Fear Of STIs Is Real, But Move Past It With These Expert Tips

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Despite the fact that science around STIs has come a long way, because of the perpetual stigma surrounding these infections, many people still have a fear of STIs. While it’s logical to fear something you don’t fully understand, the problem with this particular brand of stigma is that it sometimes prevents people from getting regular STI screenings, because they’re too scared to get the results. Although all STIs are treatable and most are curable, if an STI isn't diagnosed promptly, it can have devastating results. Because of this, being scared of STIs needs to be nipped in the bud.

"There are still a lot of myths and misunderstandings about having an STI," June Gupta, MSN, a board-certified women's health nurse practitioner and associate director of medical standards at Planned Parenthood Federation of America, tells Bustle. "It’s important to remember that having an STI doesn’t make you any less good, valuable, or worthy of love. Your status doesn’t make you 'clean' or 'dirty.' Everyone deserves to have their sex life be healthy, happy, and free from shame and stigma."

Although letting go of what scares you isn't likely to happen overnight, if you take a moment to recognize what you're fearing and why, you might have a better chance of letting go.

Here are seven things to realize in order to help combat those STI fears.