STI transmission is a rampant problem and has been for many years. Even today, when the “Is it safe?” question comes up in casual sexual encounters, there’s a base assumption that you’re talking pregnancy, not the herp. If, as a woman, I say, “I take the pill,” it seems like men are perfectly happy to just go for it, to both take me at my word in terms of pregnancy prevention and totally avoid the equally important STI conversation.
There is a risk involved on both ends in those kinds of situations, but there can be an assumption made that consenting adults can make the choice to take every precaution to protect their health.
Fifty years ago, Guatemalan prisoners and mental hospital patients were not so lucky when the U.S. government used them as unsuspecting guinea pigs to conduct research into treatment of STIs including syphilis and gonorrhea.
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