Healthy pride

Western North Carolina is a health-conscious place, but one that hasn’t always been welcoming for the LGBTQ community. And without health and wellness opportunities that provide care, while also affirming sexuality and gender identity, some LGBTQ folks may not share essential information with their providers or avoid health care settings entirely. Numerous local organizations and […]

Sexual transmissi­on of Zika, rise of STDs have health officials on alert

With numbers of sexually transmitted illnesses rising across the nation, local and state public health officials are particularly worried about the impact of a new and unique illness: the Zika virus. Zika is transmitted by infected mosquitoes, but unlike other such illnesses, it can also be transmitted by sexual contact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports. The […]

Playin’ It Safe spotlights teen sexuality and health

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one-fourth of young women between the ages of 14 and 19—about 3.2 million teenage girls—are infected with at least one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (human papillomavirus or HPV, chlamydia, herpes simplex virus and trichomoniasis). Health effects can range from infertility to cervical […]

Razor burn, moles and other STDs

Adolescents today face unprecedented challenges. Although I gratefully enjoy the innocence of my young boys, who are just now entering the public-school system, my work makes me painfully aware of the challenges our teens must confront. My time on staff at the Buncombe County Health Center’s STD and family-planning clinics, as well as my current […]