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I feel dirty and irresponsible because of genital herpes

fairies asks:

I'm 20 and have been with my partner for about two and a half years. We have a great relationship and are happy together. However, two years ago, when we first started sleeping together, I contracted genital herpes, even though we used condoms. I was a virgin before I slept with him so I knew it had come from him. I was angry and upset but he kept telling me he had tested clean at his last STI check and couldn't understand that he must have it. When we went to the GUM clinic (together) they confirmed that I had herpes but told me that they don't test for herpes unless there are symptoms present. Therefore when my boyfriend had his previous check-up (symptom free) he tested clean for everything they test for and then went on to sleep with me. My boyfriend was upset that I was blaming him and was tested again for everything they test for to prove to me he wasn't lying when he told me he was clean. He was negative for everything they tested him for....except like last time, they didn't test for Herpes and told him they didn't test for it unless there were symptoms, which there wasn't. He says he doesn't remember ever having symptoms hence why he's never had a physical check for it. I KNOW I didn't do anything wrong, and neither did my boyfriend, but I feel so bad about myself. I feel like I should have done something before we slept together, but I don't know what. I asked him to make sure he was clean: he did. We had no idea that they didn't do standard tests for herpes.

How do I stop feeling dirty and like I was irresponsible?

When you use the pill, do you still have to use condoms?

Kori_Sanchez asks:

I'm and 18 years old and have been having sex for a year and been on the pill for about a year. I take my birth control like a ritual at the same time every day (the combination pill). Sometime my boyfriend and I don't use a condom in the beginning to get him hard then we always put one on. My question is, when on the pill do you absolutely have to use condoms? They say that every time you have sex you NEED to use a condom. I know it is the most effective way, but I thought that the one of the points of the pill is so you don't need to use a condom.

I need to better understand how condoms can protect me from STIs.

fox asks:

I'm unclear on how condoms are supposed to be effective in preventing female-to-male contamination during "plain" sex, I mean insertion of the penis into the vagina. Let me explain.

Latex is an effective barrier to virii and germs. I get that. As far as protecting the woman is concerned, I've no trouble believing it works. The STD virii or germs are present in the semen and/or pre-cum; these are "emprisoned" by the condom, don't get out, and don't get into contact with any part of the anatomy of the woman. She's protected. The sweat of the man does not contain these virii or germs and thus no risk with the rest of the skin-to-skin contact. But in the other direction, I don't quite get it.

What Safer Sex Isn't

Maybe you know what safer sex is. But do you also know what it isn't? Take a minute and fact-check your ideas about what can protect you from STIs and what cannot.

Love the Glove: 10 Reasons to Use Condoms You Might Not Have Heard Yet

You've probably heard or thought some things about condom use that might be keeping you or others from using them or from using them consistently, and I'm willing to bet you haven't heard everything I'm about to say. Even if you're already using condoms and using them every single time properly, I bet you know someone -- a sibling, a friend, a sexual partner -- who could stand to hear ten great reasons to use condoms.

I Guess You Just Have to Be Prepared to Die!

That's the verbatim response to the question "What if I want to have sex before I get married?" in "No Second Chance," a film that is part of Sex Respect, an abstinence-only program. Sex Respect has a host of other special and oh-so-factual messages for you in their student workbook, including such sparkly gems as:

"A young man's natural desire for sex is already strong due to testosterone...females are becoming culturally conditioned to fantasize about sex as well." (p. 11) Did you know that without cultural conditioning, women don't have any desire for sex? Of course you did. Did you know that women don't have any testosterone in our bodies, too? Note: neither of these things are true. But you knew that already.

"A guy who wants to respect girls is distracted by sexy clothes and remembers her for one thing. Is it fair that guys are turned on by their senses and women by their hearts?" (p. 94) So, when it comes to sex, men don't have emotions and women do

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Periods and flushing?

stina54 asks:

Hi, I'm 14-years old and I have a few questions.
1) OK so I first got my period about a year and a half ago, but they come really randomly. When is it probably going to develop a pattern?
2) So last night I had an itch, so I scratched my vagina. A few minutes later I realized that about a half hour earlier, when I went to the bathroom, I flushed the toilet AFTER I washed my hands. Earlier that day, there was a teenage guy over my house that probably did use that bathroom. I also live with my teenage brother and he always uses that bathroom. Is it possible that I could have gotten an STD or even pregnant? I'm really scared and I'm freaking out right now.

Ejaculation in Eye

ramon1988 asks:

Hi my name is Ramon. My question is: Me and my boyfriend were masturbating and the time of ejaculation, it shot into his eye. We rinsed it out and he doesn't have pain anymore, but it does seem to be a bit swollen. What should we do?

Chlamydia on the Rise, Particularly for People of Color

From the Kaiser Health Disparities Report: A Weekly Look At Race, Ethnicity And Health:

Blacks were disproportionately affected by sexually transmitted infection rates in 2007, including chlamydia rates that reached a record high and syphilis rates that increased for the seventh consecutive year, according to a CDC report released on Tuesday, Reuters Health reports (Dunham, Reuters Health, 1/13).

Read more...

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