In Nack’s “Damaged Goods,” she speaks of those who have STDs and their psychological and physical state after being diagnosed. It is, in fact, a state of feeling “damaged.” The chapter discusses the “social acceptability of blaming individuals” for their contractions of the disease. My question is why is this okay? If society was more willing to be open and reach out to individuals to inform them of dangers and be a caring hand when an STD becomes a reality for some people, we would be in a much better, healthier place. Instead of letting the ongoing contraction of STDs happen, we need to stop them in their tracks.

The article says that hardly any talk of STD is talked about in the media. That is not completely true, but it may as well be. I remember watching episodes of Degrassi, and their was an outbreak of an STD at the school. The girl who contracted felt automatic shame and guilt, as well as a sense of loneliness. If this is what we are showing to today’s population, no wonder STDs are still so prevalent! There needs to be more shows and commercials about STDs and how to prevent contraction. Media is the most influential aspect of today’s world. The possibilities of stopping the wide spread are endless with the proper utilization of newspapers, blogs, we sites, TV shows, and music. If send out the proper preventative message instead of a message of the aftermath, there is no telling how many individuals can be saved from having to go through such a confidence-altering ordeal.

The article also said less than one third of physicians screen their patients consistently for STDs. The fact that someone take it upon themselves to make a doctor’s appointment, shouldn’t they be be able to receive comprehensive care for their physician? I attended the Georgia State NAACP Convention last month, and one of the speakers worked at the CDC. She went to her doctor for a check up and as the doctor was leaving, she asked her “Are you not going to test me for STDs or at least HIV?” The doctor replied, “you do not fit the criteria.” For the physician to say “criteria,” there is something wrong in our healthcare system. Just reading about HIV in class, we all should know that there is no criteria for this disease. It hits every age group, race, and economic status. The same goes for any other STD. Of course there are some characteristics that pinpoint certain groups to be more at risk, but that is not exclusive. If we are truly trying to crackdown on this epidemic then we need o stop making assumptions about people by how they look and how much money they make. We never know someone’s story until they tell it.

Individuals feel like they have damaged themselves by contracting an STD, but if society is not trying to help through media and healthcare, society is damaging the individual.

2 thoughts on “Damage

  1. Simoneh: Remember when you quote an article you must not only provide the author but also the page number. Early on you say “The article says that hardly any talk of STD is talked about in the media”- can talk more explicitly about what the author says and use textual evidence (read: quotes) to support your argument? Also you talk a bit about how those who don’t fit the “criteria” might not get tested. Why might health care providers have this approach? How can we (as consumers and patients) push back against this? Did any of our readings address this?

    • When I read the article, the page numbers come up blurry for me, so I am not sure what the page is. If I had to guess, I believe 489. It reads “A recent study pointed out that, ‘[w}hile these diseases are of epidemic proportion, we actually se surprising lit little about them in the media, and we talk about them even less.'”

      Health providers sometimes can have a tunnel view for different diseases just from my own observation. Seeing a black, overweight person in their office they may automatically test for hypertension, diabetes, etc. because of the know statistics. When it comes to STDs, I believe some healthcare providers fail to realize there is not a predisposed criteria for these, but they try to put certain groups in a category anyway to structure their patient visits. We as patients need to make it clear and take the initiative to ask for these tests for our own well being. We cannot always rely on our doctor because the change must also come from us if we are to change the healthcare outlook on STD testing.

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