While most of us don’t have a problem talking about ear infections, pneumonia, or strep throat, talking about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be a difficult conversation to start and is often considered a taboo topic. Herpes is one of the infections at the top of that list, despite the fact that it’s an infection that can be spread both through sexual and non-sexual contact and that is quite common. Since knowledge is power (and prevention!), today we’re going to spend a little time getting to know more about herpes.
One of April’s big news stories was Diane Sawyer’s interview with Bruce Jenner, who has come out this year as transgender. Bruce, who noted plans to change name and pronoun in the near future, isn’t the first transgender person in the spotlight. Chaz Bono, born to Cher and Sonny Bono and named Chastity at birth, came out a transgender man in 2009. Laverne Cox is an accomplished actress (most recently on Orange is the New Black) and has been a vocal activist for transgender rights and Lana Wachowski, who directed The Matrix trilogy and Cloud Atlas with her brother, was the first major Hollywood director to come out as transgender in 2012. And while these people have bravely discussed their gender in the spotlight, they are a small fraction of the many people identifying as transgender around the world. We’re learning more and more about the range of gender identities that exist, and this week we’ll focus on an introduction to gender identity.
A recent study conducted in New Jersey and Pennsylvania looked at electronic documentation and notes from pediatric visits and showed pediatricians had only documented a sexual history for one out of five teenagers. The authors of the study also found very low rates of recommended testing for sexually transmitted infections in teenage patients, a finding concerning given that half of all chlamydia and gonorrhea cases occur in people between the ages of 15 and 24.
So why aren’t some pediatricians talking about sex?