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If you have or have had a sexually transmitted disease (STD) or sexually transmitted infection (STI), you’re not alone. STIs affect hundreds of millions of people globally. In fact, the World Health Organization (WHO) states that more than
STDs affect people of all ages and backgrounds and can be lifelong, whether dormant or active. But they’re a subject that people are often shy about discussing. Making matters worse, people often don’t even realize they’re STI-positive when infections yield no symptoms. Additionally, while treatments have come a long way for difficult viruses such as HIV and hepatitis C, new resistances to conventional drugs are posing threats for traditionally curable bacterial infections like gonorrhea.
Whether you have an STD or are concerned about STDs, education and community resources are keys to coping with knowledge that you or a loved one is infected and preventing further spread. These excellent blogs provide facts, news, support, and forums for discussing STDs and some of the complex emotions that they produce.
Here are our top picks for the best STD blogs of the year.
Exposed is a blog created by STDcheck.com, a company that promises fast, convenient, and discreet tests for all major STDs. The blog provides valuable information about STD testing, the science behind the infections, and emerging news about STIs. Anonymous first-hand accounts help readers understand how being STD-positive has impacted real lives. Importantly, posts also help readers work out difficult, emotionally charged questions, such as whether contracting a new STD means that a partner cheated.
The award-winning STD Project is aimed at helping people end the stigma of STDs through education, resources, and real-life interviews with those who are STD-positive. Jenelle Marie Pierce is a professional writer, spokesperson, educator on the subject, and someone who is “proof an STI is not a deal-breaker or the end of your world.” She founded the blog in April 2012, during STD awareness month. We love that the site aims to promote tolerance, education, and prevention so that, ultimately, people can make informed sexual decisions.
As its name suggests, TeenSource is a comprehensive forum “by teens, for teens” for education and discussion around sexual and reproductive health. Founded in 2001, TeenSource covers not only STD education, but also subjects like healthy sexual relationships and individual rights. They are supported by several governmental and private foundations, and while their in-person resources and activism efforts are geared toward youth in California, much of the information can help audiences worldwide. Their peer-generated articles and videos (e.g., “Thinking of sending selfies? 4 Things to keep in mind before you press send!”) are excellent for reaching and resonating with the statistically vulnerable teen demographic.
Visit the blog.
Run by both medical and nonmedical personnel of Columbia University in New York City, this multi-award-winning site provides answers to a wide variety of health-related questions from general health to emotional health to sexual health. Founded in 1993 for Columbia students, and live on the internet in 1994, the site proudly boasts that it’s the oldest major online question-and-answer forum on the web. Here you can find answers to all your health questions. They also provide help through resources, quizzes, and a newsletter. Visit Alice! for STI info and any other health-related questions you may have. If the info you seek isn’t already there, go ahead and ask.
Tweet them @AliceatColumbia
Started by an anonymous “25-year-old city girl” who contracted HSV2 in 2011, the goal is to offer a support system as the anonymous blogger continues on her journey to overcome the stigma and find both love and self-love. People post their honest fears, experiences, moral dilemmas, and stories to be met with sometimes frank, sometimes sympathetic responses from Earth, Wind and Herpes.
They are the self-described “hub for a Colorado and Michigan effort to reduce unintended pregnancies, promote good sexual and reproductive health and well-being and help ‘normalize’ conversations about these topics.” The site is filled with information about contraception, STDs, pregnancy, healthcare coverage, and other sexuality topics like sexting. Check out the real stories discussing personal choices, such as why birth control is a part of one woman’s life, and the helpful guides.
This is the official blog of the Hepatitis B Foundation at the Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, the leading hepatitis B and liver cancer research nonprofit in the United States. Hep B Blog is a comprehensive resource for anyone who’s been affected by the infection. Covering topics from the risk of reactivating hepatitis B to exploring the efficacy of liver-detox diets and supplements, Hep B blog actively works to keep its readers updated on the latest in staying well with hepatitis B.
Tweet them @HepBFoundation
Catherine is a journalist who’s passionate about health, public policy, and women’s rights. She writes on a range of nonfiction topics from entrepreneurship to women’s issues, as well as fiction. Her work has appeared in Inc, Forbes, Huffington Post, and other publications. She is a mom, wife, writer, artist, travel enthusiast, and lifelong student.