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Pete Burns
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Sex and Betrayal: What To Do If You Contract an STD

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Spring Break is upon us, that annual rite mixing unsupervised youth, fluxing hormones, exotic locales, and proximity to countless potential sexual partners. Fueled by drinking and the abundance of visible flesh, participants anonymously engage in the spirit of the moment. Carpe Diem. Consequence is for another day.[1]

Sex can be risky – so says the CDC.[2]

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. CDC estimates that there are approximately 19 million new STD infections each year — almost half of them among young people 15 to 24 years of age. The cost of STDs to the U.S. health care system is estimated to be as much as $15.9 billion annually.

During spring break many unsuspecting young people contract dangerous sexual diseases. University of Florida officials note the herpes infection rate on campus doubles the week following spring break. Statistics demonstrate that young women are at the most risk, and unfortunately they are the group that bears the most devastating consequences of infection.

This article is directed towards the newly infected young woman.

First, get immediate medical attention, then carefully follow the advice of your doctor. Most STD’s are treatable, if not curable. A good recovery is better than a great lawsuit.

Second, do not infect others and by all means discontinue having relations with the person who infected you! Continuing to have sex with the person who transmitted the disease happens more frequently than anyone would imagine. Perhaps hope for a long term relationship combined with a feeling of diminished self worth explains the phenomena. The good news is that many people develop a safe sex life either with a fully informed and protected partner or with someone who is also infected.

Third, consult a lawyer. Immediate legal advice gives you better options. This article is no substitute for legal advice, but will highlight what to expect.


[1] A prominent Ob-GYN dispenses this advice when prescribing birth control pills to first time users: First, “no condom, no sex, no exception”. Second, “never tell your date you are on the pill.” This reduces the chance the boy will attempt to forgo the condom.

[2] You can reduce that risk by practicing safe sex. "Safe sex" is a term used to describe responsible sexual behavior aimed at preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. Responsible sexual behavior includes knowing one’s sexual partner, being able to openly discuss sexual and drug-use history with the partner, not allowing one’s decision to be influenced by drugs or alcohol, and using protective devices (Potter & Perry, 2004).