After STD testing reveals a positive result, a lot of emotions go through your head. A positive diagnose can be shocking and at times, devastating. But there is some good news: you’re not alone.
Each year in the U.S., there are 19 million new cases of STDs. Here are the numbers of cases reported in 2010 for several prominent STDs:
- Chlamydia: 1.3+ million cases were reported to the CDC in 2010.
- Gonorrhea: 300,000+ cases were reported to the CDC in 2010.
- Syphilis: 13,000+ cases were reported and most frequently found in men who have sex with men and African American men.
- HIV: Approximately 50,000 cases were reported in 2010. HIV was most commonly found in men who have sex with men and minority groups including African Americans and Latinos.
- Genital herpes: Approximately 1 in 6 adults (or 16%) has HSV-2, the virus causing genital herpes.
STDs are more common than people think. Many common cases are curable with antibiotics—chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis can all be cured with appropriate medication. It’s important to test often and treat these STDs quickly to avoid permanent damage.
HIV is not curable, but advancements in HIV treatment have enabled those with the disease to live long and healthy lives. HIV is now regarded as a chronic, manageable condition. Take Magic Johnson, for example. He has been positive with HIV for 20 years and is strong and healthy.
Genital herpes—an extremely common condition—is not life-threatening and can be managed with antiviral medication. When proper precautions are taken (i.e., the consistent use of condoms and medication), the spread of genital herpes among partners can be prevented. Many people with genital herpes have happy, healthy sex lives. Here is a great article about one woman’s journey with genital herpes and her positive take on the STD: http://thehairpin.com/2012/04/the-perks-of-herpes
STDs are a common part of life. STDs are heavily stigmatized, but with a little education, STDs don’t seem like the big deal they are hyped up to be. Know the facts and if you have any questions, ask. STD counselors at getSTDtested are standing by!