STD Exposed – Sexual Health Blog https://www.stdcheck.com/blog STD Blog and News by STDcheck.com Tue, 18 Sep 2018 19:27:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 My HIV Story: I became a Supplier of Illegal Narcotics https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/my-hiv-story-i-became-a-supplier-of-illegal-narcotics/ Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:38:00 +0000 http://www.stdcheck.com/blog/?p=6095 How I contracted HIV is a very easy question to answer: I just didn’t care about my well being. How it affected my life is a bit more complex… I was living in West Hollywood when I received the news that I was HIV+. For three years, I wrestled with the fact that I’d more or […]

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man smoking

How I contracted HIV is a very easy question to answer: I just didn’t care about my well being.

How it affected my life is a bit more complex… I was living in West Hollywood when I received the news that I was HIV+. For three years, I wrestled with the fact that I’d more or less chosen death over life.

This manifested itself in not one, but two, raging and seemingly uncontrollable addictions that were already in the works when I found out I was HIV+: crystal meth and sex. Upon learning my diagnosis, I plunged even deeper into that world, even going so far as to become a supplier of illegal narcotics, AKA a drug dealer, to facilitate these addictions because, for all intents and purposes, and to repeat myself, I just didn’t care about living. Like I said, I was already in that specific frame of mind (partying with meth, having unprotected sex) when I contracted HIV — it was very easy to just give in to what was more or less a slow suicide, Of course, what was really going on during the period of my life was that I was assuaging the immense pain I felt at having contracted the HIV virus.

See, growing up a gay teenager in the 90s came with the deep-seeded misnomer than HIV diagnosis equated death. Once I got over that, it took me about four years, a move clear across the country (Los Angeles to Brooklyn), and an end to using crystal meth (something I was able to do without the aid of NA, psychotherapy, family support or rehab) to come to terms with the idea that by becoming HIV+, I had failed not only myself, but the gay community at large, Also, I was now a statistic. It was this understanding that led me to not want to be just a statistic. In other words, I had to find myself again — and I did so through writing.

journal flowers

For two years, I completely immersed myself in the therapeutic healing powers of the written word. It was during this process I realized I wanted to be someone who did more than write to heal himself, I wanted to write to heal the world. What were my issues that others might identify with? What hurdles had I overcome that other humans might need help in getting over? How could my existence and perspective change the world? Well, you can only heal the world if the world is tuned in to your healing, and what bigger platform is there than the film and television industry?

So, I put the pity party on hold and went back to college in the midwest, where I worked hard and completed my undergrad degree in two years. I also saved money and juggled multiple jobs (there were ten over the course of two years) so that I could arrive back here, In LA, and give myself a second chance. A second life in when I successfully manage life and work toward a career in film and tv, which, in my book, includes a graduate degree in screenwriting.

And that’s how an unstoppable pathogen known as HIV pushed me to become unstoppable, too.

What I wish those living without HIV knew about the disease, what I wish we all knew, what I wish I knew when I contracted it initially: living with HIV is not a death sentence. That’s why you often hear, “Living with HIV.”

 

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Vampire Facial: What is it & The Risks Involved https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/vampire-facial/ Thu, 13 Sep 2018 17:04:52 +0000 http://www.stdcheck.com/blog/?p=6164 Ever heard of the Platelet-Rich Plasma Facial? If not, maybe you’ve heard of its more Instagrammable moniker “The Vampire Facial.” And we know, we’re STDcheck, so you might be thinking this has to do with Twilight and erotic fan fiction, but it doesn’t. This treatment first came to public light in 2013 when Kim K […]

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close up of woman after receiving vampire facialEver heard of the Platelet-Rich Plasma Facial? If not, maybe you’ve heard of its more Instagrammable moniker “The Vampire Facial.” And we know, we’re STDcheck, so you might be thinking this has to do with Twilight and erotic fan fiction, but it doesn’t. This treatment first came to public light in 2013 when Kim K famously posted a bloody selfie after undergoing the procedure. Since then, celebrities, bloggers, and civilians alike have praised the good name of the Vampire Facial, citing it as the source of their dewy skin and radiant complexion. But recently, the publicity surrounding this mythologically-named derma treatment has turned negative after a spa in Albuquerque, New Mexico urged its Vampire Facial patrons to get tested for HIV, Hepatitis B, and Hepatitis C.

If you recently saw a headline and you’re wondering what a Vampire Facial is, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve got the skinny on what the treatment is, how it’s performed, and the risks associated with it.

What is a Vampire Facial?

A Vampire Facial, or a Platelet-Rich Plasma Facial, is a procedure done on the face to help promote the healing and regeneration of injured tissues by utilizing the growth factors found in platelets.

In case you don’t remember high school biology, “Platelets are the cells that circulate within our blood and bind together when they recognize damaged blood vessels,” says Dr. Marlene Williams of Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center. When the body is wounded, platelets come to the wound site and stick together to create a clot and stop bleeding. They also encourage the growth of new tissues. This new tissue growth is what scientists, doctors, and spas that use Platelet-Rich Plasma Therapy are after.

Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) is widely used in regenerative medicine because of its high concentrations of various growth factors and platelets,” says this research study from Japan. Platelets contain more than 30 different growth factors, and according to VampireFacial.com, the official site of Vampire Facials, “These growth factors activate multipotent stem cells already in the skin (tricking them into thinking there’s been an injury and new, younger tissue should [be] generated).”

So, basically, a Vampire Facial takes platelets from your blood and re-injects them into your face to encourage the growth of new tissue. Ah, the beauty industry.

How is a Vampire Facial Performed?

So now that you understand the benefits of PRP, you might be wondering how this unorthodox medical treatment is performed to make skin look as fresh as a newborn baby’s skin (and about as bloody too).

First, blood is drawn from the arm and is placed in a centrifuge which separates the red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. The growth-factor-rich platelets are then injected into the face using microneedling (a process that uses tiny needles to puncture holes into the first layer of skin).

Microneedling itself stimulates the skin to produce more collagen, but the added addition of the platelets is meant to amplify the process.

“When we inject the platelets into the face, it tricks the body into thinking that there has been an injury and hence, bring growth factors to aid new collagen formation,” said Dr Munir Somji of MediSpa

On VampireFacial.com, it states that a provider will also paint these growth factors onto the face so that they “…soak into the tissue for further stimulation of tightening and skin rejuvenation.” This is what creates the Insta-famously bloody look that you’ve seen.

Are there any Risks?

Yes! There are always risks when it comes to using needles, especially when the needles are not used by trained medical professionals. The three main infections that can be obtained from unclean needles are Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C, and HIV, all of which can be passed on to sexual partners.

That’s why it’s imperative that when you receive treatment (whether medical or for physical changes), you ensure that the needles used are either new or were properly sanitized. Before beginning a procedure, be sure to ask about their sanitizing procedures. Ask if you can watch them open a new needle or sanitize a used one. If they don’t use disposable needles, ask to watch the needle undergo its sanitization, and check that their sanitizer has been recently inspected. This may feel awkward at the time, but a true professional will understand your concern and the risks that are involved.

STDcheck.com is Offering Free Testing

If you’ve recently visited the Albuquerque spa in question and feel that you may not have received the most sanitary treatment, please contact us. We are offering free HIV and Hepatitis testing to anyone who underwent a treatment at that spa and is worried about their status. We believe your spa time shouldn’t be met with potential HIV exposure – talk about the opposite of relaxing!

Let us give you the peace of mind you deserve.

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My HIV Story: The Diagnosis Came Upon Me like the Loosed Fires of War https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/my-hiv-story-the-diagnosis-came-upon-me-like-the-loosed-fires-of-war/ Mon, 10 Sep 2018 16:30:00 +0000 http://www.stdcheck.com/blog/?p=6050 *The following narrative is from one of our HIV-positive scholarship applicants. It has been minimally changed to remove any identifying information.* After hitting rock bottom, I dug a little deeper just to be sure that there was nowhere to go but up. Thankfully, I was right. It was my sophomore year of college; I was studying Musical […]

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*The following narrative is from one of our HIV-positive scholarship applicants. It has been minimally changed to remove any identifying information.*

After hitting rock bottom, I dug a little deeper just to be sure that there was nowhere to go but up. Thankfully, I was right.

It was my sophomore year of college; I was studying Musical Theatre a University in New York City. My dreams were unfolding before my very eyes, and I was living the rockstar celebutante life I had always fantasized about. I had recently returned to school after performing on the first International Broadway Tour of an extremely notable tour*. It was an astounding year spent traveling to exotic destinations, living lavishly in exorbitant hotels, and falling in love with reckless abandon.

Yet, although I had just gotten the chance to live out my dreams, I found myself doused under the weight of a crippling depression. Upon returning to school, I was consumed by an unrelenting listlessness. 

I lived in a constant state of internal dissonance and paranoia. Making eye contact and engaging in meaningful communication became nearly impossible for me. 

I was empty and afraid.

While spiraling through the pains of guilt, ignorance, and shame, I became foolishly dedicated to my pain.

My grades fluctuated dramatically, and my relationships with those I cared about suffered immensely. Self-loathing seemed to be my only area of expertise – so I committed to it. 

I threw myself deeper into a dazzling abyss of toxicity that seemed to welcome me with empty promises. I began casually using drugs and engaging in risky sexual behaviors. This led to numerous abusive relationships wherein I continuously allowed myself to be taken advantage of by people who had no concern for my happiness or well-being, which didn’t bother me at the time because I didn’t either. 

He was a painter from Queens. His reputation was written in the scars all over his body. He was a wolf that didn’t bother to disguise himself in sheep’s clothing; he brazenly bared his teeth, and I fed him so eagerly. Our relationship was characterized by a tumultuous passion that consumed the both of us. We were enraptured in the dangerous storm we had created. I was addicted to the way that he would hurt me, and he became obsessed with seeing just how much I could take. It almost felt like love, but, in fact, it was the opposite.

Eventually, the abuse escalated and became physical. It became increasingly difficult for me to justify seeing him. As I gained perspective on the situation, I began to understand just how responsible I was for the situation I had gotten myself into, and how capable I was of getting myself out of it.

I left abruptly on an evening like any other. He was crying on his porch, and I got into a cab. That was it. My healing process took some time, but I slowly began to rediscover the person I always knew myself to be. I welcomed home all of the parts that I had almost left behind.

My health and well-being became my top priority. I started working out regularly and making healthy choices in my diet and relationships. I could sense my life improving incrementally in significant ways. It had been a few months since I’d gotten a regular check-up with my doctor, so I made an appointment at my university’s health center to make sure everything was in working order. That’s when I got the news that I had contracted HIV.

The diagnosis came upon me like the loosed fires of war. As I sat in the examination chair, a complete loss for words came over me. My lungs became heavy like lead, and tears violently erupted from my eyes. I got out my phone to call a close friend and I trembled as I choked out the news. This assembly of moments seemed to last an eternity. I became hollow. The nurse left the room while I sobbed harder than I had ever known was possible. 

Then, all at once, the feeling of sheer emptiness was flooded with an outpouring of anxiety. A million questions raced through my mind about treatment, expenses, my sex life, and my social life. Would I be an outcast for the rest of my life? How will I ever feel happy again? Will I get sick and have no quality of life? My head clamored beneath the weight of these worries eclipsing the strength I had once known.

It seemed that life itself became out of my reach, and suddenly I was so small. Painstakingly, I began taking the necessary steps towards getting treatment. Although I was overwhelmed, I was determined to rectify the situation and reclaim my dignity. I endured months of difficult communication with my family, doctors, and insurance companies. The complications from dealing with the logistics of relocating and rebuilding my life from scratch challenged me to discover an inner resilience that sustained me through this challenging time. Soon after, I was able to start a consistent treatment regimen.

I am happy to say that I currently have an undetectable viral load, my body is healthy, and my spirit is thriving. I am blessed to have convenient access to the necessary treatments and medical care that I need. I have an immense amount of love and gratitude to my friends and family whose support has sustained me through the difficulties I was faced with. I am the healthiest I have ever been. I live out my dreams each day with the utmost joy, humility, and appreciation. My zeal for life cannot be tamed. As I continue to grow in wisdom and unconditional love, I share the abundance of my blessings with those around me. I have become the light I had always wished to see in the world.

sunrise on a like and pier

Becoming HIV positive was a necessary wake up call. It was the announcement that my life was about to become much more deeply whole. I learned to become enamored with myself. I found pride and pleasure in my own strength. No longer would I seek validation from banal infatuations, or look outside of myself for the love that I deserve.

My diagnosis illuminated the parts of myself that I was afraid to embrace, and enabled me to welcome them with unconditional love. As I started taking my medications, I chose to cultivate a healthier lifestyle for myself. I began practicing yoga and meditation as ways to heal my relationship with myself and destroy harmful patterns of thinking and behaving. I have an intrinsic knowledge of my self-worth, which allows me to see beauty and truth in all aspects of life.

Since learning about my status, I have blossomed. Out of the darkest season of my life has come an inner peace and unshakable happiness that is now the foundation of my life. The kinships that I share with my friends and families have deepened immensely. I feel supported and understood by those close to me as I have learned to brave life with compassionate honesty, integrity, and openness. This experience did not change me; it liberated me.

To those living without HIV, I would most importantly like to assure them that my diagnosis does not make me special or different. I am not dirty, nor am I afraid. This diagnosis is merely one aspect of my life. It does not define me as a human being, and it certainly does not dictate how I live my life. I am still fearless, and I am strong. I am still the electric social butterfly that I have always been, and the journey of my life continues to unfurl in beautiful ways. I am grateful to have learned how to practice self-love and discovered how to live a joyful life.

I aspire to inspire others by my example and hope to equip them with a sense of personal power. In continuing my avowal, I encourage everyone to use condoms whenever they may have a sexual encounter. It’s so easy, and they will allow you to enjoy having a healthy sex life without worry of complications, unwanted pregnancies, and STDs. Furthermore, if you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship – get out of it. Leave. It’s that simple. You deserve better. Give yourself the gift of growth, even when it’s difficult.

All that I am left with is my gratitude. Every person who has shown me love has deeply impacted my life. Every doctor and nurse who has communicated with me and helped me throughout this process has been a blessing. Every day that is filled with sunshine, laughter, and ease reminds me of how wonderful life is, and how fortunate I am to be living it. My thankfulness is endless.

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Top 10 College Rivalries and Their STD Rates https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/top-10-college-rivalries-std-rates/ https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/top-10-college-rivalries-std-rates/#respond Mon, 03 Sep 2018 16:30:00 +0000 http://www.stdcheck.com/blog/?p=5891 There’s nothing like comradery and competition… it’s all about owning those 365 glorious days of bragging rights. While you have no true control over if your team wins or loses (unless you’re on the team), you feel as though you are a part of the team. They can hear you yelling through the TV, wearing […]

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football

There’s nothing like comradery and competition… it’s all about owning those 365 glorious days of bragging rights. While you have no true control over if your team wins or loses (unless you’re on the team), you feel as though you are a part of the team. They can hear you yelling through the TV, wearing the lucky T-shirt does affect their scores, and hating the opposing team with a deep passion really and truly shapes a triumphant atmosphere that your team uses to win on the field.

Now, the games that you usually watch on TV aren’t exactly like the game we’re playing here. In this one, everyone was drafted the moment of their first sexual encounter and, unlike most sports, you don’t want to get the highest score.

The following list shows the best-known college rivalries, but this time we’re looking to see who’s got it “going on” but like.. not in a good way.  STDs, we are talking about sexually transmitted diseases, people.

Remember, the intent of this blog post is not to stir up hate, but to bring more awareness to the alarming state of sexually transmitted diseases.

In the past, we have done a blog post similar to this in 2015, but this time we researched the facts and not just general suspicions for satire. We found this data using the CDC’s updated atlas to look for chlamydia and gonorrhea’s rates per college’s county, added the two rates together, and then pitted the rivals to determine a winner.

Okay, to be clear: When we say, “the winner is” it means they had the most amount of STDs.

1. Alabama vs. Auburn

These Universities are only a three-hour drive away from one another yet their STD rates are quite contrasting. The clear winner for this matchup is… ‘Bama! Maybe that tide should roll on a few more condoms (PSA: Only wear one condom at a time). While rivalries can lead to things like Auburn’s oak trees getting poisoned and then, on a whole separate occasion, lit on fire until their unfair demise, we wonder what rivals will think of this kind of competition. “Oh yeah?! We’ll show them!!!” *practices safer sex* ‘Cause that’d be great.

But, we can’t be too hard on Alabama… Auburn is the school with the lowest rate of STDs on this list. 🍆 D-fense! D-fense! 🍆

2. Michigan vs. Ohio State

Ohio State… We’re happy you’re getting it in, and we know that coach says the best defense is a good offense, but in the bedroom, the best offense is using defense (condoms, if that’s not clear). We know you know about the drawbacks of not using protection, but have you considered researching the multitude of benefits from using different forms of barrier protection. Have you? Have you?

3. Oklahoma vs. Texas


This one goes out to you, Texas. Red River Showdown, Red River Rivalry, Red River Classic, Red River Shootout, whatever ya call it, if you’re dealing with a “red” “river” you should probably get tested. Blood in urine or unusual bloody discharge is a sign of a bacterial STI like chlamydia or gonorrhea.

4. USC vs. Notre Dame


USC… remember that time that the star point guard, Gabe Pruitt, got Catfished by a rival team posing as a woman named “Victoria.” Pruitt’s confusion with Victoria ended in USC’s downfall, and that idea seems to repeat here. USC, if you keep getting distracted by pretty blondes, you’re gonna end up losing a lot more than one game. Like your fertility.

5. Georgia vs. Florida

Georgia vs Florida Gators STD rates

Rather than make a pun about… bulldogs, Georgia’s beating Florida with higher rates, but just barely.  So… Both of you are dogs. Oh, also, your counties are among some of the highest rates of STDs. Yikes. There is so much protection used on the field, why not bring that mentality into the bedroom?

6. Miami vs. Florida State


It’s an unmistakable win by the highest rated STD-transmitting college on this list: Florida State. These schools really make the puns too easy to make. Seminoles. Easy semen pun right there. We don’t even need to change it. It’s…it’s just perfect. It’s likely some of these Semenoles have some loads overrun with bacteria. It’s highly highly 
highly recommended to get those seminal loads tested, you scholars. It’s better to deal with it than lie to yourself that it couldn’t ever happen to you (“I’m not that kind of guy/girl”).

7. Harvard vs. Yale

Harvard vs Yale std rates
But, like in any truly competitive sport, there’s always a number one. These brainiacs come close but there is a winner… before we tell you who it is, we have to say there seems to be a trend in CDC’s data: The northern colleges tend to have the lowest rates of gonorrhea and chlamydia (aside from Ohio). So, it’s not surprising that these guys have such a low rate of STDs. But okay, anyway, we have another bulldog win on the northeast, out of these two Ivy leagues, Yale’s got the higher score. 

8. Florida vs. Florida State


We’ve seen these two schools against other rivals, so I’m sure you guys can make an educated guess here. Yup. The Seminoles make another victorious appearance on this list. You truly dropped the balls on this part of college, Florida State.

9. California vs. Stanford

California Golden Bears vs. Stanford Cardinal std rates

While Stanford students were the villains behind this fictional paper, the CDC’s numbers are no joke. Here marks another “win” by the California Bears. This is not a drill.I’m sure these two schools have heard of that one morning of November 1982 when Stanford students took matters into their own hands. It was four days after the annual Big Game when the California Bears proudly won 25 – 20 over the Stanford Cardinals. That fateful morning, the Bears found their Daily California newspapers boasting the shocking headline, “NCAA awards Big Game to Stanford.” The score was reputedly amended to 20 – 19 and, as you can imagine, changing the outcome of THE Big Game was criminal! The Bears ran around with their papers some shocked, some enraged, and those aware of the prank just laughed at those with baffled reactions.

10. Pittsburgh vs. West Virginia

Pittsburgh panthers vs west Virginia mountaineers std rates


This rivalry is one of those fancy ones with a whole name and a sophisticated logo for their rivalry.
Oo-la-la. But, alas, no matter the bells and whistles, these schools are just as prone to STDs as anyone else. In this case, Pittsburgh, you are the winner. So, if your panther is starting to look like a cheetah, then it’s time to get those spots checked out.

This is the end.

Ten college rivalries facing their STD rates. The truth hurts, but probably not as much as anal herpes can if you don’t do something about it.

Now, because we care, here comes the lecture but we’ll make it short and sweet for you guys. STDs (except HIV & herpes) are curable when spotted early on! Most of the time, they can be the ultimate ninja and cause no symptoms which allow the disease to hide and cause harm without alerting you. The only sure way to know and protect yourself is to get tested regularly. You don’t want these infections to advance and cause irreparable damage on your body.

Yes, college is a time of your life where you are free to find who you are, what you like, and what you stand for. But, while you’re out there swiping left or right on the latest dating app or competing in whatever sport you’re into, take a moment to think about your gonads. If they’re important to you now, you better believe they still will be when gonorrhea is finally flaring up on your naughty bits.

Use protection and get tested regularly. STDcheck.com has thousands of locations so that literally all of these students should be aware of their status. Results come in 3 days and treatment is also available through us. Try it out. It’s not complicated and all will be totally fine. We promise. 

If you want your university to join our free HIV testing program, click here to sign up.

* This data was provided by the CDC’s 2016 survey of the chlamydia and gonorrhea rates per 100,000 people. We realize that not everybody in the county attends these schools and that these results may not be 100% accurate. Regardless, the rates per county are fact.

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Tinder Swipes Right on STDs https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/tinder-swipes-right-on-stds/ Mon, 27 Aug 2018 16:00:00 +0000 http://www.stdcheck.com/blog/?p=5722 It’s almost humorous how many blog posts in the past few years have started with “STDs are at an all-time high blah-blah-blah. Dating apps. Millennials. Avocado toast.” We’ve all read one of these right? Well buckle your seatbelts: You’re about to read another one. 2015 was a hard year for Tinder We’re approaching the three year […]

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It’s almost humorous how many blog posts in the past few years have started with “STDs are at an all-time high blah-blah-blah. Dating apps. Millennials. Avocado toast.”

We’ve all read one of these right? Well buckle your seatbelts: You’re about to read another one.

2015 was a hard year for Tinder

We’re approaching the three year anniversary of that time when Tinder, as a company, almost had a complete emotional meltdown. And we know, it’s like yeah, okay, it’s been three years. Leave them alone. But, why let sleeping dogs lie when instead you can dredge up their embarrassing past?  

Don’t remember? No worries! We’ll guide you through the play-by-play on Tinder’s momentary breakdown.

#Twittergate

In the first week of August 2015, Vanity Fair released an article that pretty much proclaimed Tinder dead and blamed it for the “dating apocalypse.”

One week later, Tinder took to Twitter unleashing a tweet tantrum like no other (try saying that 10 times fast). Over the course of 31 tweets, Tinder basically called Vanity Fair “mean.”

Here are a few:

Yikes. Crazy, right?

The Vanity Fair article was a pretty opinionated piece that focused largely on why modern dating habits might not be the best for women. Most people would have probably viewed the article as archaic, and it would have gotten lost in the sea of non-fact based tirades on the internet… if Tinder hadn’t shed light on it.

The main thing that Tinder accomplished: It proved to be incapable of taking a punch. Like remember in kindergarten when you cried because someone called you four eyes, and then everyone started doing it, just to get a rise out of you?

Yeah, that’s basically what happened to Tinder.

#Billboardgate

Mid-September 2015, the AIDS healthcare foundation put up a billboard showing depictions of people labeled as different STDs, intimately interacting with other people labeled as dating apps. It looked like this:

Tinder’s reaction was notably less than favorable when they sent a cease and desist letter on September 28, 2015, to the organization. An organization that is literally dedicated to saving lives.

“These unprovoked and wholly unsubstantiated accusations are made to irreparably damage Tinder’s reputation in an attempt to encourage others to take an HIV test by your organization,” Tinder attorney Jonathan Reichman said in a letter to the foundation.

Not a great look, Tinder.

#CDCgate

Yeah, 2015 was a pretty hard year for Tinder. But throughout all the criticism, Tinder stood strong and valiantly *ahem* defended itself in the face of adversity. It even looked like they might make it to 2016 without any more controversy. But then came Tinder’s very own boss level of the year: The CDC.

During the last week of September 2015, the CDC released a report showing that from 2015 to 2016, gonorrhea, syphilis, and chlamydia were all dramatically on the rise.

 

After the CDC released these reports, numerous health officials along with online publications jumped at the chance to accuse Tinder, once again, for our society’s STD problem. One public authority went so far as to coin Tinder a “modern bathhouse.”

To be totally fair, there isn’t a whole lot of data out there to back up the claim that STDs are all Tinder’s fault, but, you know…. like… maybe it is. We honestly don’t know.

Flashback to the year 1992.

Everybody loves Pearl Jam, Bill Clinton is president, and it’s Friday night. You can either get a pizza and swing by Blockbuster to rent a new VHS, or you can head out to your local bar. You just got a new pair of JNCO jeans to match your favorite flannel shirt, so you decide the bar is your best option.

Right when you walk in, you see a total babe with hair that’s taller than your TV antenna, so you begin to make your move. Awkward eye contact, side smirking, flirty glances. Does she like you? You can’t be sure, but you’re down to find out.

After a decent amount of weird non-verbal communication, you saunter over and shoot her your most charming pick-up line, “Did it hurt…uh… when you… uh fell …?” Unfortunately, you forgot the second half of your line, so you just stand there open-mouthed for a solid 30 seconds until she turns her back to you, flipping her perfectly teased hair in the process.

As the night goes on, you try your luck a couple more times. You keep fumbling over all the pick-up lines that your big brother taught you because you can’t look them up on google… or research how to flirt. What even is a google??

In the end, you give up and use a payphone to call your pal, because Uber doesn’t exist. You stop to pick up pizza and that new Blockbuster VHS, which you watch until you eventually fall asleep on your couch.

Typical Friday night.  

Should Tinder Be Held Accountable?

While not everyone had such a rough time finding their true love back in the “dark ages,”

you have to agree that swiping left and right for a potential mate while sitting on your couch watching Netflix is a lot easier than it was back then.

Tinder, we can’t exactly say that we’d all be better off with you, so don’t worry, no one is proposing a boycott. The main question that needs to be asked here: Is Tinder to blame for the rise in STDs? Humans are not mindless, and the actions of many are never any one company’s fault (See: Facebook).

Short answer: Tinder has provided a service, and it all depends on how we use it. We can’t point fingers at Tinder for our own actions! We can, however, blame Tinder for not educating its users on the dangers of STDs.

Now, if you work at Tinder and you’ve read all the way up to this point, you’re probably itching to jump out of your seat and scream, “YEAH BUT WE CREATED A HEALTH SAFETY SECTION.”

Correctamundo, here is your health safety section:

We’ll come right out and say it: This feels a lot like a disclaimer. Not to mention it’s conveniently tucked away on a corner of the site. So, congrats Tinder, you’ve really done an excellent job of educating your users *cue sarcastic clap*. That’s why literally no one has ever gotten a single STD after using Tinder.

Tinder, if you’re looking for a gold star for all of the special care that you’ve put into preventing the spread of STDs, we’re not going to be the ones to hand it to you. Let us put it in a phrase that you can understand: Don’t @ us.

What Can You Do?

Tinder is really not doing its part to prevent the spread of STDs, but what can you do as an educated, health-minded, modern individual?

1) Know your status.

Be aware of your STD status, so that you can make informed decisions about the protection that you use and the conversations you should have with sexual partners.

2) Maintain Open Communication.

Spend some time talking to your partner about the fact that you’ve been tested, and that it’s important to you that your sexual partner is tested as well. While this can be a mood killer, it’s important to get it out of the way sooner, rather than later.

Realistically, not everyone that you have this conversation with will have been recently tested. It is important to determine beforehand (not in the moment) what you are comfortable with, and what you would like to discuss.

3) Always practice safe sex.

Protection is sooo underrated. If you are meeting with a Tinder date, don’t expect them to bring a condom; be prepared and bring one yourself!

4) Be Aware!

Though STDs can sometimes be asymptomatic (no visible symptoms), it’s still important to know what symptoms to look for! If your partner is experiencing redness, irritation, unusual discharge, and/or inflammation, then you need to hold off on the hookup. Yes kids, we know the lingo. Hook. Up.

It is equally important to remember that alcohol can dull your inhibitions. If you are meeting up with a new fling, consider the importance of being fully capable of making the right call when it comes time to do the deed.

Also, remember that these are all things that you can handle without the help of Tinder. Power to the people, baby.

Are We Just Poking the Beast?

You might be asking, “Hey, STDcheck.com, are you just poking the beast? Waiting to see if Tinder does something dumb again?”

Yes. Yes, we are.

More importantly, though, we’re concerned about your sexual health, which is why we don’t sugar coat when it comes to talking about these pesky little diseases.

Tinder wants to distance its name as far as possible from STDs, but you know what our name is? We’re STD-freakin-check.com.

Knowledge is power y’all. Peace out.

 

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9 Proven Benefits of Semen that will Blow your Mind https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/benefits-of-semen/ Tue, 21 Aug 2018 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.stdcheck.com/blog/?p=5864 Ah milk. The Dairy Council spends billions of dollars each year promoting the benefits of this cold, white drink. But have you ever wondered about the benefits of man milk? Yes, you read that correctly, man milk, aka semen.  As crazy as it sounds, semen has a multitude of benefits stemming from the minerals and nutrients […]

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Ah milk. The Dairy Council spends billions of dollars each year promoting the benefits of this cold, white drink. But have you ever wondered about the benefits of man milk? Yes, you read that correctly, man milk, aka semen. 

As crazy as it sounds, semen has a multitude of benefits stemming from the minerals and nutrients it contains, and those seminal benefits can be passed directly on to you. That’s right; we did the research and now we’re here to present you with the facts.

Perhaps you’ve recently swallowed some baby gravy, or you enjoy drinking that man milk routinely. Regardless, you’re looking to find out if this creamy substance will provide you with anything more than a slightly sour stomach and a faint acidic aftertaste. So let’s take a dive into this sticky subject, and see the benefits that it offers.

Vaginal/Anal Intake

The vaginal and rectal linings are very absorbent, so either one is a viable route for soaking up the nutrients in your man’s spunk sauce.

Antidepressant

Semen contains quite a few components that have been studied to show anti-depressant qualities. One of these is nerve growth factor. Its primary responsibility in semen is to help relax the female so that the sperm can achieve its reproductive objective. It’s also been shown to be a vital hormone missing in the brains of those who suffer from Major Depressive Disorder. This means that increasing nerve growth factor would only prove to make people happier. Additionally, nerve growth factor has been found to be an anti-inflammatory as well as an antioxidant.

Antianxiety

Semen contains mood-enhancing compounds like oxytocinprogesteroneestrone, serotonin, and melatoninOxytocin is also known as the “cuddle hormone” because, when released, it makes people feel more affectionate and connected. Progesterone has been shown to have anti-anxiety characteristics. Estrone piggybacks on serotonin to help enhance moods, and melatonin helps relaxation occur.

Mood Enhancement

A study backed by the SUNY institute found that female college students who received baby batter on a regular basis were happier and less suicidal than those who didn’t. Researchers chalked this up to the mood-enhancing benefits of semen, however, they didn’t take into account any other factors, like a happy home life, being successful in school, or, I don’t know, getting raw D on the reg. Sounds like a pretty good place to be in life, and it sounds a little irresponsible to claim that the happiness of these women was directly dependent upon getting 20 ccs of white gold injected into them without taking any other factors into account. But what do I know? I’m no scientist. I’m just a chick writing a blog post about the benefits of man mayo.

Ingestion

The amount of Google searches for “eating cum” is astounding: a little under 10,000 for the past month, to be exact. In fact, this may have been the route you were thinking of when you initially clicked on this blog post. Lucky for you, we’ve got what you were looking for. Swallowing semen is the quickest way to get all of the benefits of your man’s baby juice, and think, he might even enjoy it too.

Longevity

We know this might be hard to swallow, but yes, semen can make you live longer. Spermidine (originally isolated from sperm, hence the name), when ingested, has been proven to dramatically increase the lifespan of animals by as much as 25 percent. In the same study, it was also found to prevent liver disease as well as liver cancer.

Cognitive Functioning

Nerve growth factor does a lot for the body. In addition to being an antidepressant, an anti-inflammatory, and an antioxidant, it’s also known to help stop the brain from aging. Nerve growth factor, which is very abundant in semen, is vital for maintaining the brain’s neurons. Neurons process and transmit information; they’re what make your brain work. Survival of these neurons is essential for you to have a working brain! Who knew that giving brain could affect your brain in such a positive way?

Nutritional Benefits

Have you recently taken a vitamin deficiency test (maybe on HealthLabs.com), and found that you were lacking in a few vital nutrients? Well get a spoon and ask your man for a plate of some nut butter, because semen is chock full of zinc, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and citrate. The nutrients get absorbed in your body like a less expensive vitamin shot (see ya later, Jamba Juice).

Topical

This might come as a surprise to you, but semen not only benefits the inside of your body but the outside as well. That’s right, with the amounts of zinc, vitamin c, and spermidine in your dude’s jizz, you could open up your own skincare line (this statement has not been evaluated by the FDA).

Teeth

Looking for an alternative, all-natural teeth whitening solution? Forget the charcoal; check out your man’s chubby. Although it’s not the white paste you’re used to putting on your toothbrush, semen has loads of zinc in it, which is a natural teeth whitener. Zinc’s seminal job is to aid the sperm’s survival. But that doesn’t mean that it can’t also aid the survival of your pearly whites.

Hair

Have you heard of a keratin treatment? Basically, you pay someone hundreds of dollars to put protein in your hair to make it stronger. Well, did you know that there’s a source of protein that you probably haven’t considered? Semen has over 200 different kinds of protein in it which can give your hair the strength and shine that it so desperately needs.

Semen also contains spermidine, which, when used on human scalps, has been shown to promote shaft elongation (LOL) as well as prolonged hair growth. Even though semen may be the one thing that you’ve actively tried to keep out of your hair, go ahead and consider this DIY hair treatment the next time you want to give your hair some life (get it?).

Skin

Spermidine is back, baby! In addition to increasing longevity and aiding in healthy hair, spermidine is an antioxidant and is great for the skin. It’s believed to smooth skin, lessen wrinkles, and even diminish acne. In fact, companies sell spermidine-derived facial cream for upwards of $200! If you’re not looking to spend that money, a money shot would be a cheaper and more natural alternative. 😉

Injaculation

Let’s say you’re a man reading this blog post, and your partner doesn’t have a penis, or your penis-wielding partner isn’t willing to give you a nice, cold glass of man milk, so the only readily available source of semen is your own. You should be able to get some seminal rewards too! Sure, go ahead and smear it on your face and in your hair, but does the thought of drinking your own kool-aid or shooting it up your butt disgust and terrify you in ways that you’ve never felt before? Not to fear! There’s a way for you to utilize your own love juice, and it involves loving yourself.

Injaculation, or “retrograde ejaculation” is the process of releasing your semen inside your own body. When nearing close to an ejaculation, instead of allowing the splooge and all of its benefits land on an ungrateful sock, you release it in retrograde, or back inside of your body. It may sound painful or unnatural, but it’s not. Taoists have practiced injaculating for thousands of years, as well as certain sects of Buddhism, Hinduism, and even ancient Egyptians! So go on, show yourself some love.

Things to Remember

Now you know the different ways you can use that baby batter to your benefit, but there are a few things you should keep in mind before diving face-first into a vat of high fructose porn syrup.

  1. You can be allergic to semen. Before you go smearing it on your skin or guzzling it down like the thirsty thirst trap you are, know that there is an allergy called Human Seminal Plasma Protein Hypersensitivity. It can lead to an allergic reaction including itching, wheezing, hives, chest tightness, and difficulty breathing.
  2. Though semen contains tons and tons of benefits, remember that it doesn’t come in huge quantities (~ 1 tsp). You would need to use a lot of semen to see most of the results. So, if you’re only using that baby formula for the benefits, you might be disappointed. Instead, we implore you to enjoy the nut butter for what it is and see the benefits as an added incentive.
  3. Finally, and this is really, truly, the most important part: Make sure your source of semen is STD-free! You will do a lot more harm than good if you pour infected liquid gold all over your body. Let your man know that you’re interested in benefiting from his groin gravy, but he needs to get tested first.

*Remember, you can get STDs from oral sex, anal sex, and getting sex fluids in your eyes!*

And if you’re interested in learning more about the specific components of semen, check out our post on What’s Semen Made of.

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MY HIV Story: Using My Voice To Help Others https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/my-hiv-story-using-my-voice-to-help-others/ Mon, 13 Aug 2018 17:04:00 +0000 http://www.stdcheck.com/blog/?p=5945 *The following narrative is from one of our HIV-positive scholarship applicants. It has been minimally changed to remove any identifying information.* Towards the end of the summer of 2015, I was diagnosed with HIV after feeling rather ill.  I had just gotten back home from an internship in Maryland when I began feeling sick. Apparently, a guy […]

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*The following narrative is from one of our HIV-positive scholarship applicants. It has been minimally changed to remove any identifying information.*

Towards the end of the summer of 2015, I was diagnosed with HIV after feeling rather ill.  I had just gotten back home from an internship in Maryland when I began feeling sick. Apparently, a guy I met there who I was talking to for a few months was a carrier and did not disclose that information when I asked him. Although the sex was consensual, I neglected to use protection. After receiving the diagnosis, I tried to contact him, and he verbally berated me and said that I deserved it.  Receiving this news, after attempting to come out to my father, felt like a double blow to my psyche. I was psychologically fragile and vulnerable during this time, and I tried not to lash out at my mom and aunt (who knew at the time). My thoughts immediately shifted to how my life was going to change, who was going to reject me, and the intrapersonal stressors I would have. This felt like coming out all over again.

 

Becoming diagnosed with HIV has drastically changed my life.  

There are deeper implications for my future relationships and partnerships.  I do have fears that with my diagnosis, the stigma concerning HIV, and my sexual orientation that I will not be able to galvanize any type of important relationship.  My diagnosis has significant implications on my health, given that I am compliant with my medication, I feel healthy, but I must still understand that I will not be at my best every day, which is why I must place extreme importance on self-care and balance.  Biologically, my body is different, adapting, and fighting this autoimmune disease. I would be lying if I did not say that I still wish I could erase that part of my life, but it is who I am now, and I must use it as a platform when I find the strength to disclose.  Cognitively, my psyche is stronger, I know I can overcome a lot of adversity. Overall, interacting with our social differences is inevitable, but it is how we navigate those cultural norms, expectations, and proclivities safely that define us.

 

I’ve become so engrossed with the topic of HIV/AIDS that one of my dual positions is at a local non-profit agency in my state.

This agency has become one of my state’s longest standing LGBTQ youth centers in the state and a nationally recognized organization. It supports and empowers LGBTQ young people by creating a safe space, providing health and wellness services, and offering youth development opportunities while bringing people and resources together to promote equality and human rights. The special part about it is the focus on creating a space where lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, aged 13-23, can nurture their health and well-being. I am one of the medical case managers serving the entire city of LGBTQ youth. My role involves providing HIV linkage and retention to medical care services for newly diagnosed youth, providing housing case management assistance, substance abuse support and crisis intervention. Concurrently, I provide in-house HIV testing during our Drop-in nights, as well as run our sexual health clinic. Recently, I was asked to run a program which provides the space for transition-aged, queer youth (13-18) to discuss any and everything regarding gender identity. I will also be joining an advisory board which advocates for necessary revisions regarding the current policies and procedures surrounding the mental health of LGBTQ persons, specifically youth. Despite growing awareness of sexually divergent youth issues in the mental health community, marginalization of transition-aged queer minority youth remains widespread. Furthermore, queer transition-aged youth comprise a disproportionate portion of the homeless population, limiting their access to medical and psychiatric care.

Additionally, I work with a group to ensure that the research agenda and work of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network for HIV/AIDS Interventions that reflects and addresses the current needs and issues of youth who are living with HIV. I take the sentiments I see and hear from my clients in my current profession and engender that conversation through this platform. Most, if not all of my clients feel as if their voice is not a part of the conversation, and that no one will listen to them. This platform allows me to be their voice and work for thorough policy revision.

A common sentiment I hear during support groups I conduct with other HIV positive young adults is that their life is over. There are not enough voices combating the negative stigma of HIV, so individuals may internalize the stigma. Somewhere, someone is hoping that I use my voice, our voices to pull them through. I want to let my community know that you are necessary, you are valid, and know that defining yourself is a process. Don’t ever think you must be just one thing; you are infinite and every part of yourself is valid. HIV should not be an identifier, just an aspect of your identity.  I feel no different than before, I am healthier, and I am stronger.

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The Truth Behind Blue Waffle https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/the-truth-behind-blue-waffle/ Mon, 06 Aug 2018 21:47:04 +0000 http://www.stdcheck.com/blog/?p=5949 Remember back in 2010 when everyone told you to google ‘Blue Waffle’? If you were ever misfortunate enough to do so, you immediately knew it was a mistake. What you saw was a nightmare-inducing image of a blue vagina with what looked like some type of really horrible STD-related infection. This led many to believe […]

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Actual footage of what someone looks like when they google “Blue Waffle”

Remember back in 2010 when everyone told you to google ‘Blue Waffle’? If you were ever misfortunate enough to do so, you immediately knew it was a mistake. What you saw was a nightmare-inducing image of a blue vagina with what looked like some type of really horrible STD-related infection. This led many to believe there was some type of disease out there that could actually turn ladies’ private parts blue.

Fast forward to today and the infamous “STD” is but a memory to most. The problem is, many are still unsure if it was actually a real disease or not. It certainly looked real. Read on to learn more about this gross and mysterious meme that captivated the internet nearly a decade ago.

So what is “Blue Waffle”? Is it real?

Blue Waffle was a bait-and-switch type meme meant to shock or horrify the person who actually looked up “Blue Waffle.” It’s nearly ancient by meme standards, but was shocking and weird enough to still hold the test of time. The image originally contained a blue colored waffle with text at the top that said: “Bet you can’t find me on Google image search”. Those who were too curious for their own good or were expecting to find blue colored waffles discovered the infamous (and very graphic) image of a blue colored vagina.

That’s gross, but I don’t want to look it up. Tell me more.

The picture that shows up on Google is not a pretty sight, and one shocking enough to make some believe it’s the real deal. An STD so vile that its very sight still haunts people’s nightmares. The good news is, it’s fake. When the Women’s Health Foundation blog asked Dr. Amy Whitaker, an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics/Gynecology at the University of Chicago Hospital, about Blue Waffle, she denied the legitimacy of the STD:

“There is no disease known as “Blue Waffle Disease” in the medical world. There is no disease that causes a blue appearance on the external genitalia. I had never heard of this until you wrote to our section and asked about it.”

That means that whatever symptoms you may have heard to be associated with Blue Waffle, as well as the methods of how to obtain it, are all completely fictional. There certainly was something seriously wrong with whoever’s genitals were in that picture, but it wasn’t caused by some fictional STD. 

The aforementioned blog article by the Women’s Health Foundation concluded that cursed image was the result of either photoshopped or vaginal manipulation.

So it’s over now, right?

A councilwoman from Trenton, NJ, brought Blue Waffle back into the limelight in 2013 after falsely claiming Blue Waffle was a sweeping epidemic that demanded the public’s attention. According to her, the disease had claimed 85 lives in just Trenton alone, and it was “a virus that is 10 times greater at this point than the AIDS virus.”

In her defense, her wildly inaccurate accusations had good intentions; she was simply trying to look out for her community. The false information she received was unfortunately sourced from a “concerned citizen” which turned out to be an April Fool’s joke. Her statements only furthered the confusion in the public regarding the fictional disease and ended up highlighting the general lack of knowledge regarding STDs.

The “original” Blue Waffle image

But.. why though?

Why did Blue Waffle even come into existence? Who knows, but it’s probably all in good fun. Some say that it was created to enforce the narrative that there is something wrong with women having sex freely. That may sound a little out there, but consider this: Blue Waffle is supposed to be an STD that only affects women. It has commonly been said to be caused by having lots of sex, and conveniently leaves genitals blue as proof of promiscuity. This is all, of course, completely false. As long as you’re safe and responsible, there’s nothing wrong with having sex regardless of gender.

Speaking of gender discrimination, know that STDs have none. While there are a few, generally small differences between how they impact each gender, both men and women are equally as susceptible to all STDs. The greatest difference being how STDs affect pregnant women and their children. The CDC has an excellent fact sheet about how STDs affect men and women differently here. 

Let’s never talk about this again.

Blue Waffle is something that definitely should be left in the past, but it’s worthy of reviving one last time to dispel the rumors. Do a Google search and even today you’ll still find fake “Blue Waffle Treatment” pages. We’re not sure what’s up with those, but they’re fake, just like everything else Blue Waffle related. So while you still have to use protection and should get checked for STDs regularly, you won’t find yourself testing positive for waffles any time soon.

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What Is Semen Made Of And Where Does It Come From? https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/what-is-semen-made-of/ Tue, 31 Jul 2018 14:00:00 +0000 http://www.stdcheck.com/blog/?p=5718 Have you ever been late-night googling and found yourself in a Google hole? Let’s say you start googling Kylie Jenner, then you fall into looking at information about her and Travis Scott. That leads you to their baby, Stormi, which reminds you of Stormy Daniels, which makes you google Stormy Daniels’ affair with Trump. Then […]

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white liquid cascading off of spoon

Have you ever been late-night googling and found yourself in a Google hole? Let’s say you start googling Kylie Jenner, then you fall into looking at information about her and Travis Scott. That leads you to their baby, Stormi, which reminds you of Stormy Daniels, which makes you google Stormy Daniels’ affair with Trump. Then you start to wonder how old Trump was when he had the affair, because, le’ts face it, he’s no spring chicken. This gets you wondering how the male reproductive system works into old age, which makes you google: How does semen work and what is it made of?

 

Well, if you’ve reached our page due to an extensive late-night Google binge: Welcome; we’re glad you’re here. And we won’t bore you with any more filler about Stormy Daniels (Trump was 60, btw). Instead, we’ll get to the real reason you’re here: to find out about this alien-like substance that squirts out of half of the population’s genitals.

So let’s dive right in and talk about what the heck semen is, where it comes from, and what it’s made of.

What is Semen?

Let’s start with the basics: Semen and sperm are not the same thing.

Sperm is just one of the many components of semen, though, arguably the most vital. The other elements are there to help aid the sperm in getting to its end goal: an egg. These other parts help the sperm by assisting with its mobility, lubrication, and even reducing the resistance of the egg to the sperm (yes, eggs fight against the sperm, just like the Trump administration fights against foreigners [that’s right; we’re edgy]).

A typical male can produce anywhere from 2 – 6 mL of semen when ejaculating. For comparison, a US teaspoon is about 5 mL, so a guy’s jazz can be about half or a little more than the amount of vanilla extract you put into cookies. *Disclaimer: We don’t advise adding this secret ingredient to cookies of any kind*

two balls in a ball sack

Where does Semen Come From?

Semen comes from the genitals of men. Not specific enough for you? Then let’s get into the nitty-gritty.

It all starts with sperm. Sperm is produced by the testes and is stored in the epididymis. Think of the epididymis as a reservoir in the back of the testicles. From this reservoir, the sperm travels upstream (through the vas deferens) with its eyes set on the ejaculatory ducts where it will be ready for launch.

As the sperm travels through the vas deferens, it encounters some pretty steep hills and realizes it can’t make it by itself. That’s where the little guy’s friends come in. Other parts of the reproductive system see the sperm struggling, so they mix in their fluids to help it reach its goal. These fluids come from the seminal vesicles, the prostate, and the bulbourethral glands.

Components of Semen

banana covered in semen-like liquid

Now that you know the basic elements of semen, you might be wondering what fluid comes from where, and what’s the makeup of these fluid components. Don’t worry, dear reader! We’ve got you covered on all the seminal organ elements.

Testes

Sperm comes from the testicles and accounts for ~2-5% of all semen. While this may not seem like a lot, there are 20 – 100 million little spermies per mL of ejaculate. And because men produce anywhere from 2 – 6 mL of semen, some can shoot out 600 million spermatozoa in one single ejaculation! #Yikes

*Fun Fact* Some like it hot, but sperm likes it cold. About 2-3 degrees cooler than the body’s temperature, that is. Sperm thrives in colder environments and the testicles provide that. It’s true; testes don’t hang outside of the body for pure aesthetics (lol), they actually hang because they need to stay cool. Take a note from this pair if you’re ever looking for pointers on how to hang out and chill.

Seminal Vesicles

The seminal vesicles are a pair of coiled glands located below the bladder and next to the vas deferens. This is where the bulk of the semen comes from– about 70% to be exact.

The fluid that comes out of the vesicles contains proteins, ascorbic acid, amino acids, phosphorus, potassium, l-carnitine, among other nutrients. But it’s mainly made up of fructose, or broken-down sugar, which provides sperm with the energy needed to travel upstream.

*Fun Fact* The female body views sperm as a foreign agent and actively works to reject it. Fluid from the seminal vesicles contains prostaglandins which help the sperm sneak in undetected. Creepy, right?

Prostate Glandphallic cactus

The prostate gland is located beneath the bladder and in front of the rectum. About 25% of semen is made up of liquid produced by the prostate.

Fluid that emerges from the prostate is made up of acid phosphate, citric acid, calcium, zinc, and magnesium. Of these, zinc is the most prolific and the most vital, as it helps stabilize the sperm’s DNA. This is also where semen gets its color and taste. 

*Fun Fact* The prostate also produces a fluid called prostatic specific antigen. This liquifies the semen and allows the sperm to swim freely.

Bulbourethral Glands

The remaining <1% of semen comes from the bulbourethral glands. These babies sit near the base of the penis and are about the size of a pea.

When a man is sexually aroused, the glands secrete a mucus which lubricates the penis head, neutralizes the acidity of the vagina, and eliminates any leftover urine from the urethra. Basically, its job is to make sure everything runs smoothly.

*Fun Fact* The secretion from these glands are typically what is referred to as “pre-cum,” and contains no sperm! However, if a man has recently ejaculated, the pre-cum can sometimes pick up and carry out leftover sperm, so keep that in mind.

swimmers diving into a pool

Talk About a Load of Information!

Wow. A lot goes into those 5 seconds of ecstasy. Who knew that the reproductive system was working so hard just to produce a teaspoon’s worth of baby gravy. Now the next time you, your partner, or anyone who has a weiner ejaculates, you can tell them that you know all about it.

To think, this all started because of a Google search for Kylie Jenner. And if you’re interested in continuing down this rabbit hole of information, check out our Benefits of Semen post to learn how all of these components come together to provide benefits for your body. We break it down into easy-to-swallow chunks.

While you’re here, be sure to get that man milk tested for STDs. Just because you know where it comes from, doesn’t mean you know where it’s been.

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My HIV Story: I Refused Medication to Treat My HIV https://www.stdcheck.com/blog/hiv-story-refused-medication-to-treat-hiv/ Mon, 23 Jul 2018 17:00:26 +0000 http://www.stdcheck.com/blog/?p=5689 *The following narrative is from one of our HIV-positive scholarship applicants. It has been minimally changed to remove any identifying information. Italic words within parentheses were added by the editors to make the original essay clearer.* Living with HIV is nothing cute, some days are better than others, every day that black cloud hangs low […]

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No AZT to help me overcome HIV

*The following narrative is from one of our HIV-positive scholarship applicants. It has been minimally changed to remove any identifying information. Italic words within parentheses were added by the editors to make the original essay clearer.*

Living with HIV is nothing cute, some days are better than others, every day that black cloud hangs low over my head with the thought of  “ when will my final day come”? If I only had to deal with just living with HIV, I may not feel so overwhelmed, however when you mix in being molested at a very young age, being placed in special ed from 3-12 grade, coupled with the fact my education level is low because of my learning disability, count on more bad days then pleasant.  

I first realized I had HIV in my final year of high school, my body begin to just do weird things while I did not take a HIV test until 2 years later I already knew what the outcome would be. The one and only guy who I was sexually involved with was a heterosexual male,  a heterosexual transmitted the disease to me. For some reason I felt that was truly unfair. Heterosexual? I never confronted him and he moved out of state. Looking back on the guy who molested me, it was this year when I really felt I should speak out, and I got the courage from the “me too” movement. Every time I become depressed, overwhelmed I often think back on, had my life been different, had these two heterosexual not molested me, and transmitted that deadly virus.

There is no break, its medication daily, coupled with side effects. It’s up to you, you must learn your body, learn the food that will upset your stomach, the most embarrassing thing I deal with is, I often carry around napkins in my car, due to the fact sometimes I can’t hold my bio-move (bowel movements) and many times I don’t make it to a restroom. Sometime I have had to go in an alley behind a supermarket, park, just anywhere.  This is why having this disease is no fun; I would not wish this disease on anyone.

My aunt passed away from HIV due to the fact she would not take her meds, and she felt that God had delivered her from HIV, therefore she said no meds, and shortly thereafter aunt Janet’s* health went downhill fast.

sky passing away from hiv

The one good thing I have in my favorable is African Americans guys, supposedly do better on these meds per my physician. He also indicated the medication I take is the same kind Magic Johnson is taking? I’m thinking to myself ..”wow what a consolation“  

I could not even tell my mom, I felt she would be so hurt.  I only had disclosed the bad report to my mom about 8 years ago (keep in mind 1987 is when I contracted HIV). However I think she already knew due to the fact she attempted to get life insurance on me a few times however those policies would come back declined, but of course not disclosing the reason but I knew.

The scary thing was living through the 1990s, having HIV was somewhat in the early stages along with the medication AZT, which was the only HIV medication. I advised my doctor I was not going to take that medication period.  People were dying on that medication. Their condition appeared to get worse, there was so much bad press about AZT, my doctor recommended I take the medication, I said NO, I felt like killing myself, because my T-cell count was low, I had not told my parents I was HIV positive because so many people died on that medication. I knew it would tear my mom heart out if I told her during the 1990s. Everyday almost every second of my life I thought about being HIV positive and when will I die. I changed my diet, started to exercise, pray everyday. When I got my results from my T-cell count it was 550.

As the years passed with my symptoms getting a little worse, I was finally put on meds in 2005. It’s tough living daily with HIV the pain, the side effects, the shame, the medication, all makes for more unpleasant day. Just knowing every day you have to take medication daily for the rest of your life. 

Medicine on a plate

Remaining consistent and not missing your meds is a must. Because missing and infrequent doses can cause your immune system to become resistant to the medication, therefore the meds will no longer working, and you will have to change your medication, and new medication comes new side effects. Therefore you learn quick to never miss taking your medication, and sooner than later you enjoy consuming that sirloin steak, that has the taste of three chalky tablets.  

You never get over living with HIV your self-esteem is sometimes low, you sometimes feel worthless and inadequate.  Trust me those are the time you have to tap into your faith, and higher power to get you through those tough days. As I previously mentioned if it was just HIV, I would not feel so overwhelming, however the basis things people take for granted like having a job, I could never land a good paying job because of my learning disability, and all jobs I had was entry level with easy tasks. But I still press on, because I know.. “All things are possible and every river is crossable”.  I continue to do my part by educating others on the importance of condom use.

smiling man

While everyone never believes me when I tell them I’m HIV positive, because I take well care of myself not to appear weak. I also tell them you only see the outer appetence (appearance), but inside there still is pain, and I feel my bones get weaker. No matter what, I still continue to move forward; because I know success is yet around the corner. The ability to demonstrate a can-do-attitude even in the face of adversity keeps me strong. Therefore I keep the upbeat demeanor daily because I’m often told my good attitude puts others in a good workflow.

When it comes to my grammar, I’m aware it’s not the best.  However you always get an “A’ for effort. Therefore how I feel living with HIV, how this disease has affected my life, and what I want those without HIV to know, is clearly stated and humbly submitted in my letter. 31 years living with HIV, and I still “choose” to make a difference. Because I know the meaning of the word, “choose” – pick out or select (someone or something) as being the best or most appropriate of two or more alternatives, and I choose ..”Life.” Not celebrating 31 years of HIV, however everyday I thank GOD for keeping me strong and letting me live just one more day.

* = Names were changed to keep identities anonymous

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