I have a scary fact for you. According to a poll by AskMen.com, 56% of men have never been tested for an STD. Are you freaking out yet? Me too. Additionally, according to the CDC, "Between 2014 and 2015, cases of primary and secondary syphilis grew 19%, gonorrhea grew 12.8% and chlamydia grew 5.9%." This rise in sexually transmitted diseases is linked to the increased use of dating apps and casual, unprotected sex with multiple partners. In an attempt to educate people on STD testing, and this correlation between swiping and STDs, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation put up the following billboards. That's when the following chain of events went into place.
Obviously, Tinder was pissed They issued the Foundation a cease and desist letter, but those billboards did NOT come down. And then Tinder seemed to come around, (or some higher up at the company contracted Chlamydia and needed to find the nearest Planned Parenthood,) because now the app has added an STD testing locator to its website.
But there is one thing: it is very hard to find. In fact, I've been searching for about 20 minutes and still can't find it. I can find tons of articles about it, like here and here, but I can't find the actual page. Maybe it's just an urban legend?
Either way, the results are startling and all whittle down to one thing: we have GOT to start getting tested regularly if we're having sex, protected or not.
Okay. So--what is it like for men to get an STD test? We know what it is like for a woman: the awkward yet necessary experience of a gyno spreading your legs in stirrups, thrusting you open with a speculum, swabbing your cervix, and practically getting to 3rd base. For men it is much more simple. Typically, all that is required is a simple urine or blood sample, or swab of the genital area. If it's that easy, then why aren't more men getting tested?
Because, according to this report by Fox, men don't like to go to the doctor. Illness= weakness. We live in a society where men will go to great lengths to not be perceived as weak. They're busy. As the report says, they can just tough it out. So, for all those reasons, they just keep plugging along, not getting tested. And then statistics like this happen: things like 80% of people with Herpes Simplex 2 having no idea they even have it. Even writing this is giving me a full fledged panic attack.
So, before you hop into bed with someone, remember: it's pretty likely that your partner hasn't been tested. To be safe, ASSUME he hasn't. Always wear protection. In fact, tell your significant other that you don't want to sleep with him until he gets tested. It's a good way of weeding out the guys who just want to sleep with you from the guys who are in it for the long haul.
And if you need to find local testing near you, you can visit the Planned Parenthood website.
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