Yes, they can happen to you, and after talking to some close friends and colleagues about the topic, I admit I was a bit taken aback - no judgments, though - about how uninformed many post-divorce adults know about sexually transmitted diseases.
And just because you may be 30+ doesn’t mean they can't happen to you. After talking to one friend about her experience with herpes, she felt her insides had blown up, and she didn’t know if it was dormant or if she had just contracted it. Yep, that can happen. She shared how miserable the feeling was and that it sometimes does not go away until 2-4 weeks of treatment. It can begin with something as simple as a cold sore or something seemingly common. At any rate, it's important that we all be careful out there.
After speaking to her, I started thinking, and my reaction was "wow". How much do we as a sexually active community of adults know about STDs?
Here are the top 8 STDs most often contracted by 30+ men and women:
HIV – Human Immunodeficiency Virus
HPV - Human Papillomavirus
There is an excellent article on the Pfizer (link) website about these diseases symptoms and a general overview, and I urge you to read it. One fact I found mind blowing is that half of the 26 million new cases annually occur in young people according to the the CDC. Shouldn't they be some of the first to learn and be most aware?
The moral of this blog is to first and foremost be careful out there, and equally importantly, DO NOT be afraid to ask a new partner about his/her past or testing. I even have friends who invite their new boy or girl friends to have a test before engaging in any sexual activity.
Think about it.
Stay healthy & safe,