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    Get informed about STD Testing! Check our STD Knowledgebase to find out more about the most common types of STD’s. The knowledge-base contains symptoms, treatments, and cures. Once you are more educated on the STD’s, you can make better choices on the next steps towards STD Testing.

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Religion and support for birth control health coverage can mix

There has been a research on how faith and religion can affect the attitude of women towards the policies created for reproductive health such as the Affordable Care Act and its contraceptive coverage.

This study tries to debunk the common notion that the religion and faith of a woman can predict her views and opinions on the policies that affect reproductive health care including birth control insurance coverage.

The study conducted by the University of Michigan shows that opinions of religious women are mixed regarding policies that are characterized as going against Christian views, e.g. Affordable Care Act that mandates employers to provide contraception coverage to their women employees.

The study shows that 66% Protestants and 63% Catholics were most likely to approve of the Affordable Care Act which is even a greater percentage compared to non-religious women and non-Christian religions who have a percentage of fifty-nine (59%). The least likely to approve of the ACA were Baptists and other Christian groups (48% and 45% respectively).

Overall, 56% of women will most likely support the mandate on contraceptive health coverage while less than 25% would like to be exempted from ACA because of religious beliefs. These findings were also shown in Contraception, an international reproductive health journal.

According to the lead author Elizabeth Patton, M.D., M. Phil, M. Sc., an OB-GYN at the University of Michigan Health System and at the same time, a researcher at VA Center for Clinical Management research, they wanted to study the correlation of a woman’s religious affiliation and her view on the policy on reproductive health care but found out that there is no significant relationship between the two.

Dr. Patton added that there are debates about reproductive health care that have been tagged as religious vs. non-religious but this is not based on research. Their study has found out that the attitude of religious women towards reproductive health care policies are much more complex than what they thought.

Last year was a tough year for the Affordable Care Act’s mandate to provide contraceptive coverage to female employees. Owners of Hobby Lobby and Conestoga Wood opposed to this mandate because they claim that it is against their religious beliefs. The Supreme Court sided with these two companies and decided that corporations with religious owners are not obliged to follow the ACA’s insurance coverage of contraception.

Recently, the Supreme Court also asked the lower court to reconsider a decision on barring Notre Dame, a Catholic University, from refusing to provide coverage on contraception to their employees due to religious reasons.

The University of Michigan study found out that only 23% of women agreed that religious hospitals and schools should be exempted from the contraceptive coverage mandate. Majority of these women however disagreed with insurance coverage on abortion.

Researchers analyzed data conducted by the Program on Women’s Health Care Effectiveness Research of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Michigan and data coming from the Women’s Health Care Experiences and Preferences survey which includes a sample of 1,078 women in America with ages 18 to 55. This research examined the relationship between religious association and attitude towards contraception coverage by employers and abortion services.

The political debates in the country about religion and reproductive health still continue. Dr. Patton said that there is a need to make sure that these women, despite having different religious beliefs, should be served well by these policies. There is also a great need for everyone to be aware of how complex religion can affect women’s views so that the policies on reproductive health can be designed to truly cater to the desires of most women in the United States.

Editors Note: Most contraception methods only protect against pregnancy, not STD’s. Only condoms can prevent most sexually transmitted diseases, and some can still spread even with proper condom use. If you have been using contraceptives with the impression that it will safeguard you from diseases, you should have yourself tested for a possible STD infection.

What NOT to give your Valentine Date: An STD

Every year men of all ages are usually perplexed on what to get their special someone on Valentine’s Day. Sure, there are the regular stuff, flowers, chocolates in a heart shaped box, a romantic dinner at a pricey restaurant. The whole holiday revolves around romanticism and love, which naturally leads to sex. For many, this may mean for the first time with a new partner, especially among young adults and teenagers.

Of course everyone is warned about STD’s in school, yet many are ignoring the teachings and proceeding to have unprotected sex anyway. The CDC reports that in this country, STD’s are reaching epidemic levels, with over 20 million new sexually transmitted disease cases each year, and more than half of these are among people age 24 and below. So what is causing these numbers to reach such high levels? Below are a few common misconceptions about contracting STD’s.

I’m a virgin, you’re a virgin, were safevalentines std testing plush toys

Because you’re a virgin does not mean you are STD free. An infection can enter the body in other ways besides penis-vaginal sex. Many people do not consider oral sex or anal sex to be “sex”, and therefore, consider themselves a virgin. Both HPV and HSV (herpes) can be spread through oral sex, and many all other STDs can be transmitted through anal sex.

I’m not the type to get an STD, neither is my partner

There are still many stereotypes that people think they couldn’t possibly get an STD because they are not promiscuous or gay. However, STDs can infect anyone, whether you are straight, bisexual, or homosexual, or if you are promiscuous or not. It does not matter how responsible you are, how smart you are or how clean you are, you can both contract and transmit an STD to/from your partner.

I don’t have an STD, I just had a medical exam

Many people think that in their annual exam they will be tested for STDs, and if they had one their medical professional would have told them. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case. Only about 1/3rd of physicians test their patients for sexually transmitted diseases during their exams, and out of the ones that do get tested, half are only tested for HIV, and none of the others.

valentine std testing cardI would know if I am infected

This is one of the biggest problems of sexually transmitted diseases, most of them are asymptomatic. Although STDs can present with many different symptoms, many times people do not get any symptoms at all and are carriers for the disease. However, even if you show no signs of any disease, it can still pose a threat to your health and you can transmit it to others.

I always use condoms, I can’t get an STD

Unfortunately, this is false. There are a few STDs that can be transmitted even if you use a condom properly, such as HPV and HSV (Genital Herpes), both of which are incurable. These diseases can be passed on through skin contact, and barrier methods are ineffective for that.

This Valentine’s Day, please be safe.  Before engaging in sexual activity, talk to your partner about their sexual history and experiences. The only way to truly know if you or your partner is STD free is to get an STD test. We wish you a fun, safe, and romantic holiday.