STDs are a bummer. At minimum they represent embarrassing disclosure, annoying contraceptives, itching and burning. Farther along the spectrum of misfortune are the incurables, the cancer-causing viruses and the life-threatening illnesses. But no matter how much suffering you may incur, in my opinion, the worst thing about STDs is that some can be passed from mother to child. Imagine an entire life carrying the burden of one of those unfortunate illnesses without even having had the pleasure of acquiring it!
In the waiting area of clinic 4E at the Detroit Medical Center, women in various stages of pregnancy and early motherhood are leaning against walls, sitting on plastic “kiddy” chairs, and pacing around the rows of empty chairs around them. They are waiting for their name to be called, and they will wait for hours. They’d like to sit in the chairs, but will not, for fear of bed bugs.
There are a number of unavoidable symptoms of pregnancy: swollen feet, morning sickness, drowsiness, sure. But parasitic insects? They have no part on that list.