So my friend and I were, you know, checkin’ out some tide pools the other day, and of course STIs came up (this is actually totally normal in the life of a sex ed teacher and TeenSource blogger). Anyways, she’s a super smart girl, been through sex ed a few times, and knew what was up when it came to birth control… so it was kinda surprising to hear her ask me “So… what are the STIs that I could get, you know, if I start hooking up with someone new?”
I forgot how easy it is for us to just get so overloaded with scary photos and endless lists of symptoms, and forget the big picture…
aka The Sneaky Six
I remember the main STIs this way:
These are Viral (don’t go away) and Treatable (you can take medicines to help with the symptoms)
These are Bacterial (they will go away) and Curable (you can take antibiotics and they’ll disappear)
The 3 That Start With H are a little scarier, because they sound like they’ll be with you for life. Really, HPV often does disappear, and herpes can be treated really well. HIV is a big deal, though researchers are making tons of medical advances in treatment, and lots of HIV positive people are living pretty normal lives.
The 3 That Don't can be super serious if you don’t get tested and treated. The tests are no big deal – just pee in a cup or get a little blood drawn. Seriously – a couple doses of antibiotics can prevent infertility, insanity, etc… Worth it to just go in to the local teen clinic and get it done.
The Sneaky Six – easy to remember, worth getting tested. Keep it simple.