Apr 102012
 

Repost from last year, but still, and always important:

Did you know that April is a lot of different months relating to sexuality? One of them happens to be National Get Yourself Tested Month, and I think everyone should be celebrating!

How? It’s easy! Head on over to www.GYTnow.org for information, coupons, ways of find places near by you and more. Whether you’re single, in multiple relationships, sleeping with lots of folks, or in a monogamous relationship, you should know your status regarding STIs. Being “Clean” has nothing to do with whether or not you have a sexually transmitted infection; 75-80% of sexually active Americans have or have had an STI at some point. That’s the majority — it’s OK to have an STI, but you need to know so a) you can get treated either to cure it or help the symptoms (depending whether it is bacterial or viral) and b) so you can make decisions along with your partner(s) about what type of safer sex you’d like to be having. It’s really tough to make those decisions and have those conversations if you don’t even know where you stand.

So whether you choose to head over to Planned Parenthood, your local STI clinic, your primary care physician, your gynecologist, your country health center, your campus clinic, etc, I commend you for taking the first step to power- knowledge. If you need cheap, free or sliding scale testing, it is out there. Take the plunge and get a full panel; find out where you stand so you can then take control of your sexual health and wellness to make decisions that are good for you, as well as for past, present and future partners.

Step up, and make a change!

Shanna

Jul 202011
 

If you haven’t heard about the latest study suggesting that health care should offer birth control, contraception, sterilization (voluntary) and preventative exams at NO cost to the recipient, it’s possible you haven’t been on the internet in the last few days.

This study is new, but the concept is not. Most other countries offer birth control and contraception free to all of their citizens. Why?

*Lower rates of teen pregnancy

*Lower rates of unwanted pregnancy (which means less abortions and less adoptions/kids put in the foster care system)

*Higher rates of healthy births (having too many pregnancies close to each other can cause more issues with live births)

*Healthier, happier citizens

*Lower rates of DV triggered by unwanted pregnancies/children that couples cannot afford

Basically, it’s just silly that we don’t already offer this. For those of you not on birth control or contraception, you may not realize how quickly the costs can add up. I am “lucky” enough to have insurance, yet my Nuva Ring costs $35 per month. That is over $400 a year. This is a big investment for me — I cannot imagine having to put $400 towards birth control if I was working a minimum wage job…and if you are no insured, it can cost over $100 A MONTH for certain types of birth control. For folks who don’t have much disposable income, birth control and contraception isn’t at the top of their lists; usually food, rent, and utilities top off their lists.

By providing completely covered birth control, contraception and equally important preventative exams, we can significantly cut down on unwanted pregnancies, increase healthy live birth rates, and discover cancers and STIs waaaaay earlier. The fact that we don’t already do this seems ludicrous to me. Even if this isn’t something that would directly affect you personally, or even anyone in your group of friends and family, this is something that will be a positive impact on literally MILLIONS of people. Please, take a moment to sign this petition towards making this a reality.

Click here to sign the no co-pay petition!

Thanks,

 

Shanna

Jun 272011
 

Today is National HIV Testing Day. It is estimated that one in five folks living with HIV is not yet aware of that yet, and that 40% of people aren’t diagnosed until symptoms have progressed to AIDS.

HIV testing is cheap (and often free, especially if you go to a local clinic/non-profit), quick and confidential. Why wouldn’t you want to know your status? Knowledge is power, and knowing your status (as well as the status of your partner/partners) gives you power over your own sexual health and wellness.

So why not hop over to your local Planned Parenthood, STI clinic, HIV/AIDS outreach group, or Doctor’s office, and get yourself tested today…or tomorrow…or any time in the near future. Give yourself more power.

Plus, it doesn’t have to be an “icky” experience. If you are partnered, make it a date. Go get tested together, and then grab some ice cream, or check out a movie, or go for a walk. If you’re going on your own, celebrate taking charge of your sexual wellness after testing by treating yourself to a cupcake, or a dip in a pool.

HIV is not a death sentence, but you cannot manage it if you don’t know that you have it. Be good to yourself, to your current, past and future partners, and take the step to gain the knowledge and the power of knowing your status.

Happy National HIV Testing Day!

-Shanna