Having sex can be fun, but talking about sexually transmitted infections with a sexual partner is a totally different matter, according to a new research.
The study from Indiana University’s Center for Sexual Health Promotion, to be discussed during the American Public Health Association’s annual meeting, found a disconnect between the public health messages that promote STI testing as a way to prevent STIs such as HIV and chlamydia and the conversations -- or lack of them -- occurring in bedrooms.
“Talking to partners about STIs is an important conversation to have,” Margo Mullinax, lead researcher for “Talk about testing: What sexual partners discuss in relation to STI status and why,” said.
“However, findings from this study suggest public health campaigns need to promote specific messages, concrete tips and tools around sexual health conversations stratified by relationship status. Campaigns should also address STI stigma and promote messages of normalcy with regard to talking about STIs,” Mullinax said.
STIs, if untreated, can lead to a range of health problems including infertility, so a growing public health emphasis has been on preventing STIs through testing.
Mullinax said little was known, however, about how STI testing figured into actual conversations between lovers, particularly among the college-age crowd that accounts for a disproportionate number of new STI cases nationwide.