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STDs, income, sexual orientation and cleanliness

Oct 26, 1998

I have never known anyone with an std. I am a straight woman who goes out with professionals. I have NEVER heard of any of my friends using protection for anything but birth control. And NONE of them have gotten an STD. Is it true then that std's are mostly found among the poor, among gay people, and perhaps among those who do not know proper hygiene??

Response from Mr. Sowadsky


Thank you for your question.

Anyone can get a sexually transmitted disease (STD) regardless of their income level, sexual orientation, or hygienic practices (how clean they are). STDs can be found among the very rich, and the very poor. Heterosexuals, bisexuals, and homosexuals can all get STDs. In addition, STDs can be found among the cleanest people. In the United States alone, an estimated 12 million people get infected with an STD every year. In other words, anyone can get an STD, if they put themselves at risk of infection.

Many people who have an STD (or previously had an STD) do not tell other people about it. People do not usually advertise the fact that they have genital warts, herpes, HIV, and other STDs. This is often due to embarrassment, shame, fear of rejection, fear of discrimination, and a difficulty in talking about sexual issues overall. So just because your friends may never have told you that they had an STD, does not necessarily mean that they never had one. They may just feel uncomfortable telling you about it. In addition, a person can sometimes have an STD and not know it, especially if they do not have any noticeable symptoms.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to e-mail me at "" or call me at (Nationwide). I'm glad to help!

Nonspecific Urethritis (NSU) & Non-Gonococcal Urethritis (NGU)
Herpes, Menstruation, and tampons

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