Since we began offering STD testing at PRC we have had the opportunity to serve many clients from all walks of life. One thing that is consistent is the difficulty telling someone they have a STD, especially when it’s a viral STD that they will have for life. Many times, they have a hard time believing it could happen to them. “We’ve taken precautions”, or “I haven’t had sex with that many people” they say.
As we talk to them, it becomes clear that some of our clients thought they were being safe. However, they had believed some “facts” that unfortunately just aren’t true. Here are five of the common myths our clients have believed.
5 “Facts” About STDs That Just Aren’t True
“Fact” #1 – You can’t get a STD from oral sex.
Truth: STDs can be transferred in many ways. Any skin-to-skin or bodily fluid contact, including genital-to-genital or genital to mouth can allow a STD to spread to your partner.
“Fact” #2 – I’ve only had sex with one person, so I can’t have an STD. Only people who have sex with lots of people get them.
Truth: Statistics show that 1 in 2 sexually active young people will have a STD by age 25. That’s a scary number. So if that 1 partner has been sexually active (oral or otherwise) with just one other person the odds of getting a STD are already high. Imagine what those statistics look like if either partner has had multiple partners.
“Fact” #3 – You can’t get a STD if you use a condom
Truth: While condoms provide some protection against unintended STDs they aren’t 100% effective. In some cases, they don’t provide much protection if any. An example, if there are genital warts or herpes sores in areas that the condom doesn’t cover, it does nothing to prevent the spread of an STD.
“Fact” #4 – Taking birth control pills protects against STDs
Truth: We’re not sure where this one came from, but it’s simply not true. Birth control pills offer absolutely no protection against STDs.
“Fact” #5 – If my partner has a STD I’ll know about it
Truth: The only way to know if someone has an STD is for that person to get tested. Many STD such as Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, two of the most common STDs, show no visible symptoms. Not only can you not tell if your partner has them, they may not even know themselves. That is the main reason STDs spread so quickly is that often the infected person has no idea they have a STD.
We hope that this post wasn’t new information for you, that you were aware of these myths and that you aren’t relying of false information to keep you safe. STDs are very common, but they can also be very dangerous. Some STDs are incurable, some can cause issues later in life if you want to have children, and some are linked to cancer. If you have 1 STD, your chances of contracting a second are increased.
The good news, many STDs can be treated and cured, but they have to be detected first. The only way that happens is through testing, and don’t assume that is happening when you visit your doctor. Chances are it isn’t unless you are asking for it. So if you’re sexually active, whether you’ve had sex with one person or several, we encourage you to give us a call and schedule a free STD test. Knowing the truth allows you to make better decisions and get the treatment you may need.