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Posted By iamincontrol | February 27, 2014
I lost my virginity after my friends did. I was 16 and I pressured myself into having sex with someone I didn’t care about, just to lose my virginity, just to fit in with my friends. If I could take that night back, I would.
All of my friends were hooking up casually with guys each weekend. I didn’t want to feel different, so, giving into internal peer pressure to conform, I decided to hook up with someone too. I didn’t like the person emotionally or romantically. I barely knew him, but I did it anyways.
Afterwards, I was sad. I felt used and upset with myself. Because I saw my friends hooking up with people each weekend, I thought that was normal. Losing my virginity so young and by someone I didn’t care about began and continued a string of causal sexual partners, having sex with someone just to make myself feel good. But afterwards, it never made me feel good. It made me feel worse about myself. I internally thought that the acts of sleeping with someone would boost my self-confidence. I was very wrong. It made me feel worse, and I was caught in a circle of casual sex and self-hatred.
I have learned to take the act of having sex very seriously. The risks of STIs and pregnancy are a real threat, and my self-esteem is worth more to me than a random hook up with a person. If I could take back that night, I would. Making love with a person, who you care about and who cares about you, is priceless. That is what I wish I would have waited for.
Posted By iamincontrol | November 28, 2013
In most middle schools or high schools there is a short unit in health class about STIs (or STDs), but why pay any more attention than just to get notes for an upcoming test or quiz? STIs only happen to other people, right?
Every year, 20 million new STIs occur and ½ of all of those are among youth—people just like you. No one is immune to STIs (unless you are remaining abstinent), and you may not always know if you have contracted an STI. Many STIs have no signs or symptoms at all, so people may not even know that they are spreading them.
As an 18 year old going-to-be college freshman I was bombarded with everything that I should have listened to in my high school health class. I had been with my boyfriend for a little over year when I found out I had contracted an STI. He was the only person I had been with so I thought that I was safe, but unfortunately I was not the only person he had been with. Although this was a very discouraging and upsetting time in my life, I took the opportunity as a learning experience and now have worked hard to educate those around me about having a healthy sexual lifestyle.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has multiple resources for learning about STIs, prevention, and testing options. You can also check out IAMincontrol’s post, STIs – Am I Really at Risk? to learn more about what you can do to prevent STIs. Take control of your health and protect yourself from something that can easily be prevented.
Posted By iamincontrol | October 24, 2013
HIV? I don’t have to worry about that. I’m young, I’m healthy and that is only for people in places like Africa.
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) is a virus spread through blood, semen (cum), pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), vaginal fluids, and breast milk. People can become infected with HIV by sexual contact, intervenes drug use, or pregnancy/childbirth. HIV is the virus that can lead to AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome).
One in four new HIV infections occurs in people ages 13-24! Sixty percent of all youth with HIV don’t know they’re infected, so they are unknowingly infecting others. The greatest number of infections occurs among gay and bisexual youth. But, it’s important for us to know that HIV doesn’t just occur in LGBTQ youth. 86% of young females and 6% of young males got HIV through heterosexual sex. African-Americans have high rates of HIV infection at 60%, followed by Hispanics/Latinos and Whites at 20% each. Youth with an existing STD are at greater risk for developing HIV.
So what can you do to protect yourself?
Posted By iamincontrol | September 26, 2013
What is HPV?
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is a family of viruses that commonly infect the genital area and lining of the cervix. HPV causes cervical cancer in women, as well as other oral and genital warts and cancers in BOTH men and women. HPV is very common; affecting approximately 79 million people in the United States. Almost all sexually active people get HPV at some point in their life, but most never know they have been infected.
How common is it?
In Iowa each year, 105 women will develop invasive cervical cancer and 36 women will die from this disease. Nationwide, about 17,000 women get cancer that is linked with HPV, with cervical cancer being the most common. Around 9,000 men get an HPV-associated cancer, and the most common are cancers of the back of throat, tongue, and tonsils. HPV can also cause cancers of the vulva and vagina in women, cancer of the penis in men, and cancer of the anus in women and men. This translates to an estimated 262 Iowans diagnosed with an HPV-associated cancer yearly.
So what can you do?
Posted By iamincontrol | August 29, 2013
While growing up, your parents tell you to make smart decisions and remind you to do your best to avoid peer pressure. Unfortunately, most of us take this opinion with a grain of salt. I feel that our life is directly correlated with the advice our parents give us growing up and how we react to it. Sadly, not as many parents were as thorough as my own when it came to advice and guidance, especially when it came to safe sex.
In 2011, I graduated with 124 other classmates from a high school in western Iowa. When commencement rolled around and we were officially “free” from school, I knew of two female classmates who were soon-to-be parents. Today, exactly 26 months later, I know of 16 female classmates who are parents. There are also 11 known fathers in my graduating class and at least two other “men” denying a potential child. These numbers make a grand total of almost 30 of my 124 classmates as parents.
My friend Sarah found out in October 2011 that she was going to be a mom. Being in college and paying for tuition by herself, Sarah was nothing short of devastated. She was constantly worrying about what people would think, what people would say, and most importantly – who would leave her. After she realized she was going to have a baby, most of Sarah’s closest friends abandoned her, telling her she really screwed up their social life with this baby.