The evolution of taboo around STDs: why talking is important

The evolution of taboo around STDs: why talking is important
The evolution of taboo around STDs: why talking is important

In our modern society, we have broken countless taboos and had frank discussions on topics that were previously considered off-limits. Yet sexually transmitted infections (STDs) remain a topic that people often prefer not to talk about. Although society is slowly but surely changing, the taboo surrounding STDs persists.

Why this taboo is still present

Shame and stigma
One of the most obvious reasons for the taboo surrounding STDs is the deep-seated shame and stigma associated with them. People often associate STDs with promiscuity, unsafe sexual practices, or even immoral behavior. This stigma can make people ashamed to talk about their experiences or seek help, which can lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment.

Lack of education
Many people still have a limited understanding of STDs and how they are transmitted. Lack of adequate education in schools and a lack of open conversations within families and communities contribute to the ignorance surrounding this topic. The lack of knowledge can lead to misconceptions and fear, causing people to avoid talking about STDs or getting tested.

Fear of judgment
People often fear the judgment of others when it comes to their sexual health. They fear judgment from their partners, friends or even healthcare providers if they are open about their STD status. This fear can lead to hiding symptoms, delaying testing, and avoiding honest conversations, all of which increase the spread of STDs.

Cultural and religious norms
In some cultures and religions, sexuality is considered a private matter and is not openly discussed. This can reinforce the taboo surrounding STDs, as people feel like talking about them or seeking help is going against their cultural or religious norms.

Power dynamics in relationships
In some cases, the taboo surrounding STDs can be reinforced by power dynamics in relationships. For example, if one partner has control or power in a relationship, the other partner may hesitate to talk about STDs or demand safe sex practices for fear of repercussions.

Positive developments that break this taboo:

Increasing information and awareness
There is a growing recognition of the importance of sex education and awareness campaigns about STDs. Educational programs in schools, media awareness campaigns and online resources aim to break the stigma and encourage people to talk openly about their sexual health.

Standardization of testing
More and more people are being encouraged to get tested regularly for STDs as part of their routine health care. This can be done, for example, via an STD self-test or STD test Venlo. This helps normalize the idea that discussing and testing for STDs is as common as other health checks.

Inclusive and safe spaces
Communities and organizations committed to sexual health create safe and inclusive spaces where people can talk freely about STDs without fear of judgment or condemnation. This encourages open communication and seeking help.

Technological advancement
Technological advances have made it easier to access information and resources about STDs. From online educational materials to telemedicine options for ordering test kits, technology plays a crucial role in breaking the taboo and increasing access to care.

Breaking the taboo surrounding STDs requires a collective effort from individuals, communities, healthcare institutions and policy makers. By talking openly about sexual health, fighting stigma and improving access to information and services, we can create a world where the taboo around STDs becomes less and less relevant and where people are free to discuss their sexual health without fear or shame.

(DigitalRise partner contribution)


The article is in Dutch

Tags: evolution taboo STDs talking important


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