We've all seen those commercials of women going about their active lifestyles of biking, hiking, rock climbing, kayaking and bungee jumping. Without fail, at the director's cue, the women always turn to the camera and reassure us that despite their hectic lives, they didn't forget to take their genital herpes medication.
While those commercials have been mercilessly spoofed by Saturday Night LIve and have become fodder for late-night comedy talk shows, there is a serious issue behind the laughs and chuckles.
According to a 2006 report released by the Centers of Disease Control (CDC), sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), such as genital herpes, are still a major health problem infecting 19 million people and costing about $14.7 million dollars in medical costs every year. The shocking part of the report is that those numbers reflect, not those infected in some far away land, but those infected right here in the U.S.
With stats like that – and the importance of sexual health not only on an individual level but on a global scale, as seen with the HIV/AIDS epidemic in other parts of the world – more efforts are dedicated to get people, especially women, to take charge of their sexual health.
I Thought I Was Done WIth Taking Tests!
Prevention is the key word in the STD game. Think MTV has turned being responsible for one's sexual health into something one no longer has to feel embarrassed or scared about, but into something easy and cool to do. The It's Your (Sex) Life is a wonderful resource for anyone wanting to get a better understanding of sexual health.
Don't think getting tested for an STD is as hard as taking the ACT or the SAT, those tests are much harder than just taking a visit to your doctor and making sure you are in top-notch sexual health.
To show how simple testing can be, former MTV News correspondent, Gideon Yago took a camera crew along. Click the play button below to see Gideon's adventure.
Ask, and Ye Shall Be Tested!
Remember that YOU hold the power to unlocking successful sexual health. If you don't ask to get tested, no one will. So, go ahead, take a stand for your well-being (not to mention your partners health, too!) and ask your doctor if you can be screened for any possible trouble below the belt.
The following sites are great resources for more information about STDs:
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