T“Prevention is key ” is what we have been taught to attend from our smaller days, but it is evident that nowadays prevention through education and awareness has more impact. STD is an increasing dilemma in today’s society. This is mainly caused due to individuals being in contact with infected people.

We, the Rotaract Club of IIT, decided to take the first step in raising awareness to prevent the spread of STDs and to educate the uneducated/uninformed/misinformed individuals on the subject. As a result, we invited Dr. Mrs. Chandrika Jayakody, a consultant venereologist under the Ministry of Health, to conduct a virtual session on October 31st at 7.00 p.m. to share insights on understanding the courses, social consequences, and preventive mechanisms of STDs, which have a direct impact on society.

The discussion was mainly on sexually transmitted diseases such as HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, etc. where she stated that getting tested is important and that it can cause serious health problems if not treated on time. During her session she mentioned that some STDs/STIs can be passed from mother to infant during delivery and some may infect the fetus during pregnancy (even before delivery). She also mentioned that these STDs/STIs can only spread through sexual intercourse, skin-to-skin contact with infected areas, blood.

She also stressed out on the fact that it is important to break the stigma, which has a negative and a painful impact, as most infected individuals go through severe depression, self-hatred, etc. due to the myths that have been built around it. She pointed out that, as civilized individuals it is our duty to help them overcome their insecurities and stop others from judging or condemning them.

The session provided the audience with a portal to post their questions, making this a much more interactive session, and the Dr.Mrs.Chandrika Jayakody answered each and every question with a good explanation.

She ended the session saying that “it is important for people to know how common STDs are, and that having an STD says nothing about the person or his/her past, how it is a hundred times easier to prevent STDs than treating them and not to let embarrassment keep you from seeking medical attention.”

This was yet another successful project which aided in spreading awareness of the dangers, perceptions, and prevention methods of STDs with a total of over 100 participants.

We would like to thank Dr. Mrs. Chandrika Jayakody for taking her valuable time to address the audience regarding STDs and STIs.

Written By – Disuri Gunasekara