Despite being aware of all the Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) out there, many people don’t believe it will happen to them. Sure, some people get them, but I won’t be one of them, right? Now, unless you’re celibate, you may at some point get an STI. Indeed, one in two people will contract an STI before the age of 25.
So you may have only slept with the ‘nice ones’. And? STIs don’t discriminate between the good or the bad, or indeed the ugly. Neither are STIs a form of punishment for promiscuous behaviour as has long been an assumption. You can catch an STI on your first or fortieth time.
So why do so many people have what Dr Adina Nack calls ‘STI invincibility’? The author of Damaged Goods? Women Living with Incurable Sexually Transmitted Diseases believes that all of the negative attributes associated with STIs are responsible, such as uncleanliness, irresponsible behaviour and unintelligence. If you don’t consider yourself to be these things, then it won’t happen to you.
Such thinking not only perpetuates the shame and stigma given to STIs, but can potentially damage your health and the health of others. STIs can be symptomless, so the only way to be sure you don’t have one is to be tested regularly. STI testing with Better2Know can give you results within one to five days and has clinics across the UK.
Most importantly, we should remember that people with STIs can live normal, happy and healthy lives if they have the infection diagnosed and get the appropriate treatment. And the sooner you know the better. So go get tested!