Please send your comments: sexually transmitted diseases
I would like to point out an issue that has not been touched here in Bolivia, and I don't know if it has been raised in other countries. I will start with an example. This case is about a woman who worked at my friend's house as a maid. She came in every morning, did the chores and left at around two. She had been working for a month when she told my friend, weeping, that she was sick. My friend took her to a doctor who said: 'She is sick because she is very nasty, so she got an infection'. When the woman was still on treatment, my friend came back home early twice and found a strong sex smell in her bedroom. She blamed her husband. He denied it. Two weeks after, she had the same kind of peculiar smell the maid had. She fired her. My friend went to the doctor, and got THE SAME PILLS. When she asked the doctor about the kind of infection she had, he said 'it is more likely that you have gotten this infection through leaving soap in your genitals than from sexual intercourse'. By that time, my friend realized the first doctor had meant 'promiscuous' when he said 'nasty' and the second doctor had meant 'I don't want to blame your husband' when he said 'it's the soap'.
This is a little example of how doctors don't want to call diseases by their name, because they fear the consequences. In the case of sexually transmitted diseases, I think people, men and women, need to know the bare truth. Otherwise they end up getting infected over and over again because they do not understand the words 'nasty' or 'it's the soap'. And that could happen until they get AIDS, for instance, just because they did not warn themselves that their sexual partner has another partner(s) that they don't know about. So I think one way of making doctors tell the bare truth to their patients is by making laws and policies that protect patients by stating clearly that doctors should give a written notice with a description of the disease, in SIMPLE WORDS, or otherwise they will be punished in some way.
The "Doctors Tell The Truth" movement would have greater effects on STDs accountability than any research being carried out at present. I would like legislators to know that we, the consumers of health services, are in the hands of people who call our diseases by names that are misleading, or words that are just too hard to understand, and we need that to change.
The reason I am asking for comments is that there is a request from Araceli, who is going to Washington soon, about ideas on what to tell the congressmen in there about reproductive health and women.
Thanks for your time, and for reading this. Hope it helps in some way.