Editor, Daily Nexus,

I would like to respond to one of the quotes in the Daily Nexus’s Wednesday, October 15th story,”What’s Your Problem?” Ricky Denoda is quoted as saying, “I’m visiting and I heard that one in 20 of the females around here have an STD. I don’t have to say why that’s a problem, but that’s what I heard.”

As one of the one in 20 females with an STD in the area, I feel that this quote promotes common stereotypes associated with STDs. I agree that STDs are a problem and consider it a shame that many have to suffer through the heartbreak, negative emotions, and societal connotations that are part of having an STD. Somehow I do not get the feeling that that is the problem being referred to. The aforementioned quote implies that Denoda, like many visitors, is here to take part in the I.V. party scene, but is worried about coming across a “dirty” girl.

The majority of people who contract STDs do not have them because they slept around. It only takes sleeping with one person, one time, to get an STD. I don’t understand how that means that suddenly because I have an STD, I am somehow promiscuous or dirty or unhygienic or ignorant or somehow bad and deserved to get it, or any of the other bullshit that people like to sling at people who have these diseases. Most people would be surprised to know how many of their acquaintances have an STD.

One in four adults has or has had an STD at one point in his or her life. Taking into account the number of hookups that go on in I.V., most students have probably come in contact with one, whether or not they caught it.

Secondly, people who are aware of having STDs are not out on the scene hooking up. They are responsible people who are aware of the effects of having an STD. For many, their greatest fear is passing on the STD to a partner.

Lastly, in printing quotes like this, it promotes stereotypes that lead to complexes, fear of isolation, and withdrawal in those who have an STD and feelings of disgust and fear in the minds of those who do not. STDs are a fact of life. In a society that is more open about sex, would it not make sense to be more open about STDs as well? People need to become more educated about and accepting of something that will probably affect most people once in their lives in one way or another, whether they contact it themselves or meet an affected partner. Hopefully, STDs are something people will start talking about and will start learning about. Then the social stigma will be eliminated.