omfg, like, have you been vaccinated?

 A handful of years back, Gardasil, a  vaccination for HPV—the human papilloma virus, the most common STD around—came on the market, available in a series of three shots. For anyone unaware, HPV is pretty terrifying as it can cause things like genital warts and (dun dun dun) cervical cancer! The shot was recommended by doctors to teen and college-aged girls.

For men, HPV can (but rarely does) cause genital warts but the biggest issue is that it is undetectable in men, and therefore they easily spread HPV to their ladyfriends as they are unaware they have it. Eeep! So thank goodness that now HPV vaccinations are being recommended for teenage boys! While the vaccine has been available for boys for a while, it is only somewhat recently that it’s becoming a normal recommendation. This kind of practice is called herd immunity—vaccinating one segment of a population to protect another.

Honestly though, I am on the fence about the vaccination only because it’s new and I worry 15 years from now all these teen girls will start having babies with scales or two sets of sex organs. BUT I suppose it’s a risk some may be willing to take to prevent genital warts and cervical cancer! A look at this terrifying statistic backs that up: while teens and young adults represent only a quarter of the sexually active population, they account for half of the new STD cases every year.

Teenagers have that whole “I’m invincible!” vibe, and therefore do stupid things like get drunk and go “car surfing” and have unprotected sex, actions which end up in deaths, pregnancies and STDs. Except not me—when I was a teenager my boyfriend was so terrified of me getting pregnant we used condoms (which he nicknamed “Weapons of Mass Destruction”), AND I was on birth control, AND he always pulled out…He wasn’t worried about STDs because we were both so fresh and so clean (clean), but whenever I had a headache/stomach ache/cold he always asked if I was pregnant.

Anyways, quick, tell me your thoughts on stds, HPV, Gardasil or the sex you had in high school. Go!

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Poppin Pills Like Mentos (photo by Ambro)

Wickity wack! My dad just emailed me telling me I should go back on birth control (gasp!) because it no longer requires a co-pay!

Way to go Health Care of America! As a preventative health care issue, birth control AND the morning after pill will be covered by insurance! All health insurance companies will be required to do this! While this new regulation won’t go into effect until January of 2013, it is still an awesome triumph for our health care system and will help prevent a ton of pregnancies for those who could otherwise not afford birth control.

Of course, there will always be haters. Some are pissed that of all medications to no longer require a co-pay, birth control is the one getting all the glory. While I do think those people should untwist their panties, I also think that now that birth control will be easier to aquire, school systems should amp up their sex ed classes. I had a room mate in COLLEGE who did not realize that birth control does not protect HIV and STDS. (I made her a seriously disgusting STD slideshow and bought her a family-sized pack of rubbers…what an oxymoron that is!)

Another peculiar thing is that my dad was the one telling me to go back on the pill. Why? Because it’s free! Which had NOTHING to do with why I went off it in the first place. Sort of like buying something you would normally not purchase just because it’s on sale. He can’t help it…he is Jewish! What! Real talk. This post should be renamed Just Like Hanukah.

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In college I lived with a bunch of girls. I mean, I went through a ton of room mates, often living with up to six other (yes six!) crazy females at a time. Once there were six of us plus another unofficial roommate who lived on our couch and kept all of her clothes shoved in one of the drawers of our entertainment unit. I was also always changing roommates, because they were always doing terrible things. One had a boyfriend who used to urinate in my belongings (IE my Nestles chocolate milk container—pre-vegan days—and my re-usable water bottles). Another used to steal all of my things (clothes, perfume, sex toys..). Another slept with a guy I’d been dating who had just recently masticated my heart into a bloody sludgy puddle that sort of resembled the nice glass of beet juice I just had with my lunch.

Anyways, throughout my college career I probably lived with about 20 different girls. And for some reason, they all used to come to me to dish up on their sex lives. ALL of them. Even then ones who didn’t much like me. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that I wrote our college sex column or the Good Bush, Bad Bush T-shirt I strutted around in—pantsless of course.

To get to my point, I had this one (really really) stupid roomie who was contraceptionally challenged. I mean, girl couldn’t have safe sex to save her life. We were constantly having incredibly frustrating conversations about her stupidity. Here is an example of one of such conversations. I am going to call her Slutface Sally. (That’s mean! She was really cute. The stupid ones usually are..)

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So you must have realized by now that I like to talk, er, blog, about sex. But sometimes while blogging about sex, it becomes imperative to blog about the outcomes of sex. Sometimes it’s crazy insane jealousy, or babies, but in this case…it’s STDs.

I’ve always said I would rather get knocked up than contract an incurable STD…I mean, if I had a baby, there is a good chance that at some point in its life it would be cute. The same can’t be said about an STD.

So while perusing the news at work (I love my job!) in search of saucy real estate tips (eh..), I came across a far more interesting article by Marni Jameson of the Orange County Register titled “Seniors’ sex lives are up , and so are STD cases.” 

Apparently states that are highly populated with aging baby boomers (read: Florida) are also now highly populated with STDS. Between 2005 and 2009, the number of reported cases of Syphilis and Chlamydia among those 55 and older rose 43 percent, according to an Orlando Sentinel analysis of data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And in retirement communities, the, the increase has been even steeper.

I’m glad that the old folks are still actively getting it on. I mean, they are retired after all—what else is there to do but golf, knit sweaters and have sex?

In response to the increasing cases of STDs in seniors, Medicare may begin providing coverage for STD screenings for seniors. Recently, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Office declared it was actively looking into adding STD exams to the national health-insurance program, which already pays for HIV screenings. Plus, according to Jameson, Medicare is weighing the benefits of paying for behavioral counseling for sexually active seniors. Perhaps the counseling will be done by Dr. Drew and broadcasted on VH1.

Either way, I hope I’m still gettin’ down in my golden years…Hopefully, Alzheimer’s won’t affect my ability to remember to use a condom.

In other news about rampant STDs, on my drive to work this morning I overheard salacious gossip about an unnamed celebrity who is suing another unnamed celebrity for giving them herpes…for $20 million!! I find this to be absurd…if you don’t want to contract herpes you should either have safe sex or make sure your partner has been tested (or both!). If you can’t (or are too drunk to) do either of the above, then that sucks, but is NO reason to sue for such an absurd amount of dough.

General poll: would you willingly contract herpes for $20 million!!? ( I vote no..)

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The first reason I would never move to Alaska is because of the frrrrreezing temperatures (despite that I have heard it is quite lovely). The second reason is because they rank  No. 1  in the country for the most cases of Chlamydia and No.2 for Gonorrhea (No. 1 for Gonorrhea is Mississippi. Go figure). State public health officials have ranked Alaska in the top two leading Chlamydia-ridden states since 2000. Since undiagnosed Chlamydia is one of the leading causes of infertility, this could lead to big issues for Alaskans. I assume the STD rates are so high because it is so damn cold out, everyone chooses to hibernate, and the best way to pass time during a long season of hibernation is to get it on. Trust me, I know. I’m part bear..

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