By EZ Breezy
How’s your junk doing? Seriously, think about it for a second. When was the last time you made it to a healthcare professional to get your genitals prodded, poked, inspected and swabbed? “But EZ Breezy,” you might find yourself saying, “my junk is magical junk. No STIs are getting up in this business.” More likely, you’ll defend your (more or less) flawless use of barrier methods or selective choice of partners as your stalwart defence against microscopic beasties. Alas, if you are a sexually active adult human, you have about a 50 per cent chance of being incorrect on that front. That’s right, my cootie-incubating friends, up to half of all people will be diagnosed with some type of sexually transmitted infection in their lifetime.
The number of new infections per year follows a fairly steady upward trend, and it’s largely because we are not getting tested with enough frequency. Around half of adults aged 18 to 44 have never been tested for any sexually-related illnesses with the exception of HIV. Many people only request full screening if they’ve had a partner who tested positive or feel something “off” in or around their privates. Since most sexually transmitted infections often display subtle symptoms or none at all, this bodes ill for penises and vaginas everywhere. So, motherfuckers, listen up. Since whatever PSAs and health classes taught you clearly didn’t stick, I offer this brief STI primer as a gentle reminder to see a doctor about a swab.
Chlamydia: A friend of mine once oh-so-charmingly referred to Chlamydia as the “common cold of the dick.” This is because, as one of the most common and easily treatable STIs, it poses little relative danger to your parts—with early detection.
Symptoms: likely none, to begin with. There may be some burning when urinating or unusual discharge in both sexes. For women, prolonged infection is likely to result in Pelvic Inflammatory Disorder (PID), which can cause long-term pain and severe fertility issues. In men, complications are rare (lucky fuckers). Still, in some cases, infections can result in failure to produce offspring.
Genital Herpes: This virus has infected as many as one in seven Canadians. Several friends of mine call glitter the “herpes of the craft world” because you can’t get rid of it. I only hang out with people who use creative STI metaphors, you see.
Symptoms: For about 90 per cent of infected individuals, symptoms never present or are so mild they are mistakenly attributed to more innocuous conditions. In other cases, blisters and sores of varying severity present on or around the sex organs.
Syphilis: It’s not just for your 1800s prostitutes, you know. The myriad batshit crazy symptoms of syphilis include, but are not limited to, making you batshit crazy.
Symptoms: Infection first presents a small, painless sore or ulcer. If undetected, syphilis will proceed through the secondary and tertiary phases of the illness, with fun symptoms like rashes, hair loss, paralysis, and blindness. Luckily, this bastard can be treated by the miracle of modern antibiotics.
Now, this is obviously by no means a comprehensive list. There are many more ways these and other diseases, like gonorrhoea, HIV, HPV, and trichomoniasis have it out for your junk. So, on behalf of all partners past, present, and future, go to the damn clinic.AB, Alberta, BC, British Columbia, Chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhoea, HIV, HPV, sexual health, sexually transmitted infections, STI, STIs, syphilis, trichomoniasis