November 5, 2018 10:40 ET | By: Tiffany Mensah & Salena Araya
So, you’ve just found out you have a sexually transmitted infection (STI).As you go through the motions, you may start feeling like you are the only person
to go through this and may feel isolated among your friends and family.
We want you to know that you are NOT alone.
Despite the silence surrounding this topic, STIs are extremely common – there were over 2.2 million reported cases in the US in 2017. In fact, the CDC says that STI rates have been increasing and are at a record high in the US. So chances are you’re not the only person - statistically, you’re definitely not alone!
Now what comes next? Well, the answer is varies according to your diagnosis. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, Trichomonas, and Syphilis are currently curable through a regimen of antibiotics. It is better to seek treatment NOW rather than later.
If your diagnosed STI is not curable, such as Hepatitis B, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV or hperes), HIV and Human Papillomavirus (HPV), it is still important for you to seek medical guidance and treatment. These diseases may have serious consequences beyond the immediate impact of the infection itself.
But who should you go to? If you have insurance, going to your primary care doctor is an option. If you don’t, local clinics and organizations near you may offer treatment – sometimes for free or on a sliding scale.
One organization in Atlanta is working hard to increase access to affordable treatment, as well as raise awareness surrounding STI’s. Empowerment Resource Center (ERC) is centrally located on Peachtree Street across from the Peachtree Center MARTA station and next door to Georgia State’s campus, making it accessible to virtually anyone. With a fully operational clinic carrying state-of-the-art equipment, the agency boasts a boutique-like experience that operates on the ideals of “privacy, confidentiality, and individuality” services.
Coming to terms with your diagnosis can be emotionally and mentally draining. Seeking peace with your newly found diagnosis is also very important. Thus, seeking treatment might not be your only priority. If you’re having a tough time, support groups provide a safe space for open discussion and can be a great way to meet new people.
By no means is this meant to be a wholistic plan for how you should personally deal with your STI diagnosis, but if there’s anything to take away from
1. You Are Not Alone.
2. You Are Not Your Sexually Transmitted Infection.
3. Take Care Of Yourself and Seek Treatment Immediately.
If you would like to talk to someone about creating a plan for yourself and get treatment or if you want to get tested to learn your STI and HIV status, then call us at 404.526.1148! We will answer any question you may have and help you in any way we can.