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CHECK Nord #2

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SEXUAL HEALTH ENGLISH

SEXUAL HEALTH ENGLISH STIS & HIV: WHAT SHOULD HAVE LONG BEEN CONSIDERED ”NORMAL“ Finally, the loosening of lockdown measures are in sight and most of us are probably ecstatic at the prospect of more contact – especially body contact! Some are happy about a return to normality, others call for a “new normal”. When it comes to sexually transmitted infections, or STIs for short, the reality and the perception of what is “normal” are two different things. WE ARE ALL AFFECTED The higher the number of sexual partners, the higher the risk of contracting an STI. Just like the risk of breaking your leg skiing is higher than playing board games. However, we don’t think of someone having an accident as being overly risk-seeking. In contrast, we scrutinize people who are diagnosed with an STI and label them as careless and irresponsible. What if an active, diverse sex life could be lived openly and the associated risks were not considered a stigma, but a normal and, above all, treatable side-effect? THE WORLD IS FULL OF VIRUSES AND BACTERIA – SO IS SEX Even a self-inflicted accident is less embarrassing to us than an STI and hardly anyone has ever had to justify a gastrointestinal flu. There are some myths, especially about the ways in which STIs are spread, and we often prefer to convince ourselves that we got unlucky from a toilet in a public bathroom rather than stand by our sexuality. But STIs are still mostly transmitted via sex, hence their name. So what if we openly discuss how we got infected – at least with doctors and confidants? FACTS OVER SCHOOLYARD JOKES Many of us know STIs like gonorrhea or syphilis from silly jokes rather than from educated, calm conversations. So let’s counter those jokes about sexually transmitted infections with facts: • Syphilis has been on the rise again in Germany since 2010 • With consistent adherence to a medication regimen, HIV-positive people can prevent the transmission of the disease by lowering their viral load to an undetectable level. This is now just as safe as using a condom. • Chlamydia infections are among the most common sexually transmitted diseases in Germany and can lead to infertility Facts are not only significantly cooler than worn-out jokes, they also help to better assess transmission routes and know one‘s own risk. NOT SHOWING SYMPTOMS DOES NOT MEAN YOU’RE NOT INFECTED We all know the uncomfortable situation of wanting to talk about STIs during sex, but then to forgo it for the sake of the mood. If, however, sexually active people were to be tested for STIs regularly (and without shame), these conversations would also be easier in the future and sex would be even more enjoyable for everyone. What if regular testing for STIs & HIV was just normal? (ts,mb) Discreet regular tests for STIs & HIV: s.a.m health combines the reliability of a laboratory analysis with the simplicity of a home test and trustworthy advice on sexual health. www.samhealth.de 66 CHECK NORD #2

Schnelle und diskrete HIV & STD Heimtests mit Laboranalyse www.samhealth.de Online bestellen Test & Versand Schnelle Ergebnisse Stock Photo. Mit Modell gestellt. s.a.m health ist ein gemeinsames Pilotprojekt von: Tests auf HIV, Syphilis, Tripper und Chlamydien.

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blu, hinnerk, gab, rik, Leo – die Magazine der blu Mediengruppe erscheinen monatlich in den Metropolen Deutschlands. Die nationale Reichweite der Magazine ermöglicht den reisefreudigen Lesern Zugriff auf alle Informationen immer und überall. Themenschwerpunkte sind neben der regionalen queeren Szene, Kultur, Wellness, Design, Mode und Reise. Unsere Titel sind mit der lokalen Community jahrzehntelang gewachsen und eng verbunden, was durch Medienpartnerschaften mit den CSD-Paraden in Hamburg, Berlin, München und Frankfurt sowie zahlreiche Kooperationen, wie der Christmas Avenue in Köln, seinen Ausdruck findet.