Thursday, July 18, 2019

Health with Tess: Catch infections early, not late

March 20, 2019 by Tess Syrowik, contributing writer

I was recently listening to a podcast on how people will take great measures to avoid bad news. One of the examples given was that 20 percent of college students in a study paid $10 to not be told whether or not they had herpes, despite having all of the testing already complete. Shocking, right? Isn’t it better to know that information, that small detail that not only impacts you but also, potentially, others? 

Health with Tess is a column about health issues; it appears in every issue of Nexus.

Anyway, it got me thinking. I don’t know what your Planning 10 Sex Ed was like, but mine consisted only of gross pictures of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) at late stages. The thing is, late stages of any infection that has not been treated are a heck of a lot worse than the initial part of the infection, and STIs aren’t going to go away on their own.

Take pneumonia, for example. It’s a lung infection, and you’ve already had it for a few weeks by the time you start to feel the effects of it. The initial two to three weeks of the infection barely show, but people can die from it. Infections are nothing (something?) to sneeze at and it’s just smart living to avoid them when possible, curing them sooner versus later when they have not been avoided. Whether it’s a lung infection or a sexual infection, living without suffering from it is always the better alternative.

What are your resources on campus? Well, a branch of Island Sexual Health pops up at Lansdowne every Thursday between September and April from 12 to 4 on the third floor of the Richmond House.

Other places to get checked out include off-campus branches of Island Sexual Health and any walk-in clinic.

If you are sexually active, and especially if you have unprotected sex, it’s important to make sure you are taking good care of your sexual health. Use protection, and get yourself checked out. Catching an infection early will save you so much discomfort down the line. 

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