This is a post that’s been simmering in the back of my brain for awhile now, but I finally have the time to sit down and write it.
First, a definition of terms: “S.T.D.” stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease. “S.T.I.” stands for Sexually Transmitted Infection. These terms are not interchangeable.
- An STI is defined as an “invasion of and multiplication in bodily tissue by a microorganism (eg, bacterium, virus, protozoan) that is usually (more than half the time) passed from one person to another during intimate bodily contact meant to give or derive sexual gratification”.
- An STD is defined as “pathology (i.e., damage) with or without symptoms secondary to an infection that is usually (more than half the time) passed from one person to another during intimate bodily contact meant to give or derive sexual gratification.”
(Both definitions are courtesy of http://www.medinstitute.org/public/132.cfm)
By these definitions, all STDs are STIs, but not all STIs are STDs.
With me so far? Good.
If we accept these definitions as true, and I happen to, then viruses like HIV, HPV, & HSV are all considered STDs. This is really inconsequential to the true matter at hand, but this is what I want to make very clear:
- All three of the above are viruses with no cure.
- All three of the above can be dormant for months, years at a time.
- All three of the above can be transmitted between partners during sex without the infected party showing symptoms.
Now, given all this information, where the hell do people get off NOT informing prospective or even current partners that they are carriers for an STD?? I’m not talking about people who don’t KNOW they have an STD. I’m talking about the people who are aware of it, and KNOWLINGLY engage in sexual encounters without informing their partner. I’ve seen it happen. I’ve been an almost-victim. A man I was involved with knew he’d been exposed to HPV, and purposely lied to me, and to others, about his ex’s status. I was lucky; I tested negative and continue to. Others weren’t so lucky. Two close friends were poked, prodded and given unnecessary procedures, endangering their chances of conceiving children, because they tested positive. This man was the only common denominator, considering BOTH women had been in long-term, monogamous relationships prior to being involved with him.
This happens more often than people seems to think and that it why it is SO important to use protection AND get a clean bill of health from prospective partners. No protection is 100%, so that clean bill of health can go a long way. And with the Rapid Testing many doctors and hospitals now have access to, you can go and get tested in a flash.
I know; it’s not wild. It’s not passionate. It’s not romantic or kinky. However, it IS practical. And when in doubt, don’t do it. Just as a submissive would not get involved with a dominant she didn’t have faith in, and vice versa, so men and women and everything in between should not get sexually intimate with someone they don’t trust.
My main point: be safe out there. And make sure your playmates and partners are safe too. Be responsible for you and the well-being of those you are intimate with. Protect each other.
“Nowadays, you can do anything that you want—anal, oral, fisting—but you need to be wearing gloves, condoms, protection.”
― Slavoj Žižek