Talking to partners about STDs often awkward - 21 News Now, More Local News for Youngstown, Ohio -

Talking to partners about STDs often awkward

Updated: Nov 6, 2013 09:51 AM
© Hemera / Thinkstock © Hemera / Thinkstock

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 6 (HealthDay News) -- Many people find it difficult to talk with their partners about sexually transmitted diseases, and public health campaigns need to find better ways to promote these types of conversations, according to a new study.

The study included 181 sexually active men and women with an average age of 26, who completed an anonymous online questionnaire.

Just more than half of participants said they felt "very comfortable" talking to their partners about how to prevent STDs. Less than half felt "very comfortable" talking with a partner about sexual histories.

Comfort levels rose and conversations grew easier when people felt better informed about STDs and had practice talking about them with their partners.

"Take time to get informed. It will only make your conversation more comfortable and ensure that you are really protecting your health," study lead researcher Margo Mullinax, of Indiana University, said in a university news release.

Mullinax said she was surprised to discover, however, that about the same percentage of study participants had sex without a condom regardless of whether they talked with their partners about STDs.

"Participants who reported talking to their partners about [STDs] say it affected their decision to engage in certain behaviors in that it made them feel more comfortable and led them to stop using condoms," Mullinax said. "But this finding concerns me, given that many participants did not also report routinely getting tested nor having detailed conversations with partners about [STDs]."

Among the other findings were the following:

Many people said they occasionally, rarely or never got tested before having sex with casual partners (50 percent) or long-term partners (39 percent).

Of the people who did discuss STD testing, very few discussed concurrent sexual partners or when partners' testing occurred in relation to their last sex act. Only half explained what types of STDs their partner had been tested for. These issues are important components of assessing STD risk, the researchers said.

About one-third of participants reported telling a partner they didn't have an STD even though they hadn't been tested since their last sexual partner.

The study was scheduled for presentation Wednesday at the American Public Health Association's annual meeting in Boston. The data and conclusions should be viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.

"Talking to partners about [STDs] is an important conversation to have," Mullinax said. "However, findings from this study suggest public health campaigns need to promote specific messages, concrete tips and tools around sexual health conversations stratified by relationship status. Campaigns should also address [STD] stigma and promote messages of normalcy with regard to talking about [STDs]."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about sexually transmitted diseases.

Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

*DISCLAIMER*: The information contained in or provided through this site section is intended for general consumer understanding and education only and is not intended to be and is not a substitute for professional advice. Use of this site section and any information contained on or provided through this site section is at your own risk and any information contained on or provided through this site section is provided on an "as is" basis without any representations or warranties.
  • More From wfmj.comMore>>

  • Fired band director says he fixing vulgar culture

    Fired band director says he fixing vulgar culture

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:34 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:34:18 GMT
    The fired Ohio State University marching band director says he was working to change its sexualized culture when he was dismissed.More >>
    The fired Ohio State University marching band director says he was working to change its sexualized culture when he was dismissed.
    More >>
  • Ohio theme park tries to top shaved-heads record

    Ohio theme park tries to top shaved-heads record

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:27 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:27:36 GMT
    MASON, Ohio (AP) - A southwestern Ohio amusement park will try to top a Guinness record for the most heads shaved simultaneously to help raise awareness and money to fight cancer. Kings Island says more than 200 hair stylists from Great Clips salons in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Lima and Toledo will shave heads Friday at the park north of Cincinnati. The Guinness World Records website says the current record at 182 heads shaved simultaneously was achieved by Cancer Council ACT-...More >>
    MASON, Ohio (AP) - A southwestern Ohio amusement park will try to top a Guinness record for the most heads shaved simultaneously to help raise awareness and money to fight cancer. Kings Island says more than 200 hair stylists from Great Clips salons in Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus, Cleveland, Lima and Toledo will shave heads Friday at the park north of Cincinnati. The Guinness World Records website says the current record at 182 heads shaved simultaneously was achieved by Cancer Council ACT-...More >>
  • Hundreds of pet rats rescued from Ohio apartment

    Hundreds of pet rats rescued from Ohio apartment

    Thursday, July 31 2014 9:23 PM EDT2014-08-01 01:23:19 GMT
    KETTERING, Ohio (AP) - Humane Society workers have rescued hundreds of pet rats from an apartment in suburban Dayton apparently left after the renter was evicted. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton found as many as 300 so-called "fancy" or "pocket" pet rats in the studio apartment in Kettering after responding to a complaint Thursday morning. Humane Society official Sheila Marquis tells the Dayton Daily News the animals make great pets for children but breed rapidly if they aren't spayed a...More >>
    KETTERING, Ohio (AP) - Humane Society workers have rescued hundreds of pet rats from an apartment in suburban Dayton apparently left after the renter was evicted. The Humane Society of Greater Dayton found as many as 300 so-called "fancy" or "pocket" pet rats in the studio apartment in Kettering after responding to a complaint Thursday morning. Humane Society official Sheila Marquis tells the Dayton Daily News the animals make great pets for children but breed rapidly if they aren't spayed a...More >>
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WFMJ. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms