, MD is currently a Family Physician in Durham, NC, and has worked in a clinic owned by the University of North Carolina since 2007, after completing her residency training there. She received her undergraduate degree from Duke University.

© 2010 – 2011, Shalena D.I.V.A.- Author| Speaker| Life And Business Coach. All rights reserved.

29 comments on “Ask Dr. Swiner- The Truth about STD’s”

  1. Did the guy really think that he wouldn’t pass along an STD if he wiped off his penis and urinated after sex? That’s ludicrous!

  2. Ok, this takes the cake. That has got to be the most IGNANT comment I have heard ! From a supposedly grown ass man ? Getthehellouttatown!

  3. Michael baisden is talking about a sinilar topic, only dealing with young kids being treated at clinics over and over again for multiple STDs. I can better understand that mentality from a child but not from a grown man.hell to the no !

  4. @Roger, i am listening to Mike Baisden now and decided to post this link because people think young folks are reckless, but grown folks are just as bad. My good friend and soror, Dr. Nicole Swiner wrote this article for me and this quote jumped out at me like WTH, too! But the sad thing is that the older population is contracting HIV at a higher rate than the youngsters. I think they think it’s a “young person’s disease. I also learned of a young lady who has HIV. Guess how she got it? her father injected her with heroine and allow his get high partners to rape her. Now she is infected–poor thing. My father died from HIV through IV drug use so I can only imagine how much this girl was exposed to. Her grown behind father should’ve known better not to inject his baby or allow others to violate her. GROWN folks are no better than the young ones. SMH!

  5. What upsets me too is that there are ethicolegal aspects & repercussions for healthfare providers in revealing a person’s status in the healthcare system around the world so in a way, our governments are protecting (in good ways & bad) the very persons that can use the HIV virus to knowingly infect others. Most other STDs can be treated somewhat (except herpes) but what is a man/or woman to do when they’ve been infected by someone they trust!!!

  6. THIS IS WHAT THE LORD COMMAND IN SO MANY WORDS. ” DO NOT LIVE OF THE WORLD, JUST LIVE IN IT! THE LORD ONLY GIVE PERMISSION TO HAVE SEX AFTER MARRIAGE. WE ALL GUILTY! I HAVE BEEN SELEVANT SINCE THE MIDDLE OF 08! NOW I AM PLEASED TO A MAJOR LEVEL! MY BODY AND MY SOUL IS CRYSTAL CLEAN AND CLEAR! I LOVE THE LORD!

  7. This shouldnt be a surprise. People get ur mate status before during ya’ll term. And even after knowing strap it up!! Thats if ur gonna be out here having sex. On the flip side, u should be waiting on when ur married.

  8. @Christina! Oh wait up!!! I’m always clean!! U old Crab!!!! LOL!! Weren’t u going to ur grill to make another excuse to burn dinner????? Don’t talk about me like that! U know Shalena got that crazy crush on me!!! LMAO

  9. lmao.. Right thats why i just finished grillin.. now im about to serve them kids up!

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