STI/STD/HIV

Recent posts

Bystepping Stigma By Easily Locating STI Clinics

It’s important for both potential and current sexual partners to be able to give informed consent to participating in sexual acts, which includes, among other things, knowledge about one’s STI status. STIs like herpes are much more prevalent than they are assumed to be, and due to the stigma surrounding having an STI, it’s often difficult to even initiate a conversation about getting tested. That’s why I was pleased to learn about the website, FindTheBest, which allows you to compare STI testing clinics using a set of filters and factors. Unfortunately, a lot of people tend to assume that the only places to get tested at are a doctor’s office, which is not true at all. I played around with the website’s comparison tool, and I thought it was pretty neat. Continue Reading →

The Must-Read Article On Herpes

Yes, yes, I know you’re probably thinking: “I don’t have herpes, why should I read an article on it?” Actually, you might. By some estimates, anywhere from 60% of adult Americans to 90% of adult Americans have herpes simplex 1 (HSV-1), which most commonly manifests as cold sores. There is not much stigma in having a cold sore, whereas the genital sores associated with herpes simplex 2 (HSV-2) can cause not only physical pain but also emotional stress around disclosure. According to the CDC, around 16% of Americans have HSV-2, but around 80% of them are unaware that they have it. Continue Reading →

Informed Consent: Risk Assessment vs. Stigma

As part of my informed consent post series, I’d like to talk about the issue of risk assessment regarding STIs when deciding whether to have sex with someone, and how to grapple with the problem of stigma. I wrote about stigma in my post on the adjacency effect, but the brief recap is that stigma is a sense of judgment or pollution attached to people who deviate from the norm. They’re seen to be dirty, unworthy, and so on. People who have been diagnosed with STIs certainly fall into this category; many face judgments such as slut-shaming, intolerance, and even human rights violations. In the context of informed consent, it is incredibly important for people to disclose their STI status to potential sexual partners. Continue Reading →

Teens And STI Results Via Text Message

A new technology allows teens (and others, presumably) to share their STI results using text messages in the Los Angeles Unified School District, which has long been concerned about sexuality activity among its students. Detractors worry that encouraging this kind of openness is the same thing as condoning teens having sex, while proponents argue for a sort of harm-reduction view, saying that if teens are already having sex, we might as well recruit technologies they love to use to help them share and access information. I’d love to see a study of how this technology is being used, and whether it’s affecting STI transmission – or even just communication – in any significant way. Continue Reading →

Shocker! Kids Don’t Know Enough About Sexual Health

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According to a recent city-wide standardized test, students in Washington D.C. are suffering from a serious lack of comprehensive sexual health/sexuality education. The test found that high school students, though fairly aware of the basics of anatomy and safe sex, were unable to pinpoint where and how they could access health care and who to talk to. Fifth graders and eighth graders, on the other hand, aren’t nearly “as educated about the human body as they should be.” So there are a few issues here. Continue Reading →

Interview With Folklorist Andrea Kitta: Vaccines, Public Health, Risk Perception

Being a folklorist means that whenever I chat with my colleagues, I find that they are researching really fascinating things. Take, for instance, Andrea Kitta, assistant professor of English at East Carolina University. She specializes in in medicine, belief, and the supernatural (and she’s a dancer, like me!). I knew that her book on vaccine rumors had just come out, so I asked if I could interview her for MySexProfessor, and fortunately, she agreed! Jeana: How would you summarize the main ideas in your book for the general public? Continue Reading →

5 Ways to Celebrate World AIDS Day

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In honor of celebration week, I wanted to write about an important event that just happened this past weekend: World AIDS Day. In case you missed it, or want to keep up the spirit of World AIDS day for all of December, here are 5 things YOU can do to celebrate World AIDS day. Donate (your time and/or money) – Go here to find an AIDS Service Organization (ASO) near you. Give them a call and ask to speak to their volunteer coordinator. You could hand out condoms, make condom packets, work the table at events, or even answers the hotline phones with a little training. Continue Reading →

Social Media Increases Teenage Condom Use

According to a recent report (pdf), spreading sex education messages on social media such as Facebook can be effective in raising not only awareness of STIs and pregnancy but also increasing condom use among teenagers. Lead investigator Dr. Bull suggests that “Facebook for sexual health interventions is at least equally effective as other technology-based mechanisms, and these effects match those observed for more traditional HIV prevention programs delivered in real-world settings.” Make sure to like us on Facebook so you can help spread sexual health information and perhaps make a difference. Follow us on Twitter @mysexprofessor. Follow Jeana, the author of this post, @foxyfolklorist. Continue Reading →

HIV Awareness Through Dessert

Public health campaigns take all kinds of forms, whether it be billboards, public service announcements, or kitschy jingles. But Alvin Leung, head chef at Bo Innovation restaurant in Hong Kong, China has taken a whole new approach. According to this article from Delish.com, Chef Leung has created a dessert called “Sex on the Beach,” which features an edible pink condom over edible sand. The condom, made of a “kappa and konjac” mixture and shaped around a cigar, also features a “white gooey substance” inside, made of mixture of honey and ham. Sounds appetizing! Continue Reading →