There’s a lot of misinformation out there about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), how they are transmitted, or spread, who can get them, and what kind of sexual activity can spread them. These myths are proliferated through word-of-mouth, through rumor, and just generally through ignorance. Get the facts straight and learn the truth about STD myths – and then use that knowledge wisely.
The Top 10 STD Myths That Just Aren’t True
Myth #1: STDs Only Affect Slutty or Trashy People
This is absolutely untrue. Not only is this type of thinking divisive and judgmental, it assumes that STDs are associated with certain stereotypes, and not with unprotected sex. Anybody can contract an STD if they are not using protection, or not using protection correctly. Even those who abstain from sexual intercourse but engage in oral sex can get an STD. This ties into the second myth…
Myth #2: People Can’t Get an STD from Oral or Anal Sex
Many people mistakenly believe this, especially young people who are sexually active. The truth is, people can get a sexually transmitted disease in other ways than just vaginal intercourse. Many STDs are spread through bodily fluids, so coming in contact with these puts a person at risk. An example is if someone with oral herpes performs oral sex on someone else, and that person then gets infected with genital herpes.
Myth #3: Only Adults Can Get Infected with an STD
STDs are not limited to adults. Anyone who is sexually active can get infected. The only reason that this myth is out there is because STDs seem like very scary, “adult” things to have to deal with. But the truth is, STDs are far more common in young people under the age of 25. In fact, half of all young people in this age bracket will contract an STD, according to Planned Parenthood. STDs do not discriminate by age, status, or race. Young or old, rich or poor — anyone who is sexually active can get them.
Myth #4: STDs Can Be Spread from a Toilet Seat
Not only is this totally untrue, it’s also just plain silly. Science is all one needs to debunk this myth that tends to proliferate in the halls of high schools. The fact is, these types of infections and viruses cannot survive outside of the human body for long at all. They need the particular environment that a human body creates in order to live. This includes humans’ specific body temperature. Plus, in order to spread, STDs need quick, direct transmission – the kind found in skin-to-skin contact, for example.
Myth #5: Using a Condom Will Prevent All STDs
Nope. While a condom is an excellent measure of protection, and will decrease the risk of contracting an STD as well as getting pregnant, they are not 100 percent effective. There is still a slight risk involved. The only way to be sure that both partners are engaging in safe sex is to each get tested first.
Myth #6: When Someone Has an STD, It’s Apparent
On the contrary – lots of STDs show no symptoms. Someone can have an STD and not even know it. It is dangerous to assume that one is free of STDs just because there are no signs or symptoms, because people who are confident about their supposed clean bill of health might feel like they can do whatever they want, when in fact they are putting others at risk. STD tests in Plano, TX are the only way to know for sure that a person is, in fact, STD-free.
Myth #7: Having an STD Once Means a Person Can’t Contract It Again
This is blatantly false, because a person can’t become immune from sexually transmitted diseases after having them once. Much like the common cold, which can be contracted over and over when people are exposed to the virus, STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhea can be contracted whenever a person has sexual contact with an infected person – even if they have already had the infection and have been cured. Other STDs, like HIV/AIDS and herpes, are life-long diseases – these will never go away, and the person will never become immune.
Myth #8: Having Sex Once Won’t Cause an Infection
Unfortunately, according to WebMD, even if a person only has sex once with an infected person, the chances of spreading the infection are really high – about 30 percent. Some people may believe that the odds will be in their favor, but this is a mistaken belief. It only takes one instance to spread an STD, and reasoning that a person is only engaging in sex once, or having a one-night stand, is not a justification to practice unsafe sex.
Myth #9: Spreading Herpes is Only a Concern when a Person Has an Outbreak
As it turns out, herpes can be spread even when a person is clear of outbreaks. According to WebMD, the herpes virus continues to be transmittable even when it is not visible. Multiple studies have shown that many people may additionally carry the virus without showing signs of it, and they can still spread it.
Myth #10: If One Person Gets STD Tests in Frisco, TX, Their Partner Doesn’t Have To
This isn’t true because of the fact that a person may have an STD and not know it. If one person in the relationship is tested and does not have any STDs, this does not clear their partner. The only way to be certain is for both parties to get STD testing done.
Get the Facts Straight About Sexually Transmitted Diseases
STDs are a touchy topic for many people, which is perhaps why so many myths about them swirl around. However, the only way to protect oneself and stay healthy is to know the facts. The only way to know if one has an STD is to get STD testing, and the only way to practice safe sex is to have that knowledge.