Note: If you feel triggered by this article, please call The Mental Health Hotline at 1-877-303-2642 (Toll-free)
Bridgerton swept the media by storm with its diversity and a man that united all women everywhere. However, it also highlighted how silence places a woman in danger. We often discuss ending mental health stigma in our communities, but what about sexual health? Daphne’s ignorance about sex gave the Duke complete autonomy of her pleasure and procreation. Yes, she reclaimed her power thanks to a chatty maid, but the same issues are happening today. However, not talking about sexual health harms our mental and physical health.
Illnesses such as chlamydia, syphilis and HIV are rising in women, ESPECIALLY ages 25-32, yet it’s PREVENTABLE through awareness and resources. We need to change the narrative that knowing and talking about sex makes you promiscuous because it makes you healthy. Learning about your sexual health prepares you for the side effects of non-consensual sex and helps you heal. For example, even with limited race-based data, we see that almost 25% of new HIV cases are in the Black community.
We need to stop shaming and silencing the conversation on sex to control our health, be prepared for warning signs, and be reactive when needed. The shame and silence do not just lead to health issues but suicide. Talking about sexual health saves lives.
So, where to start…
Volunteer with agencies like HIV Edmonton or Ribbon Rouge Foundation to break the stigma and learn more. Ask a doctor for an entire bloodwork run, including HIV and syphilis.