Dulce Candy may be known as a Beauty YouTuber to many of her followers, but now she’s adding Sexual Health Advocate to her extensive resume.
Did you know 1 in 2 people will get an STD by the time we’re 25? It’s more common than you’d think, and many STDs don't always show physical symptoms. It’s shocking – and stigma is one of the main reasons why young adults aren’t getting tested.
According to the ASHA, Hispanics are 2 times more likely to have chlamydia than white people, and 1.8 times more likely to have gonorrhea than whites. The organization launched a program called YES Means TEST, which empowers people who say “YES” to sexual activity while staying safe and saying “YES” to getting tested for STDs. The simple step process allows you to add your local zip code and provides a list of clinics where you can check yourself out.
Following some of her life experiences, the veteran is now partnering with the American Sexual Health Association. The author's goal is to bring awareness and help educate people on sexual health along with shedding light on the stigmas with STDs. We caught up with the brunette beauty to speak on her experience, how much her Latino parents taught her about sex, and more below.
MORE: 7 STD Myths — Busted!
Why have you partnered with the American Sexual Health Association?
ASHA is the perfect partner to support me in connecting my audience to educational resources that will improve their health safety for the better, long-term. These resources available at YesMeansTest.org are incredibly easy to use to empower individuals with knowledge. I am proud to work with a national organization of this magnitude! These are the types of meaningful partnerships I hope to continue sharing with my audience. This partnership's a perfect way to utilize the platforms I've built up for years to spread important educational awareness among youth.
Growing up Latina, was sex spoken about in your family? Anyone teach you, maybe an older cousin or fabulous tia?
No, I had to learn on my own about sex which is why I feel that I made a lot of mistakes growing up.
History has shown Latino families aren’t too outspoken on sex, sexual education, and more. Why do you believe this is?
I don’t blame my parents for the lack of conversation about sex. I believe they did their best with what they knew at that time and how they were raised by my grandparents. Growing up my dad always scare us about getting pregnant at a young age. So I viewed sex (even as an adult) as something that I should be ashamed of doing. I believe that’s why I had a hard time owning my own sexuality. I think it’s very important for parents to protect their children by arming them with information and facts rather than fear.
Do you plan on being more open with your family about sexual education?
· Yes, our son's health and wellness is a top priority. My husband and I will work together to be sure Izek is fully informed on how to protect himself and that he needs to be regularly tested when he reaches his teen years.
Who supported you during this tough time?
Part of the reason for partnering on this campaign is to let people know that they are not alone. I was also very ashamed to tell my Mom about my STD’s. It was really hard for me because I was on my own in a different state with no friends or family for support. Fortunately, the Army doctors were supportive and got me through.
What advice would you give to a young girl who is scared of asking for support when she finds out she has an STD?
You can ask a friend or a trusted teacher, guidance counselor, cousin or aunt/uncle. It's natural to be scared to ask for help, but once you stand up for yourself and get help, the problem will be solved. By not asking for help will perpetuate the disease which may spread to others and also damage your body in more permanent ways such as infertility. Please take care of yourselves, and use resources like YesMeansTest.org to find simple ways to stay healthy.
PLUS: How At-Risk Are You to Catch an STI?
Watch the full video below, to hear the beauty blogger's experience and resources from American Sexual Health Association (ASHA).