There were nearly 2 million cases of sexually transmitted diseases reported in Guilford County in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Mara Stewart, a senior and sociology and anthropology and health science double major, addressed this issue along with the problem of misinformation about STDs and the stigma of getting tested during her presentation on Wednesday, Nov. 1.
“Getting tested for STDs is something that people are scared of,” said Stewart. “It’s stigmatized because sometimes, and I say this ironically, it’s better to be blissfully ignorant about these things because then you’re not scared.”
Stewart worked to destigmatize STD testing through her summer work with the Triad Health Project, an advocacy and support group for people suffering from HIV/AIDS that provides emotional and practical support for patients and their families.
Stewart also worked to spread correct information about STDs.
“Being the age we are right now as college students and with hookup culture especially (prevalent), I think it is important to truly educate yourself instead of listening to a friend of a friend,” said Stewart.