Imagine sitting at dinner with your significant other. The conversation consists of some random news items, how their day went and general family stuff. Then the person gets serious and says they have something to discuss with you. If you’re a woman, your eyes may light up because you’re thinking, “Maybe he’s about to propose”, and if you’re a man, you may start to get nervous because you think she’s going to tell you she’s expecting. But neither of these happen. Your significant other tells you that he/she has ___________ . Insert any random incurable disease onto that blank line.

Now comes the awkward silence.

To put things in perspective, here’s a statistical breakdown on STDs in the United States:

  • Estimated number of Americans living with an STD: 65 million
  • Number of new cases of STDs every year: 19 million
  • Number of Americans who will get an STD in their lifetime: 1 in 4
  • Number of unsafe sexual contacts it takes to get an STD: 1
  • Number of Americans who have genital herpes: 45 million
  • Percentage of Americans who have herpes and do not know it: 35
  • Seconds it takes for a new person gets genital herpes: 30
  • Number of people living with HIV/AIDS in America: 468,578
  • Percentage of those people who are African-American: 44
  • Number of people living with HIV who have not been diagnosed: 1 in 5
  • Maximum number of days it takes to detect HIV with a DNA by PCR test: 28
  • Estimated total number of cases of Chlamydia each year: 4,000,000
  • Percentage of women living with Chlamydia who do not know it: 75
  • Estimated cost of Chlamydia complications in the U.S. each year: $2,000,000,000
  • Average cost of antibiotic to treat a case of Chlamydia: $15
  • Percentage of people who have gonorrhea in the throat and do not know it: 90
  • Percentage of people who have syphilis, do not know it, and develop complications years later: 33
  • Estimated increased risk of acquiring HIV if infected with syphilis: 5 times
  • Percentage of IV drug users who are infected with Hepatitis B: 30
  • Percentage of IV drug users who are infected with Hepatitis C: 85
  • Percentage of straight men and women who have had sex with more than 5 people in the last 6 months who have Hepatitis B: 21
  • Number of people out of 100 infected with Hepatitis C who will develop chronic infection: 80

That’s a lot of STDs.

For the record, some STDs are more communicable than others and all of them can be transmitted even when a person has no symptoms. What do you do? What exactly do you say? I?ve never been in that situation, so I can’t imagine how I would react. I guess a person would have to take into account the disease. But is there an incurable disease that is better than another? For example, if one incurable disease doesn?t have the ability to kill you, are you willing to deal with it? But perhaps it?s something potentially life threatening, what do you do then?

If a significant other informed you they had an incurable STD, what would you do?

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  • OSHH

    I read a stat that stated half of the black pop has it so….. point being it’s not at all uncommon.

    • lol


      if it is the same stat i read ,the statistic stated that in a certain year about 40% of all the people that tested positive for Herpes were AA women. THAT IS NOT THE SAME AS 40% of all black women have Herpes. i know that a lot of black men spout the latter around because they read the first but did not comprehend correctly because they were so blinded by hate but those 2 statements are not the same,for example

      correct : 90% of all rapists are male
      incorrect : 90% of all males are rapists

      see the difference?

      you can’t interchange the 2.

      but yes i agree, it’s not at all uncommon.

    • Kacey

      Form the CDC:

      To summarize: “The study finds that women and blacks were most likely to be infected. HSV-2 prevalence was nearly twice as high among women (20.9 percent) than men (11.5 percent), and was more than three times higher among blacks (39.2 percent) than whites (12.3 percent). The most affected group was black women, with a prevalence rate of 48 percent.”

    • Oven Mitt Romney

      @ KAcey

      Don’t believe everything the CDC puts out. They are always releasing negative reports on minorities, especially AAs. Their job is to sway the public into thinking we are the nastiest, filthiest, most diseased people who are irresponsible and don’t use protection. Why else do you NEVER hear reports about whites, they they don’t use protection just as much as any other race? They also only have ACCESS to public records and not private records. Keep that in mind.

  • Starla

    @OneGirl. This is the exact reason I do not share glass/cups, or spoons/forks with anybody. Some folks think I am scornful or think I am better than them, which is not true. We have to think twice about sharing straws, lipsticks and forks with others. Next thing you end up with a cold sore or something worse.

    • sasha

      children get it too:(

  • Downsouth Transplant

    @ African Mami I hear ya, not sure what the appropriate reaction should be other than hope I am sitting down not to pass out, that is the time those sex ed classes of 5th grade start coming to mind, dunno i hope not to hear it though

  • millz

    Whether its oral herpes or genital its herpes. You can still spread it. STDs are very common and most don’t know they are infected. in order to get an accurate diagnosis for herpes you must get a blood test. Ladies pap exams don’t test for majority of Std including herpes. Know your status before your quick to judge and make assumptions.

    • That blood test isn’t accurate which is why it’s not included in routine STD testing. The only way they can tell if you have herpes is if you have an outbreak and come in with a sore to show your gynecologist. That’s the only way they know.

  • Mo

    There are 13 comments on this page, and no one realizes that out of that number: 3.5 of you will have or already have an STD.