If you are reading this blog post, congratulations! You just passed the virginity test required not to read this. You should stop reading after this full-stop. Still here? I meant that! Well, I do understand your sinful nature, the fault of Eve(Oops! feminazis are triggered). Kiddiiiiiing!
This is the last heart to heart sex-talk your teacher was so shit scared to teach you in the boring 2-hour plus biology class you’ve had in the past 8 years or so.
This here is Raw IS wAR: The Tao Of STI Wokeness. Yeah, I still couldn’t come up with a better subtitle. A bummer!
A true story
8 years ago before I learned all the social science and art of medical ethics, I sat quietly behind this damsel at a medical laboratory centre. She had quite nice silky hair for a Ghanaian girl. Well, knowing myself, my testicles were bursting with spurts of testosterone to do a gentle tap on her shoulder, and give the classic fake line, “Hi you look familiar”. Then something happened…
Sorry to bust your chops, I’m not continuing this story. Perhaps skip to the next 3 paragraphs or so. No shit, let’s hear this!
She turned around after I did a poor attempt at a shoulder tap. To my utter shock and let me say disgust, Miss Silky had a burst of oral herpes all over her lips and swollen lymph nodes. I wanted to scream, “Everlasting mother of Jesus!”. Okay, that was an exaggeration. But dammit it was scarring.
If you are reading this, you might be pulling off this whole moral shenanigan of being a religious purist and probably fool others but heck, under the masquerade, you are probably having a ton of sex, or say a little, or definitely know someone who knows another dude/chick who takes part in a Sense-8 final scene-themed-orgy bareback.
Let’s face facts, people have sex. And it’s probably nicer than chilled ice cream without rubber I heard. Come on, if it wasn’t, Clinton wouldn’t risk his status for a quickie. Just ask Ghengis Khan. Alpha!
I am not here to be a judge. Maybe I do have sex, yes a ton in my dreams – gospel truth! That’s a fat lie.
A slap of reality:
A few years ago, I would have said, just like a good friend of mine; Sid will say “HIV is a myth”. Well, I wallowed in this dumb innuendo, until I started my clinical years and realized the world is no place to fuck with.
Wait a minute, throw your self-righteous self away for the duration of this blog post. If you get pissed, check the email session and send me an apology letter.
A Real Scare:
It still feels like yesterday when my world came to a standstill after I hang up on a call with a former girlfriend who told me she once had genital warts from a past lover. Tears run down my eyes as I began to imagine my amazing penis swelling into a watermelon-sized tumour, and a bunch of surgeons sawing my weenie off.
While I will commend the efforts of textbooks and social media on their abysmal take on sexual health education, what is truly lacking is real life data on the prevalence of STI’s(what are the chances of catching an infection/disease in real life if you keep sticking your weenie in every nth woman’s nether-realm unprotected?), what getting it looks like, living with it and the big defacto- whether curable or not. This is what I aim to do with this blog post.
Fasten your seatbelts, let’s talk about some Sexually Transmitted Infections/Diseases.
Living with It: Damn Stressful
Prevalence in Ghana: As of 2016, there 293,804 people living with HIV in Ghana. Check this link for more facts on this.
If all STI/Ds were part of the Justice League, HIV might be Kal El or maybe Batman- make a choice.
Let’s be honest, the last thing you would consider while drooling over that hot stud/chick is their HIV status. While HIV isn’t the death sentence it once used to be, here in Africa, stigmatization is one hell of a headache to deal with sadly. You are more likely to die from depression than the disease itself. What you probably didn’t know is, there are two main subtypes of HIV(HIV-1 and HIV-2). HIV-1 is more virulent than subtype 2, with HIV-1 having rapid progression to AIDS. Where this whole thing takes a shitty turn is, an infected person could be in the asymptomatic phase and show no symptoms at all.
Damn the statistics and data, if the heat of passion, has flawed the noble likes of Sampson and David, who the hell do you think you are to whip out advanced algebra skills to calculate your odds of catching the virus.
Yes, that slay queen wetting your pants could have a ton of viruses taking a sabbatical and she would have no hint. Talking of sabbaticals, remember how Pep Guardiola came back so strong to smash EPL records and win the title, these little bastards called viruses got same Blaugrana DNA bro! Don’t take chances!
Route of Infection: I assume you’ve heard all the ways you can get HIV. But let’s talk some real talk here: Anal sex(So I heard this is the new “ish” amongst Ghanaian youth these days). Ayekoo! Anal sex carries the highest risk of exposure! I can’t stress how much I love you: please read this important pdf and map out your risks! P04-14p53.risk_transmission
Symptoms during the early stages of the infection(seroconversion stage) may include fever, flu-like illness, lymphadenopathy(swollen lymph nodes) and rash.
With a steady decline of your immune function over several years, you are prone to opportunistic infections(TB and the likes).
Good news: With groundbreaking scientific research, antiretroviral drugs and treatments are available. Most people who contract it are able to live mostly functional, and normal lives. Eliminating all conspiracy theories, there could be a vaccine in the pipelines, however, you just might not survive till then if you keep up your rampant unprotected sexcapades.
Condom Protects?- YES! Use a damn condom if you are into hookups or stay celibate or get tested regularly with a partner if you are into candy sex!
Living with it: Extremely Uncomfortable.
Come on, you’ve probably heard of Gono, right? I mean even the popular Tv character; Pusha had it in Things We Do For Love. How did that show ever end?
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial sexually transmitted Infection caused by Neisseria gonorrhoeae. It is usually spread through unprotected sex(vaginal or anal) with an infected person, oral action (giving head/ going down) without protection and sharing sex toys.
It isn’t uncommon to spread Gonorrhoea from a pregnant woman to a baby(ophthalmia neonatorum). Are you well versed in the art of receiving cumshots? You aren’t far from catching bacterial conjunctivitis.
Symptoms: Around half of women and 1 in 10 men with genital gonorrhoea won’t have any obvious signs or symptoms.
For men, some of the symptoms include an unusual discharge(pus) from the tip of the penis, burning sensation when peeing and occasional pain in the testicles.
For women, an unusual vaginal discharge which may be thin or watery, yellow or green. Pain when passing urine, lower abdominal pain or tenderness and rarely, bleeding between periods or heavier periods.
In terms of treatment, there’s good and bad news.
Good news: Gonorrhea can be treated with antibiotics.
Bad news: There is an increase in antibiotic-resistant cases of gonorrhoea. A worrying sign of the very real threat, antibiotic resistance is posing to the treatment of infections. Before you freak out, resistant strains are fairly uncommon.
Condom Protects: Yes!!! Strap on
Living with It: Uncomfortable. If you are a woman, consequences are shitty
Curable: Yes ( takes few days to weeks to clear up with treatment)
We can’t talk about Gonorrhoea and not talk of its little brother Chlamydia which is common among young people. Chlamydia is a bacterial infection caused by C. trachomatis. Just like Gonnorrhoea, its spread through unprotected sexual intercourse(peno-vaginal, anal and oral). Thing is not many people will show symptoms of the infection yet can infect others.
Symptoms: In guys, your pee will burn, the opening to your wheelie might itch and your balls might ache. Usually, a cloudy fluid drips from the tip of the penis(no need to freak out! It could be seminal fluid spurting from your prostate with repeated abdominal contraction from, say, constipation).
- For women, symptoms could include vaginal discharge which could have an offensive smell, pain during intercourse and burning pee.
- Unfortunately for women, close to 70% will be asymptomatic(show no signs) and this leads to major complications including Pelvic Inflammatory Disease(PID) which could lead to infertility if left untreated. Hey, Grandma wants grandchildren!
I would recommend, my dear ladies, to screen for Chlamydia at least once a year. See your doctor, get tested, and make sure both partners are treated.
Condom Protects: Yes! Hey, the only way you aren’t getting chlamydia is not having sex. Can you do that? If that’s a resounding No, condoms are just 2gh. Less than your Tithe!
Living with it: Errr… A wide spectrum of cosmetic embarrassment to awkward explanations to cancers.
Curable: No! But yeah, your body can get rid of the virus.
If you have gotten this far in this STI Bible, you probably stumbled across the story of my ex-HPV girlfriend whose past lover graced her genitals with warts several years before we met. HPV is the most common sexually transmitted infection (STI). Just in case you didn’t know, HPV is the notorious virus that causes Cervical Cancer, and oh, throat cancer too.
I know several tafriski warriors(guys who don’t hesitate to go down on women) would be freaking out by now.
Calm your tits! There are over 100 strains of HPV viruses. The low-risk strains (6 and 11) cause about 90% of genital warts which rarely develop into cancer. And then, the high-risk strains (16 and 18) which cause 70% of cervical cancer.
- HPV is most commonly spread during vaginal or anal sex. It can be passed even when an infected person shows no signs or symptoms.
- Anyone who is sexually active can get HPV, even if you have had sex with only one person. You also can develop symptoms years after you have sex with someone who is infected. This makes it hard to know when you first became infected.
- The good thing is your immune can fight off the infection and clear it in two years tops. If it doesn’t, then you could get genital warts: which usually appear as small bumps or a group of bumps, which could be raised, flat, or cauliflower-shaped on the vulva, on the penis, anus, mouth, groin, thigh etc.
How do I know I have HPV? There’s no single lab test to find your “HPV status”. Also, there is no approved HPV test to find HPV in the mouth or throat. However, there are HPV tests that can be used to screen for cervical cancer. These tests are only recommended for screening in women aged 30 years and older.
I have bad and superbad news for you. Which do you want to hear first? Miney Minnie Moe…
Bad news: Most people with HPV do not know they are infected and never develop symptoms or health problems from it. Some people find out they have HPV when they get genital warts. Women may find out they have HPV when they get an abnormal Pap smear test result (during cervical cancer screening). Others may only find out once they’ve developed more serious problems from HPV, such as cancers.
Super Bad news: Condom Protects?: Not entirely. HPV spreads by skin-to-skin contact. HPV can infect areas not covered by a condom – so condoms may not fully protect against getting HPV.
Good news: Get vaccinated. HPV vaccines are safe and effective in protecting against diseases (including cancers) caused by HPV when given in the recommended age groups.
The three FDA-approved HPV vaccines on the market include Gardasil, Cervarix, Gardasil-9. please see for more info: http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/hpv-vaccine-genital-warts-and-cervical-cancer
Who should get vaccinated?
CDC recommends 11 to 12-year-olds get two doses of HPV vaccine to protect against cancers caused by HPV. For more information on the recommendations, please see: https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd/hpv/public/index.html
ORAL SEX, HPV AND ORAL CANCER:
To be very honest, I’m lost with regards as to where the sudden pressure to deliver sensational cunnilingus came from. Too much porn? Social media? For the love of God, Allah or whoever you worship, don’t go dishing out oral services. It’s fucking dangerous!
Throat cancer, also known as oropharyngeal cancer, refers to tumours that occur in the tonsils, base of the tongue and upper throat. Smoking and alcohol use have been associated with risk factors, but in recent years throat cancers related to the sexually transmitted virus human papillomavirus (HPV) have been on the rise
With barely not much data in Ghana concerning oral cancer, in the US previous research found HPV fueled a , amounting for an additional 10,000 U.S. cases each year.
Dr Eric Genden, Professor and Chair of Otolaryngology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York City said HPV-related throat cancers are now more common in men than cervical cancer — which is caused by the same virus — in women. These cancers are also more commonly found in younger populations, adults between ages 40 and 65, a group typically younger than those affected by smoking-related throat cancers.
People who are developing throat cancer now likely had gotten HPV more than 10 or 15 years earlier, Genden pointed out.
– (CBS News)
Hi Lifehacker, glad you made it to the end of Volume 1 of RAW IS WAR. Hopefully, you’ve learnt something worthy.
Let me state emphatically, abstinence is the best form of protection.
Can we really end this blog post without an epic quote from the demi-god slayer of women- Hank Moody? Hell no!
USE PROTECTION, GET TESTED REGULARLY!
Have any questions troubling your mind? Drop it in the comment section and I surely will respond asap. Don’t forget to like this blog post, subscribe to the blog and most importantly help someone not catch an STI – share!