"If we’ve slept together, by all means, get in touch about it"

For most of us finding out that you’ve got an STI (sexually transmitted infection) can be an embarrassing moment. For some, the awkwardness comes from the prodding and probing of sexual health nurses and doctors but for many, it’s because there’s a stigma attached to contracting an infection, which is silly right?

The majority of us have sex at some point during our lives and with sex comes risk and responsibility and there are literally hundreds of thousands of infections caught and dealt with every year by our healthcare professionals and that’s just here in the UK.

The vast majority of STIs are curable with medication or at least manageable, and with many of us contracting at least one STI in our lifetimes we have to ask why there’s such a stigma?

“Dirty Vs Clean”

getting the right medication and quickly if you've got an STI is really important.
Getting the right medication and quickly if you’ve got an STI is really important.
Photo by Anna Shvets on Pexels.com

One doctor in March this year said that people should stop using the words “dirty” and “clean” when it comes to talking about sexual health saying that STIs were “not a matter of personal hygiene” as there was “no way of telling who has an STI by just looking at them”. Doctor Sutton added that the words “dirty” and “clean” had a stigma attached to them.

“If we’ve slept together, by all means, get in touch about it”

Part of the embarrassment, for some, finding out that they’ve got an STI is the track and trace element, whereby they’re encouraged to tell their sexual partners that they’ve tested positive for something.

After contracting an STI it’s best to contact everyone you’ve had sex within recent months, this is so they can go and get tested themselves and get treatment if necessary. As many of the infections can actually be asymptomatic, many people won’t know they’ve got anything wrong with them so telling them to get tested empowers them to stop the disease from spreading any further.

“I’ve had a positive STI result”

Porn star John Thomas has managed to break the stigma by tweeting his sexual health diagnosis on Twitter saying, “I’ve had a positive STI result (if we’ve slept together, by all means, get in touch about it).”

He even managed to make a joke about the situation by adding that when he was asked about how many people he had had sex with, he could only answer “a lot”. Well, he is a porn star after all!

His Tweet was met with dozens of positive messages from fans and fellow porn stars congratulating him for breaking down the stigma to getting tested and revealing the results.

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John also added, “If you’re sexually active, getting tested is a part of life. Talking about it helps break down people’s feelings of shame around it that we’ve been conditioned to feel.”

Fellow porn star, Luca D’amore said, “Thank you for taking the stigma away from getting tested!”

A fan added, “I have HUGE respect for you sharing this. Thank you for this post!”

Another said, “Yes -more disclosure! Thank you. Normalize sexual health and responsibility!”

Star DADDYBLACKXXX said that using Twitter to inform John’s sexual partners that they may need to get in touch with him was an “honest way to go about it informing people Quick and easy … more people should do this” adding that he would do it like that in future.

It is recommended that sexually active people, who have a number of different sexual partners should go for an STI test at their local Sexual Health clinic every 3 to 6 months, or order a FREE at-home HIV test kit from Saving Lives. if you use the promo code: GAYUK20.