Pamela Anderson is one in a handful of celebrities who has come forth and talked about having an STI (sexually transmitted infection). In 2002, she told Jane magazine:
Alas, Anderson says, the information could have proved useful the day they shared a tattoo needle.
There’s still disagreement about whether or not Hepatitis C is actually a sexually transmitted infection. Most get the disease via injected drug use, or in Ms. Anderson’s case, a tattoo needle. It should be noted that Hep C infections via tattooing are very rare. I think a big lesson here is do not trust Tommy Lee.
In 1991, Magic Johnson announced that he had HIV:
I think it’s a good thing when public figures feel like opening up and talking about STIs. In an interview he gave in 2009, Rapper Trey Songz talked about getting public lice, aka, crabs. What stuck out to me about his story isn’t his vivid description of the itching (oh God!) but that he told his girlfriend about it. He claims that she transmitted them but that she denied it and didn’t speak to him again. At least they talked about it. Awareness is important and it takes away the shame factor. There’s rumors abound about which celebrities out there have genital herpes. Is it anyone’s business but their own and the people they’re sexually active with? Nope. Would it help if a celebrity came forward and said, “I have it, it didn’t end or ruin my life, it’s going to be okay for you, too”? Yup.
Everyone: please, please don’t be shy about asking your partner about this stuff. If they freak out, they’re a jerk and you shouldn’t be sexually active with them. It’s that simple.