Okay, New Jersey....we are about to have one of those talks.

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This topic can be uncomfortable, but it shouldn't be. It is part of life and more importantly, being a sexually active adult.

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According to NJ.com, there has been a significant increase in sexually transmitted disease cases in New Jersey and it has gotten to the point where U.S. health officials are calling for action.

There was an increase of 26% for syphilis cases, the 2021 rate of syphilis cases reached its highest since 1991and HIV cases have seen a 16% spike, according to NJ.com.

“It is imperative that we ... work to rebuild, innovate and expand (STD) prevention in the U.S.,” said Dr. Leandro Mena of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention according to NJ.com.

 

 How do you fix numbers like these? You take action.

I understand that these types of conversations are never the most comfortable to have but the more we have them, the more  normalized of a subject this becomes.

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I will never forget it. My mom took me to a Japanese restaurant and reserved a table that was away from the busy dining room.

While we ate, she taught me all about sex, physical anatomy and most importantly, protection and the practice of safe sex.

"If you are old enough to have sex, you are old enough to deal with the repercussions," says Mama Murry to this day.

Are you using condoms? Are you getting tested regularly if you are sexually active?

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These are things that need to become the norm in New Jersey.

On top of handling this topic amongst our own family and friends, officials have put a plan in motion:

"Harvey’s group and some other public health organizations are pushing a proposal for more federal funding, including at least $500 million for STD clinics," according to NJ.com.

The more readily available STD tests become, the more people will do them. I would bet money on this.

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Now was this chat so bad?

One more thing before I let you go.

There are a lot of people and health professionals who are working to change the stigma revolving around sexually transmitted diseases.

It is a part of life and as long as you are responsible once you know you have one, there should be no looking down upon anyone for it.

I hope what Dr. Mena envisions for the future actually comes true:

“I envision one day where getting tested (for STDs) can be as simple and as affordable as doing a home pregnancy test,” he said.

 For now, let's just hope you live in one of these New Jersey counties:

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