"If I’m in the military and have an STD, I’ll get in trouble with my command."
Not true, say most military health care providers. Commanding officers have access to medical records, but the mindset these days is to treat and contain the disease, not punish the servicemember.
“In the past, we used to punish sailors for having STDs, but from a preventative medical standpoint, that was counterproductive,”
U.S. 7th Fleet Preventive Health Officer Cmdr. Eric Kasowski said. “We want them treated, and we want them ready. We try hard not to stigmatize it too much to keep sailors from being treated. We teach and enforce avoidance — and it seems to work pretty well.”
Technically, you can get in trouble if the infection is the result of policy infractions such as being in an off-limits club, said Lt. Col. Marie Price, the Army’s 18th Medical Command chief public health promotion coordinator in South Korea.
Being away from Family does not increase chances of STD for it is the attitude and mindset.
This holds for Military personnel all around the world; be in Iraq, Afghanistan or Military bases like Diego Garcia.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are common all around the world. Bacteria, viruses or parasites may cause them. You may think that only other people get STIs and that you are not at risk of catching one, but anybody who is sexually active can get an STI if they do not practice safe sex.
What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
STDs are diseases that are passed from one person to another through sexual contact. These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), syphilis, and HIV. Many of these STDs do not show symptoms for a long time. Even without symptoms, they can still be harmful and passed on during sex.
How are STDs spread?
You can get an STD by having vaginal, anal or oral sex with someone who has an STD. Anyone who is sexually active can get an STD. You don’t even have to “go all the way” (have anal or vaginal sex) to get an STD. This is because some STDs, like herpes and HPV, are spread by skin-to-skin contact.
How common are STDs?
STDs are common, especially among young people. There are about 20 million new cases of STDs each year in the United States. Nearly half of these infections are in people between the ages of 15 and 24. Young people are at higher risk of getting an STD for several reasons:
Young women’s bodies are biologically more prone to STDs.
Some young people do not get the recommended STD tests.
Many young people are hesitant to talk openly and honestly with a doctor or nurse about their sex lives.
Not having insurance or transportation can make it more difficult for young people to access STD testing.
Some young people have more than one sex partner.
What can I do to protect myself?
The surest way to protect yourself against STDs is not to have sex. That means not having any vaginal, anal, or oral sex (“abstinence”). There are many things to consider before having sex. It’s okay to say “no” if you don’t want to have sex.
If you do decide to have sex, you and your partner should get tested for STDs beforehand. Make sure that you and your partner use a condom from start to finish every time you have oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Know where to get condoms and how to use them correctly. It is not safe to stop using condoms unless you’ve both been tested for STDs, know your results, and are in a mutually monogamous relationship.
Mutual monogamy means that you and your partner both agree only to have sexual contact with each other. This can help protect against STDs, as long as you’ve both been tested and know you’re STD-free.
Before you have sex, talk with your partner about how you will prevent STDs and pregnancy. If you think you’re ready to have sex, you need to be prepared to protect your body. You should also talk to your partner ahead of time about what you will and will not do sexually. Your partner should always respect your right to say no to anything that doesn’t feel right.
Make sure you get the health care you need. Ask a doctor or nurse about STD testing and vaccines against HPV and hepatitis B.
Girls and young women may have extra needs to protect their reproductive health. Talk to your doctor or nurse about regular cervical cancer screening, and chlamydia and gonorrhea testing. You may also want to discuss unintended pregnancy and birth control.
Avoid mixing alcohol and recreational drugs with sex. If you use alcohol and drugs, you are more likely to take risks, like not using a condom or having sex with someone you usually wouldn’t have sex with.