http://www.ashasexualhealth.org Fri, 02 Nov 2018 19:58:03 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/cropped-site_icon-32x32.jpg http://www.ashasexualhealth.org 32 32 One-Two Punch: Knocking Out HIV and Syphilis Co-infection http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/one-two-punch-knocking-hiv-syphilis-co-infection/ Fri, 12 Oct 2018 15:17:15 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=5790   Funded with a grant from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the One-Two Punch: Knocking Out HIV and Syphilis Co-infection initiative is designed to educate North Carolinians, especially those in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill and surrounding areas, about our state’s higher risk for HIV and syphilis and the need to talk with health care professionals […]

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Funded with a grant from the National Library of Medicine (NLM), the One-Two Punch: Knocking Out HIV and Syphilis Co-infection initiative is designed to educate North Carolinians, especially those in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill and surrounding areas, about our state’s higher risk for HIV and syphilis and the need to talk with health care professionals about testing for both infections.

The campaign is suitable for all audiences and special care was taken to include populations that are too often overlooked, including men-who-have-sex-with-men and African-American women.

The posters and video are free to download and use on your websites and social media platforms. Each item has a link to NLM’s AIDSource site and clinic locator tool to find local free/low-cost care across North Carolina and the U.S.

Just click here or use the form below to fill in your organization’s name and email address to get instant access to all campaign materials. #HealthisPower #NC!


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FDA Approves HPV Vaccine for Adults Over 26 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/fda-approves-hpv-vaccine-adults-26/ Mon, 08 Oct 2018 15:33:39 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=5766 On October 5, 2018 the FDA approved use of the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine in males and females ages 27-45, expanding the previous indication that covered from ages 9-26. Gardasil 9 prevents infections with the “high risk” HPV types most commonly found in a number of cancers worldwide, including cervical cancer. The vaccine also protects […]

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On October 5, 2018 the FDA approved use of the Gardasil 9 HPV vaccine in males and females ages 27-45, expanding the previous indication that covered from ages 9-26. Gardasil 9 prevents infections with the “high risk” HPV types most commonly found in a number of cancers worldwide, including cervical cancer. The vaccine also protects against “low risk” HPV types associated with most cases of genital warts.

HPV infections are common and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates 14 million Americans are diagnosed with HPV each year. While most HPV infections are harmless and clear naturally, the sheer number of cases make it a key public health priority. In the U.S. about 4,000 women die from cervical cancer each year and the burden is much higher globally. “High risk” HPV types also are associated with vulvar, vaginal, anal, penile, and many head and neck cancers.

To learn more about the HPV vaccine check out the FDA’s press announcement.

For resources and support for HPV and cervical cancer check out NCCC. 

 

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The Female Condom Gets a New Name http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/female-condom-gets-new-name/ Thu, 27 Sep 2018 15:53:06 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=5726 Good news for sexual health advocates: in a final order issued today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed the classification of female condoms from a class III device to a lower-risk class II device—the same classification shared by male condoms. The change will make it easier for manufacturers to bring the product to […]

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Good news for sexual health advocates: in a final order issued today, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) changed the classification of female condoms from a class III device to a lower-risk class II device—the same classification shared by male condoms. The change will make it easier for manufacturers to bring the product to market, as the regulatory requirements for a class II device are lower than for the class III.

The order also includes a new name for the product. The “single-use female condom” will now be called the “single-use internal condom,” reflecting its potential use during anal sex—a new indication for the product. Currently, only one female condom—the FC2 Female Condom—is available in the U.S., and it is sold by prescription. For those without insurance, it is also available for purchase online through the manufacturer, and may be available for patients at health departments or clinics. This new FDA ruling classifies the single-use internal condom as an over-the-counter (OTC) device, opening the door for greater access.

“The device is assigned the generic name single-use internal condom, and it is identified as an OTC sheath-like device that lines the vaginal or anal wall and is inserted into the vagina or anus prior to the initiation of coitus. At the conclusion of coitus, it is removed and discarded. It is indicated for contraception and/or prophylactic (preventing the transmission of sexually transmitted infections) purposes.”

The reclassification comes after years of advocacy efforts seeking the change to help improve access. This is reflected in the public comments to the FDA in support of the change. As the FDA order notes, the “overwhelming majority of commenters supported the proposed reclassification, name change, and the general effort to increase patient access to single-use internal condoms.”

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ASHA Survey Shows Many Herpes Patients Diagnosed Incorrectly http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/asha-survey-shows-many-herpes-patients-diagnosed-incorrectly/ Tue, 10 Jul 2018 16:48:41 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=5617 Think you can tell that a rash or sore is a genital herpes infection just by looking at it? If you said “no,” you’re right. You can’t. And neither can your healthcare provider. And yet in a recent ASHA survey of 369 people diagnosed with genital herpes by a healthcare provider, more than 26% said […]

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Think you can tell that a rash or sore is a genital herpes infection just by looking at it? If you said “no,” you’re right. You can’t. And neither can your healthcare provider. And yet in a recent ASHA survey of 369 people diagnosed with genital herpes by a healthcare provider, more than 26% said they were diagnosed with a visual exam alone.

While experienced healthcare providers may recognize the classic symptoms of a genital herpes infection, they also understand that there are other conditions that can be mistaken for herpes, and that they can’t make a definitive diagnosis with just a look. Even if the infection is herpes, a visual exam alone can’t determine herpes type—and that matters.

Why does virus type matter?

There are two types of herpes simplex virus (HSV) that can cause a genital infection: HSV-1 and HSV-2. While most genital herpes is caused by HSV-2, an increasing number of new genital herpes cases are caused by HSV-1. Knowing the virus type is important in understanding what to expect and determining treatment options.

For example, those with genital herpes caused by HSV-1 have far fewer outbreaks than those with genital herpes caused by HSV-2. In fact, many people never have another recurrence of genital HSV-1 after the initial outbreak. For those who have genital herpes is caused by HSV-2, recurrences are more frequent, so more of those with HSV-2 than HSV-1 benefit from suppressive therapy. Appropriate type-specific tests can help a patient better understand what to expect—you can read more about herpes testing here.

It’s clear that knowing the virus type is important, but 30% of respondents in our survey were either not told, or not sure if they were told, the herpes type they were diagnosed with. About a quarter of those who were retested (25.32%) did so because they were not originally told the virus type.

Understanding the diagnosis

In answers to the open-ended survey question “How would you describe your response to your diagnosis,” the words used most often in responses were (in order): shocked, depressed, devastated, and sad. Also frequently mentioned was the word “confused,” and with good reason. A diagnosis can be difficult and confusing, but

The vast majority of respondents to our survey (80.34%) received no counseling after their diagnosis, and 34.78% of those who were counseled after their diagnosis were not satisfied with the counseling they received. Most of these patients turned to the web for more information, from sites like ASHA.

You can learn more right here about herpes diagnosis, treatment, and emotional issues. If you have more questions, you can ask an ASHA expert.

A Conversation with Terri Warren about Genital Herpes Diagnosis

Terri Warren, ANP—nurse, author, and owner of Westover Heights Clinic in Portland, Oregon that specializes in the genital herpes infection—offers her insights and expertise about genital herpes diagnosis in a two-part conversation on ASHA’s Sex+Health podcast. In part one, Warren explains the tests that can provide an accurate genital herpes diagnosis and how they work and clarifies that a physical exam alone should never be the final diagnosis for anyone, for many reasons. In part two, she discusses the importance of knowing herpes type and offers helpful insight into how to put a herpes infection into proper perspective.


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Coming Soon! Get the Latest on the Health is Power Initiative http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/coming-soon-results-nacchos-health-power-demonstration-site-project-implementation-evaluation/ Tue, 26 Jun 2018 14:13:44 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=5596 As rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among racial and ethnic minorities continue to rise, local health departments and community-based organizations are continuously exploring effective methods of reaching these populations with sexual health messaging and education. Effective use of social media and social marketing techniques can increase dissemination and reach of health promotion messages targeting […]

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As rates of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) among racial and ethnic minorities continue to rise, local health departments and community-based organizations are continuously exploring effective methods of reaching these populations with sexual health messaging and education. Effective use of social media and social marketing techniques can increase dissemination and reach of health promotion messages targeting sexual and reproductive health (SRH) in underserved populations. One such population is African-American men.

In 2016, African-American men experienced the highest reported rates of primary and secondary syphilis and gonorrhea across all other races/ethnicities and genders, as well as the highest rates of chlamydia among all other racial/ethnic groups. Improving and addressing male SRH needs, particularly in adolescent and young adult populations, are concrete objectives in Healthy People 2020. The benefits of addressing male SRH contribute to improving the lives of individual men and boys, but also extend to their partners, children, families and communities. Yet, compared to female SRH needs, men – particularly heterosexual men – receive minimal attention in literature, clinical health services, and community-based and population health interventions. Additionally, limited guidance exists on effectively reaching African-American men with SRH health promotion messages.

Health is Power (HisP), a social marketing campaign created by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Division of STD Prevention (DSTDP), was specifically designed for heterosexual African-American men, ages 18-30. The campaign seeks to promote positive sexual behaviors through a multi-phased campaign with strength-based messaging around increased condom use, healthy relationships, STD testing and prevention, and open partner communication. The “Health is Power Toolkit” provides various health promotion tools including customizable posters, postcards, social media messages, web banners, and “drop-in” website articles. The availability of these resources allows for further dissemination of the HisP messages along with the option to further evaluate the efficacy of HisP messages within local communities.

In 2016, the National Association of County and City Health Officials and CDC DSTDP partnered with Louisiana Public Health Institute (New Orleans, Louisiana), CCM Foundation (Houston, Texas) and Baltimore City Health Department (Baltimore, Maryland) to conduct demonstration site projects focused on implementing and evaluating local HisP campaigns. Demonstration sites adapted and expanded HisP messages and materials to meet the needs of their local target audience, developed customized implementation plans, and evaluated campaign reach and effectiveness. NACCHO provided technical and capacity-building assistance on effective implementation and evaluation of local HisP efforts. The HisP demonstration sites will finish implementing and evaluating their campaigns by the end of June 2018. Over the next few months, NACCHO will be highlighting the results of this demonstration site project on their website. Stay tuned for detailed information regarding HisP implementation and evaluation results.

 

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National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/national-youth-risk-behavior-survey-yrbs/ Mon, 18 Jun 2018 14:27:16 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=5584 The latest YRBS reports some positive health trends for American youth but points out nagging disparities still persist with sexual minorities. The 2017 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows fewer young people in the U.S. are having sex and using drugs but cautions that […]

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The latest YRBS reports some positive health trends for American youth but points out nagging disparities still persist with sexual minorities.

The 2017 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows fewer young people in the U.S. are having sex and using drugs but cautions that a number of troubling risks remain for youth in at-risk groups.
The report finds that between 2007-2017 the percentage of high school students who say they’ve ever had sex dropped from 47.8% to 39.5%. Condom use during last sexual experience also dipped from 61.5% to 53.8%. The percentage of students using illicit drugs declined from 22.6% in 2007 to 14% in 2017.
Of concern, though, is that Gay, lesbian, bisexual and questioning youth were far more likely to report having experienced violence and bullying. In the press release outlining the findings Jonathan Mermin, M.D., director of CDC’s National Center for HIV/AIDS, Viral Hepatitis, STD, and TB Prevention said ““Today’s youth are making better decisions about their health than just a decade ago. But, some experiences, such as physical and sexual violence, are outside their control and continue at painfully high levels. Their experiences today have powerful implications for their lives tomorrow.”

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Men’s Health Month http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/mens-health-month/ Fri, 01 Jun 2018 15:30:30 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=5572 Each year in June we put a special focus on the health needs of boys and men. Sexual health is important across the entire lifespan and involves more than just sex! Body image, relationships, understanding sexual anatomy (and keeping it healthy) are all a big part of a guy’s overall health. ASHA has an array […]

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Each year in June we put a special focus on the health needs of boys and men. Sexual health is important across the entire lifespan and involves more than just sex! Body image, relationships, understanding sexual anatomy (and keeping it healthy) are all a big part of a guy’s overall health. ASHA has an array of sexual health resources developed just for men at all stages of life.

Health is Power!

The Health Is Power toolkit is designed for organizations to better promote sexual health among young African American men (ages 18-30). The toolkit is designed mainly for heterosexual men, but also includes imagery and messaging that can be used with gay and bisexual men.

Men’s Health Podcast

We ruminate on men and sexual health in this episode with Dr. Abe Morgentaler of Men’s Health Boston and ASHA’s vice president for strategic partnerships Kay Phillips.  Both offer their insights and we highlight the tools and resources ASHA offers for men (and organizations serving them).

 

Health & Wellbeing for Young Males

This self-assessment tool is designed for young male patients, roughly ages 14-18, to help provide a picture of overall health and wellbeing. This assessment can be shared with a healthcare provider, who can answer any questions you might have about the questions covered.

Anatomy 101

There’s more to it than what you see. Although most of the male reproductive organs are external, it’s important to understand how all your sex organs—external and internal—work together.

Sexual Difficulties in Men     

Sexual difficulties in middle age are just as natural to the aging process as a change in hearing, vision, or physical strength. While it’s important to understand why most men over 40 experience some form of sexual difficulty, it’s more important to understand that sexual difficulties in middle age (and beyond) can be managed.

Take Ten

Talking to a healthcare provider about your sexual health can be intimidating. You might feel embarrassed about the questions that you have; you might not want to admit to certain feelings or fears about your health. However, being able to talk to your healthcare provider about your physical health as it relates to your sexual health is absolutely crucial. Ten Questions to Ask has tools for finding the right provider and talking with them once you do.

Sexual Health TV

Sexual Health TV (SHTV) is your one stop for a wide range of sexual health programming including men’s health videos like Myths and Facts about Erectile Dysfunction.

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Hepatitis B Virus: Five Things to Know http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/hepatitis-b-virus-five-things-know/ Fri, 25 May 2018 19:12:51 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=5565 Hepatitis B is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be experienced as an “acute” infection causing mild illness for a few weeks or months or as a more serious “chronic” infection lasting a lifetime. Chronic HBV infection can cause complications such as cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and […]

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Hepatitis B is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) can be experienced as an “acute” infection causing mild illness for a few weeks or months or as a more serious “chronic” infection lasting a lifetime. Chronic HBV infection can cause complications such as cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and even lead to liver cancer.

Hepatitis B is More Common Than You Think
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates as many as 2.2 million persons in the U.S. are living with chronic hepatitis B.
Hepatitis B Is Most Commonly Transmitted Through Sexual Contact
Hepatitis B is transmitted through contact with infected body fluids such as semen, vaginal secretions, and blood. HBV is most often transmitted through sexual contact but can also be contracted when injecting drug users share needles and other injecting equipment. Mothers with HBV can also pass the virus to their infants during birth.

But Most Don’t Know They Have It
Adults often have few – if any- symptoms. When they occur, symptoms can be mistaken for the flu (nausea and vomiting, malaise, loss of appetite and abdominal pain). Some people with hepatitis B also experience jaundice, a yellowing of the eyes or skin.

The Only Way to Know is to Get Tested
The only way to know for sure is to test! Ask your health care provider if a test for HBV or other sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are right for you. Special blood tests are used that can detect either HBV particles or antibodies (proteins in the blood your body produces against infections). Blood tests can determine if someone with hepatitis B has an acute or chronic infection.

It’s Easy to Prevent
Use male or female condoms (sometimes called external or internal condoms) each time you have sex. While they don’t provide 100% protection against hepatitis B and other STIs, when used consistently and correctly condoms are one of the best ways to reduce your risk for hepatitis B and other STIs. Those sharing households with someone diagnosed with HBV should contact with infected blood or other body fluids directly or on objects such as needles, razors, toothbrushes, and the like. Clean surfaces contaminated with blood or other body fluids with a solution of 1 part household bleach and 10 parts water.

There is a vaccine that can prevent hepatitis B! CDC recommends hepatitis B vaccination for sex partners of anyone who has hepatitis B; anyone who is sexually active but not in a long-term, monogamous relationship; those treated for STD/STIs; and men who have sex with men. Others may benefit from vaccination against HBV so ask your health care provider what is recommended for you.

For more on HBV and other STIs visit www.ASHAsexualhealth.org and follow us at #ISpeakSexHealth.

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New CDC Data Show that STD Rates Continue to Rise http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/cdc-data-shows-std-rates-continue-rise/ Wed, 29 Aug 2018 19:11:41 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=5641 New data released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that STD rates continue to climb in the U.S., with nearly 2.3 million cases reported to CDC. The data on five year trends in reported STDs show that increases in STDs have continued for four consecutive years. From 2013-2017: Syphilis cases […]

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New data released today from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reveal that STD rates continue to climb in the U.S., with nearly 2.3 million cases reported to CDC. The data on five year trends in reported STDs show that increases in STDs have continued for four consecutive years. From 2013-2017:

Data on STD rates 2013-2017As Gail Bolan, MD, Director of the Division of STD Prevention at CDC commented, “After decades of declining STDs, in recent years, we’ve been sliding backwards. In addition to these sharp increases, we’re also facing new challenges that we must address like the potential link between STD risk and drug use and the ongoing threat that gonorrhea will eventually wear down our last highly effective antibiotic.”

While striking, the data on reported STDs is only part of the story. Many cases go undiagnosed and untreated, and the consequences of untreated infections can be severe. While chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are curable with antibiotics, complications of untreated infection include infertility, ectopic pregnancy, stillbirth in infants, and increased HIV risk.

Also important to note is the fact that STDs impact some groups more than others. Men who have sex with men (MSM) made up almost 70 percent of primary and secondary syphilis, and young women 15-24 made up about 45 percent of the 1.7 million reported cases of chlamydia.

In a press briefing announcing the release of the new data, Bolan noted the importance of following CDC’s recommendations for screening. As she stated, “We recommend that all sexually active women less than the age of 25 go in and get checked for chlamydia and gonorrhea on an annual basis. We recommend that men who are having sex with men, go in and get checked at least annually for sexually transmitted diseases…We just need to get our providers doing sexual histories and doing the appropriate screening and we need to have clients who come in and access care to be asking, do I need to be – everyone needs to ask their doctor, should I be tested for STDs, I hear they’re going up. So, have that conversation.”

Learn more about screening for STDs and how to talk to your healthcare provider about your sexual health.

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Women’s Health Month http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/womens-health-month-2/ Tue, 01 May 2018 14:38:52 +0000 http://www.ashasexualhealth.org/?p=5525 Every year in May we shine an especially bright spotlight on the unique health needs of girls and women. New policies and programs make quality healthcare accessible for millions and we want to make sure you take advantage of all that’s available. You deserve to be well cared for in mind and body! Sexual Health […]

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Every year in May we shine an especially bright spotlight on the unique health needs of girls and women. New policies and programs make quality healthcare accessible for millions and we want to make sure you take advantage of all that’s available. You deserve to be well cared for in mind and body!

Sexual Health Across the Lifespan

Menopause is a normal, natural event—not a disease!
Menopause isn’t a one-size-fits-all event and affects each woman differently. Some women reach natural menopause with little to no trouble; others may experience symptoms that can hamper their lives. And when menopause starts suddenly as a result of surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation, the adjustment can be tough.

Self Assessment Tool for Young Females
These self-assessment tools are designed for young female patients – one for ages 9-14 and the other for ages 15-young adult years – to help provide a picture of overall health and wellbeing and to get them thinking about a number of health topics as they prepare for a visit to their health care provider.

Pleasure is Healthy

Beyond the Big “O” 
Sexual pleasure is good for you! Listen to the ASHA podcast as Dr. Logan Levkoff dishes on everything from not only having more sex but better sex, and why sexual pleasure doesn’t need to involve a partner!

 

Sexual Pleasure 101
If you’re wondering why your sex life isn’t playing out like a steamy love story, it’s good to remind yourself that your sexual-response triggers are unique to you! So just how will you experience sexual pleasure?

Women and Sexual Health Care

Yes Means Test
 A happy and healthy sex life starts by saying #YESmeansTEST. It’s as easy as having a chat with your healthcare provider. They can help you figure out which tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are right for you. At a minimum, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that sexually active women under age 25 get tested for chlamydia and gonorrhea every year.

Preventive Care and the ACA
Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a number of preventive care health services are now available for women without cost sharing–in other words, nothing out of pocket! See which services are covered and learn what it means for you .

Take Ten
Talking to a healthcare provider about your sexual health can be intimidating. You might feel embarrassed about the questions that you have; you might not want to admit to certain feelings or fears about your health. However, being able to talk to your healthcare provider about your physical health as it relates to your sexual health is absolutely crucial. Ten Questions to Ask has tools for finding the right provider and talking with them once you do.

Relationships

R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Listen to Aretha! Truly good relationships take time and energy to develop, and should be based on respect and honesty. This is especially important when you decide to date someone. While it’s important that dating partners care for each other, it’s just as important that you take care of yourselfHealthy Relationships gets you started towards the relationships you deserve.

For Your Viewing Pleasure

Sexual Health TV

Sexual health TVSexual Health TV (SHTV) is your one stop for a wide range of sexual health programming including our library of women’s health videos. Check out one of our most popular videos, How Well Do You Know Your Partner?

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