Have you ever had an STI? Shan Boody's Story

 It takes a lot of courage to open up about something as sensitive as sexual health We talk about the statistics but rarely admit or acknowledge what that looks like with the people around us. That's what stigma looks like - denial and skewed evidence. This is also how we keep statistics growing, it's understandable that you may want to just trust or give the benefit of the doubt but that does more harm than good.

We have an experience here with a clinical sexologist, Shannon Boodram. She explains that she believed she was in a monogamous relationship and also having no symptoms when she learned she had an STI. It was only by someone giving her encouragement to go have a physical that she found out. She goes in about what she calls a mistake and how she survived the shame and stigma as she holds up poster boards on a side street in a sunny yet busy location.

What we can gain from Shannon's situation is that sometimes we still have to think about ourselves and what we feel is safest for us sexually even in relationships where we trust the person. The fact that she had to be prompted to go check on what was going on with her body without showing signs of anything going on emphasizes how we should go regularly for STD screenings and that a friend could be your saving grace. Whether it's just being that little push you need to be responsible or the crutch you need for the anxiety that may rise by simply being in the waiting room a good friend can help. Thank you, Shan Boody, for sharing your story so we could learn from it.

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