Importance of Learning About STDs

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are contagious afflictions that individuals contract through close physical or sexual contact. People of any age, sex, race or nationality who engage in active sexual relationships can be affected. Effective measures must be taken soon after diagnosis as treating an STI early can prevent further health complications.

The number of young people infected with STDs and STIs have increased. Especially because STDs and STIs can lead to severe consequences, it is important to learn about the causes, symptoms, effects and treatment methods of various sexually transmitted diseases.

You must understand that STD is much more than just a social stigma. It not only impacts patient’s health, but also relationships and mental wellbeing. Even though some STDs do not cause major problems, some of them can lead to infertility or death if left undiagnosed or untreated.

In most cases, sexual relationships aid transfer of these diseases. However, misinformation is a bigger culprit. People wrongly assume that STDs and STIs can only be contracted through sexual contact. It is to be noted that some of these conditions can be passed on by simple skin-to-skin contact with the patient’s infected area.

Some wrongly assume they cannot contract STD through anal or oral sex. The viruses can invade individual’s body via wounds, small cuts and even through mucous membranes in anus or mouth.

Diagnosis is often delayed because symptoms for most STDs are difficult to identify. An infected person might not notice the subtle symptoms and remain unaware of this health condition. They unknowingly pass the disease to others as they consider themselves STD-free.

It is true that there are some advised prevention techniques, such as using a condom, but none offer 100% guarantee. Condoms, for example, are cannot prevent STDs like genital warts and herpes that pass via skin contact.

Especially because the symptoms are not clear most often, it is important that you seek medical attention even when you notice probable symptoms. You can either go to a STD testing center or a reliable healthcare practitioner. It is also wise to see the doctor if you were exposed to someone who has a sexually transmitted disease.

Upon diagnosis, there is no reason to worry. If your test reveals positive result for a STD, it does not mean it will result in death. Most STDs are curable. The STD testing center or your doctor will prescribe medication required to help cure the disease There are many treatment options for most STDs. Note that along with treatment, most patients are required to follow long-term care and maintenance routine.

Great importance is given to informing the partner. This is important because he/she will be able to help and offer mental support. You will need someone who understands and supports you. It recommended that sexual partners of the patients should get STD tested too. STD infections are not always dangerous but they may pose threat and compromise individual’s health.

There are many different types of STDs, but they are usually asymptomatic. This is why it is difficult to identify whether someone is infected or not. Even if a person shows no common signs and symptoms, he can infect others. Therefore, it is critical to get STD testing done frequently. Some people express concerns about privacy. They can choose clinics that offer confidential STD testing. The doctor will also suggest the best course of action for you.

The exposure of different kinds of STDs makes it difficult to stay safe. It is wise to to educate yourself about the types of diseases and relevant information.

How to Lose Excess Weight Effectively

Obesity is perhaps one of the most common health concerns among people from all around the world. Dieticians often suggest a comprehensive weight loss solution based on a VLC diet (very low calorie) to help hurry the process. In general, burning more calories via exercise and limiting calorie intake is what helps weight loss.

However, the process is not as easy as it sounds. Suggest incorporation of physical activities in daily routine and reduction of food intake leads to weakness and other problems. Most people look for an easier way out where they do not have to starve themselves.

It is anyways important that you select a weight loss plan that is healthy. It should also have a long-lasting effect, unlike fad diets. If it is not easy to follow, you will be demotivated and chances of discontinuation are high.

If you wish to lose weight, you must first understand that this is a long-term process and entails commitment and dedication. The aim is to not only reach your ideal weight but also maintain the results. Even after you reach your goal, you must lead a healthy lifestyle.

On of the biggest reasons behind weight loss fails are the strategies followed by individuals. It is essential that you understand your body type and lifestyle before selecting a plan. Choose a regime that will keep you motivated till you reach the target weight. The Internet and magazine offer hundreds of strategies but below are 3 most important tips.

  1. Make a Long-term Plan

When you select a weight loss plan, choose one that you can follow even after you reach your goals. Strategies like starving yourself might offer quick results but it is difficult maintain in the long run. In fact, it can lead to serious health issues.

Instead, choose a lifestyle that includes healthy food choices and lots of exercises. You can easily adapt to these changes and also keep up. You can embrace one small change at a time and lead to a completely different lifestyle.

  1. Measure and Record the Changes

Some people might advice you to stay off the scale as it might discourage you. Even though measuring weight changes every day is not wise, it might help to check your progress on a routinely basis. The scale can guide you through the journey. In fact, it can also help prevent you from regaining the weight.

It will show you how close you are to your success and upon attaining it you must maintain it. If you find that the changes in weight are not satisfactory, you might have to make changes in your weight loss plan.

It helps to set specific weight loss target like weekly weight goals. You will then work hard to achieve them and then be motivated to work towards the bigger goal.

  1. Embrace an Active Lifestyle

In order to lose weight, you will definitely have to make healthy food choices. Another major change is incorporating exercise in everyday routine. It is not very difficult to start an active lifestyle. If you make smart choices, keeping up will be easy too.

A good tip is to engage in activities that interest you. Instead of getting a gym membership, try to do physical activities that are fun. Some people like walking in the part while other like swimming. Active sports are also a good option. Apart from these, healthier options like riding the bicycle to work, or taking the stair can help you lose weight.

If you follow all three of the aforementioned steps, you will see positive results towards your weight loss goals.

What No One Tells You About Surgical Cosmetic and Anti-Aging Treatments

With the baby boomers blowing out more candles on their cakes, certain industries are starting to pick up speed as they are of interest and need to this demographic. Apart from the obvious areas like health care, there are a couple of logical but less expected business niches that are profiting off of the baby boomers. One of these niches is cosmetic surgery.

However, it’s not just nose jobs and breast augmentation that they are coming for. More and more often they are requesting anti-aging treatments like facelifts, neck lifts, eye lifts and more. And though many people are happy with the effects that these surgical treatments bring, there are some facts that they forget to share when promoting it and recommending it to friends or acquaintances:

  1. Recovery Time

Most cosmetic and anti-aging surgery treatments require a dedicated recovery time, from 10 days to 2 weeks. Unless you work from home or have a very empty social calendar, it means that you will most likely end up hiding your swollen face at home during this time instead of going about your regular routine. That why non-surgical cosmetic and anti-aging procedures are appealing because they require little to no downtime. Now that’s something to think about.

  1. It’s Expensive

If you think that anti-aging creams at the drugstore are expensive, you will not like the costs associated with the surgical equivalent. Starting from $4,500 for eyelid surgery to over $12,000 for a facelift, you better hope those retirement investments were extremely successful, otherwise you’ll have to stick to alternatives. For that price, you can hire a top notch trainer to help you shape your body and you can buy the best non-surgical treatments and elixirs on the market and still have some money left over.

  1. Things Can Go Wrong

Other than a light allergic reaction or temporary rash, there is very little risk in using non-surgical anti-aging treatments. However, when you decide on going under the knife, you run the risk of something not going according to plan. From an adverse reaction to nerve damage, accidents during the surgery can result in irreversible disfigurement. Though this is more and more rare, it’s still a possibility that doesn’t exist with non-surgical alternatives.

  1. Scarring

Even if you get the best plastic surgeon to take you on as a patient, there is a big chance that you will be left with scars following your treatment. However, how long the healing process is and how bad the remaining scars will be, depend on your individual case. Your age, your skin tone and complexion, the size and depth of incision, and how quickly your skin heals, all have an impact on whether or not, or how bad the scarring will be.

  1. Not Permanent

Though the nearly immediate results of cosmetic and anti-aging surgery are satisfying, they cannot be considered permanent. Your body will continue aging, which means that your skin will continue to lose tone, the muscles in your face will relax, making them sag, and the wrinkles will deepen. However, because of your treatments, you will still look younger than your peers from your age group. In the end though, if you want to maintain your looks as they are permanently, you should get ready for going under the knife regularly.

With a growing aging population, the rate at which people are electing to undergo cosmetic and anti-aging surgeries is on the rise. However, the decision to go under the knife should not be taken lightly. There are many things that your friends and your surgeon won’t tell you about cosmetic surgery, and it is up to you to make an informed decision about how to go about your anti-aging treatments.

How to Save Money on a Long-Distance Motorcycle Road Trip

As a motorcyclist, you know that road trips are better on two wheels. You’ve got freedom. When everyone else is stuck in gridlock, you’re able to weave your way out of traffic. You can pretty much park everywhere, and your bike is harder to tow than a car or truck. Certainly, there are plenty of advantages to driving a motorcycle, but that doesn’t mean road trips are any cheaper.

Overall, motorcycle ownership is less expensive than owning another vehicle type; however, you don’t have a ton of storage, which means you can’t take many supplies on the road with you. This has the potential to make long-distance trips a bit more costly. Typical costs include fuel, food, accommodations, and insurance. Employ the following strategies to help you save on these costs and more. Then, you can brag to all your friends, who still drive on four wheels, about how much better it is to ride a bike.

Look For Insurance Savings

Before you hit the road, make sure you’re not overpaying for motorcycle insurance. Although basic liability is the cheapest coverage, this is limited insurance. It only covers expenses for others, so if you’re in an accident, personal injury and property damage (damage to your bike) won’t be covered if you’re at fault. To get the most comprehensive coverage at a price you can afford, compare rates and look for discounts, such as bundling car, home, and motorcycle insurance.

More ways to save:

  • Increase your deductible.
  • Take a motorcycle safety class.
  • Join a motorcycle club, such as Harley Owners Group, and take advantage of the group’s insurance discounts.

Improve Your Gas Mileage

You’ll use less gas when you’re obeying the rules of the road. Fight the urge to hastily accelerate; instead, maintain your speed and avoid quick breaking. You can also employ the help of a navigating app, which will tell you the fastest route to your destination. You will probably want to get off the beaten path to sightsee, but whenever possible, take advantage of shorter routes and flat stretches of road to save on fuel.

Don’t wait until you’re nearing empty to fill up. This is going to limit you to whatever gas station is nearby. Gas stations are notorious for increasing prices when they’re located nearby a highway exit. If you look for competitive pricing on gas, you can ensure you’re never overpaying. Check out this list of apps that can help: 5 best apps to find cheap gas.

Save Money on Food and Accommodations

Motorcycles don’t have enough storage to keep you satiated on your journey. This means you’ll do most of your eating on the road. Before you head out, make a note of diners and other low-cost restaurants on the way. You should also note grocery and convenience stores. Whenever possible, pop into a grocery store and pick up a few items that will fit in your bag and keep you going for a couple meals, such as bread and lunch meat.

As for accommodations, you’re going to get the most comfort from a hotel or motel; however, these tend to be pricey. To save, consider staying at a hostel or Airbnb property. There are apps that allow you to search for couch surfing opportunities, which are typically free, but it may be dangerous to trust a stranger. Some people see these apps as an opportunity for sexual encounters, which is a bit weird and has led to a decline in their use.

Final Thoughts

Your motorcycle’s manual will tell you when maintenance should be scheduled. For example, it may recommend that you replace the chain and sprockets at 15,000 miles. You can avoid costly repairs if you follow the manual’s advice. Regular maintenance should help prevent breakdowns, which cost a lot. Overall, be safe on the road and take advantage of savings wherever you can find them. If you’re keeping a budget, stick to it and you should be fine.

Squatters’ Rights: What to do When a Squatter has moved into Your Vacant Home


You’ve been away for a few months and now you get to sleep in your own bed. You open the door and guess what? There’s someone in your house. They’re using your bathroom, sitting on your couch and cooking in your kitchen. They’re squatters. Squatters are people who take residence on a vacated property that doesn’t belong to them. It’s not a new craze, It’s as old as homeownership itself. Squatters have taken over single-person homes all the way up to entire neighborhoods.

While squatting isn’t new to America, it has become more common following the 2008 recession, which resulted in more than 5.4 million mortgages becoming delinquent or going into foreclosure. Many families ended up homeless as a direct result. Although the economy has since improved, there are still many reports of squatters. Las Vegas authorities received over 4,000 squatter complaints in 2015, which was more than double the number of reports received in Las Vegas in 2012.

What Not to Do

When you happen upon a squatter on your property, it is important to stick to the right side of the law. Don’t:

  • Attempt to keep the squatter off your property by putting padlocks on the doors.
  • Try to get rid of them by shutting off the utilities. Squatters wouldn’t be living in your house if they weren’t desperate. They will probably look for an alternative way to access these utilities. This may include improvising, which could result in the destruction of your property.
  • Attempt to intimidate them. They may cause you harm in retaliation.

How to Handle Squatters the Right Way

If your home is going to be vacated for a long period at a time, make sure that your property is secure while you’re away. However, if you do find a squatter on your property, here’s what you should do:

  1. Contact the authorities

Your first reaction should be to call the police. Don’t wait. Allowing a squatter to continue living on your property with your knowledge will be interpreted as consent of the living arrangements by the court. It is therefore important to let the police know as soon as possible that there is a trespasser on your property.

The police may not remove the squatter from your house. This is because it is considered a civil matter. However, they will help you begin the process of eviction.

  1. Give a notice of eviction

Give the squatter a notice for eviction. If you’re lucky, the squatter will leave having been served with the notice.

  1. File for an unlawful detainer action

If the eviction notice doesn’t get rid of your squatter, you’ll have to take it a step further and file a lawsuit for unlawful detainer. You may need the assistance of a lawyer to make sure that state law is followed to the letter. This will begin the formal proceedings for an eviction.

  1. Seek law enforcement to evict the squatter

If the squatter continues to persist, you’ll need to seek out local law enforcement to get him off the property. Never engage with the squatter or try to force them off the property yourself. Leave this to the proper authorities.

When you regain your home, invest in measures to keep it secure, this will include updating your homeowners insurance policy to include coverage for a vacated home will protect your home if any damage is done by a squatter. You can compare homeowners insurance quotes on sites like CoverHound free of charge.

Protect your house, home and family just by following the above, it’s not too hard.

There is more to it than Simple Closure

Professional advice has always warned against closing existing credit accounts. Your credit score is made up of a number of elements one of which is your existing debt relative to the credit that you still have available. You should ideally never exceed 30% of debt against your total available credit. If you zero an account then close it you will be reducing your available credit and therefore potentially harm your score.

You should certainly get rid of expensive credit card balances and can do that with a far more competitive personal loans. Modern online lenders provide a simple and speedy loan vice with approvals dependent far more on affordability rather than the previous history of the applicant.  Decisions are usually fairly immediate with correct applications and the money transferred automatically within the next working day. You will not face another interest rate charge on your card.

The question is whether you should retain the card. As long as you are self-disciplined in the future and only use the card for convenience then why not? You should be certain you can pay off your month’s spending in full at the end of the accounting period in order to avoid interest being applied.

The Scissors

There are occasions when taking scissors to you card makes sense:

  • Self-discipline can be a problem. You may be tempted by some special offer or the latest gadget. How strong is the will power? If you close an account then you cannot spend anything on it. Credit scores do judge accounts of some age higher than new ones and overall 15% of your credit score is made up of the length of your credit history. That is not affected if you close an account and removal of temptation may be worth the slight setback to your short term score. Your good history relating to the card will not disappear until the seven year limit removes it anyway.
  • If your card has a particularly high rate of interest or stringent terms and conditions it may well be worth closing it and getting a more competitive card. That will mean you retain your debt/available credit ratio. If you can negotiate the waiver of fees then by all means keep the card.
  • If your card is ever used fraudulently it makes sense to close the account. If it has been used once it may be vulnerable for unauthorized used again even though the first transaction was identified.
  • If the card is a joint account and you are splitting up it is obvious that the account should be closed.
  • At times a card is useful because of the rewards and promotions that have been a regular feature. If they no longer apply then it may not make sense to keep the card, especially if another card provides what you now need.
  • Where you have resolved never to seek credit again then more than a single card for convenience makes little sense. Your mortgage may already be in place so why have multiple cards when you are handing your payments well? That should ensure your credit score is fairly good.

If you get the scissors out then it is worth taking a couple of other steps at the same time:

  • You must keep your debt levels low. If your debt ration changes and harms your credit score if you reduce your debt you can restore your score without taking on a new card.
  • Where you have a choice of which card to close, close the newest one unless its terms and conditions are clearly better than an older card.

Ultimately anything older than seven years disappears from your credit history but by the time that happens with the positive entries on an account you have closed you can take  other prudent steps to improve your credit score elsewhere. That not only means reducing your overall debt but continuing to pay all your bills on time from personal loans to regular monthly commitments like utility bills or insurance payments.

If your financial management skills improve you need not worry too much about closing any account because you will find that your credit score will start to reflect your better performance when it comes to your financial affairs.

Three Money Mistakes Made by Millenials

Each generation wants to be more successful than the last, whether that is making more money, having enough to retire, or a home to be proud of, but it does not see like we are headed in that direction.  Whether you are just entering the workforce now, need to make adjustments to your spending habits, or looking for advice to pass down to your children, it is never too early to prepare for your financial future.  By avoiding some of the worst money mistakes you can make, you will be setting yourself above most, as I wish that I had followed earlier in life.

No Credit Card Discipline

Signing up for a free t-shirt promotion during my first semester of college started years of bad spending habits that would have been solved had I not had a credit card.  Sure having a card is good for your credit, as long as you make payments on time and pay off the balance each month, but in my case using it as an open spending account to have fun took years to pay off, teaching myself a lesson that I will eventually pass down to my children.

Not Contributing to 401(k)

When you graduate from college and start your career path the last thing you are thinking about is retirement, but pretty soon the years will catch up and you will realize you do not have much to show for it, so even if it is minimal, such as 3% or so, start contributing early.  If you are lucky to have your company match contributions, adjust for the max they will offer, as potentially thousands could be left on the table that you could have in your account.

Putting Off a Savings Account

The fact that the average American only has a couple thousand in the bank is no surprise as there is always something to spend money on, but you need to get in the habit of saving early on.   The more money that is left in your checking account is the more opportunity to spend on unnecessary items.  Use direct deposit to ensure that there are consistent contributions being made each paycheck.  There will always be big items to purchase, such as a home, car, wedding, so start young and you will thank yourself later in life.

Increasing Your Job Satisfaction as an Educational Professional


You’re fresh-faced after enjoying a well-earned summer break, and ready to start the teaching year with a bang. But with the general consensus over teacher’s working lives being resoundingly negative, maintaining that positive attitude over the coming months could be a struggle.

In March the Guardian published the results of their teacher survey, and it wasn’t a pretty picture.

With 60-hour weeks being common practise, an unhealthy work-life balance was one of the biggest complaints. Concerns over undue pressure on head teachers and increasing workloads are also damaging career progression.

The most concerning result was the record number of respondents who were seriously considering leaving the teaching profession. With staff shortages already affecting schools and pupils, this is an issue the government should be putting serious time and energy into solving.

But we could be waiting a long time before we see the effects of any policy alterations or structural changes. As the teaching year commences, now’s the time to take matters into your own hands and improve your job satisfaction.

Become the next leader

This seems like a big ask but it’s easier than you think. Believing in yourself and your opinions about what could improve teacher’s lives is important, and having the appropriate qualifications will lend your voice more weight.

Undertaking a course in Educational Leadership and Management might seem like a left-of-centre choice, but it’ll allow you to progress to a level where you can actually implement changes.

Studying online around your already busy schedule will require dedication, but the payoff makes it worthwhile. Even the act of trying something new will give you some much needed focus and satisfaction if you’re feeling trapped in a slump.

Fall back in love with teaching

It may not always feel like it but your headteacher is as concerned as you are about the future, and many schools are starting to respond. Schemes to reduce marking by increasing one-to-one feedback systems have proved successful in some English primary schools, as have decisions to shut the school building at 5.30pm.

Similar changes may be rolled out across the nation if these pilot schemes prove successful, but until then putting effort into improving your mental attitude is also key. Talk to your peers and family about your concerns or achievements, and always be honest with your employer about your needs.

If you’re struggling at the moment, asking for help is the surest way of receiving a helping hand. Recent headlines prove you’re not alone, so stay positive and focus on realising productive changes that’ll make a big difference to your career and long term happiness.


Filing Your Taxes is Easier Than You Think

Filing your taxes is an inevitable annual process, and for many people, it hangs over their heads until tax season is over. Even though many methods are available to aid in this process, tax season has gotten a bad reputation as a time when you have to spend money with an expensive accounting firm to find out how much more of that hard-earned money to give up to the government. Or you might figure you’ll waste your refund money on frivolous things. As it turns out, many of the negative stereotypes associated with tax season are simply myths.

Filing your taxes used to mean taking them to an accountant who worked some magic, spoke a language you didn’t quite understand, and took your money. Recently, many online resources have begun to offer programs to make it easy to do your own taxes. It didn’t take long for smartphone providers to offer apps on their smartphones, like the Samsung Galaxy S7 from T-Mobile, to allow users to file taxes from anywhere within the extensive and reliable network. And filing on your smartphone offers the flexibility and simplicity you can’t get from filing by traditional methods.

More people than ever are filing their own taxes now without the need for an expensive accountant. Filing your own taxes doesn’t mean you won’t get a refund, either. In fact, the IRS paid back over $217 billion in refunds in 2015, so refunds are very likely. Taxes go toward helping the educational systems, transportation systems, and other public service systems that make life easier. So instead of falling for tax myths that make you dread tax season, check out these interesting facts and start looking forward to all the positives that come from this time of year.


Four Items Americans Overspend on the Most

If there is ever chatter about how Americans are racking up the credit card debt or not having much in savings, it is probably true, as they love to spend.  There are four areas that get extra spending attention that could probably be scaled back a bit.


The cost of weddings continue to rise to give, whether it is having a little extra money to spend as the economy has recovered, or that a huge dream wedding is in order, Americans are spending over an average of $26,000 for one night of bliss.  Those brides must be watching “Say Yes to the Dress” as well, as the average wedding dress is over $1,200.


The American dream used to be buying a house right when you finish college and get your first “real” job.  Those that was old enough to live through the most recent economic crash, whether it was seeing parents suffer losses, or not wanting to be stuck in that situation of possibly being under water, seem to lean towards renting over purchasing.  If you do decide that renting is for you, think about the money that is being thrown away each month, with no return on investment or a tax deduction.

Student Loans

With the cost of college in general, not to mention the cost of textbooks, and add room and board into that, and there is a reason why a recent graduate is entering the workforce with an average of over $37,000 in student debt.  That is only figuring a four-year degree, so add in further education or even worse, medical school, you may never be able to pay off student loans until you are about to enter retirement.


It is not a myth that a car depreciates the second you drive it off from the lot, so why would you want to purchase a new car.  With loan terms being five or even six years to keep payments somewhat reasonable, that is also assuming that you will not be tired of the car even if it escapes the loan without having any major repairs.  I have learned my lesson and will never buy a car again.  For a few hundred dollars a month, lease, and you can get a new car every two or three years, never having to repair except normal oil changes and tire rotations.

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