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Health

Strange Bedfellows: Dr. Ina Park normalizes talk of STDs

I can't step into every bedroom in America and say, ‘oh, wait a minute, let's put on a condom!’…What I could do, though… write a book that uses storytelling and humor to turn people's interest towards the subject as opposed to the narrative we have now, which is that these are terrible and scary things that I should want to run away from… I'm hoping to shift the feeling away from ‘I did something wrong’ to ‘this is just something that happens and I have the power to take care of it.’ – Dr. Ina Park

 Ina Park, MD is a sex-positive STI enthusiast on a mission to normalize conversation around STDs in an effort to break down stigmas associated with them so that people can live healthier, happier lives.  Her book Strange Bedfellows: Adventures in the Science, History and Surprising Secrets of STDs is a helpful tool for her quest.   In this Area Voices segment, she discusses her book, the omnipresence of STDs, the cancer fighting benefit of HPV vaccinations and ways to navigate herpes, HPV, HIV, and gonorrhea.

…we can do better… being honest about how common they are and not showing folks pictures that are going to terrify them, but rather ... instead of doing the slide shows, spending that time talking about condom use and how to negotiate that and talking about the important issues that we have to deal with, such as consent and and pleasure… there's so much more to sexuality than just the diseases that we can get… - Dr. Ina Park on comprehensive sexual education in schools.