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Find Answers2024-04-09T13:00:30-06:00

Find Answers to your Health-Related Questions Here!

Myth: Hardly anyone gets an STD these days.2017-07-29T08:17:08-06:00

Fact: Millions of people get an STD every year. You might think you won’t because:

  • You only have sex with one partner
  • You’d never have sex with someone who has an STD
  • You use birth control
Myth: Only people with lots of sex partners get an STD.2017-07-29T08:14:26-06:00

Fact: You can get an STD from just one partner if he or she has an STD. You can get an STD the first time you have sex if your partner has an STD. The younger you are, the more vulnerable your body is to an STD. If you have several partners, the chances increase that you’ll be with someone who has an STD because it is common.

Myth: You can’t get an STD from oral or anal sex.2017-07-29T08:13:00-06:00

Fact: Whether you give or receive, you can get an STD from unprotected oral sex. Some people think oral sex doesn’t “count” as real sex. But, oral sex is sex. It can bring up the same feelings as other kind of sex and put you at risk for STD. STD risks are actually higher with anal sex! An STD will pass from one moist body part (genitals) to another (mouth). Many STDs including herpes, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and syphilis, can be spread during oral sex. Always used a condom when you have sex to protect you and your partner. Also, get tested and get peace of mind.

Myth: If you or your partner have an STD, you can tell by looking.2017-07-29T08:12:06-06:00

Fact: If you’re sexually active, the only way to be sure you aren’t infected with an STD is to get tested. Many STDs develop slowly and have little, or no, symptoms. Some are curable, some are not. But all STDs, if left untreated, can lead to significant health problems. So don’t wait until you see something weird or start feeling sick. Get yourself tested today. Ask your partner to get tested and put both your minds at ease.

Myth: You can only catch herpes when your partner is having an outbreak.2017-07-29T08:10:52-06:00

Fact: It may surprise you, but many people who have herpes don’t know it. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that more than 750,000 people are infected with herpes every year! Herpes symptoms can lie dormant for weeks before an outbreak occurs. So even if your partner looks and feels healthy, they could be infected and pass the herpes virus to you. Only an STD test that screens for herpes can tell you for sure whether you have it or not. Be smart – get tested and ask your partner to get tested too.

Myth: Only certain “types” of people get STDs.2017-07-29T08:09:43-06:00

Fact: Like all things in life, it’s best not to judge a book by its cover. People from all walks of life can (and do) get infected with STDs. STDs don’t care if you’re straight or gay, male or female, old or young – anyone who is sexually active is at risk. With nearly 20 million new infections diagnosed across the U.S. every year, it’s just smart to get tested and know the status of your own sexual health.

Myth: Having sex in a pool or hot tub is okay because chlorine will kill off STDs.2017-07-29T08:08:40-06:00

Fact: This myth is a classic, and it’s completely false. Neither chlorine nor hot water will kill the bacteria and viruses that cause STDs. And while condoms can help you have safer sex, latex condoms can break down in a hot tub. So don’t count on the pool for protection. Get tested and be sure you are STD-free.

Myth: You can only get an STD from semen.2017-07-29T08:06:20-06:00

Fact: Some STDs, like herpes and syphilis, can be spread with skin-to-skin contact. For example, during a herpes outbreak, active sores appear. When these sores come into contact with your skin or other moist areas like your mouth or throat, the herpes virus can spread. Getting tested is the only way to be sure you haven’t been exposed or contracted an STD.

Myth: The Pill prevents STDs.2017-07-29T08:06:45-06:00

Fact: The Pill does not prevent STDs. It is only designed to prevent pregnancy. If you are using the Pill because you think it provides protection against STDs, you need to get tested.

Myth: Chlamydia and gonorrhea aren’t a big deal and they go away on their own.2017-07-29T08:03:15-06:00

Fact: Although chlamydia and gonorrhea are both curable, they will not go away on their own. If these infections aren’t treated, they can create long-term sexual health problems for both men and women. Play it safe: get tested for these STDs. If your test results are positive, a simple prescription antibiotic will put you on the road to recovery.

Myth: You can get HIV or an STD from getting a tattoo or through body piercing.2017-07-29T08:07:09-06:00

Fact: This is true. There can be a risk for HIV or other blood-borne infection, like hepatitis B or C if the instruments used for piercing or tattooing are not sterilized or disinfected between clients. Any instrument used to pierce or cut the skin should be used once and thrown away. Ask the staff at the parlor about their equipment and what precautions they use. They should be willing to do this….otherwise, don’t get pierced or tattooed there.

Myth: You can’t get an STD if your partner is a virgin.2017-07-29T07:57:15-06:00

Fact: Depending on how your partner defines being a virgin, it is possible for them to have contracted an STD. Your partner may not have had vaginal sex but may have had oral sex with someone and still consider themselves a virgin. There are some STDs, such as herpes and HPV which are passed through skin-to-skin contact even if no penetration has taken. It’s important to discuss all sexual activity with your partner and always practice safer sex.

Myth: You can get an STD from a toilet seat.2017-07-29T07:56:07-06:00

Fact: You get an STD by having sex (vaginal, oral or anal) or by skin-to-skin touching – not from toilet seats.

Myth: Two condoms are better than one.2017-07-29T07:42:34-06:00

Fact: It seems logical but it’s just not true. During sex, the condoms rub against each other. This friction can cause them to rip, tear or break. Stick with the sexual health experts on this one: doctors, nurses, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and condom makers all agree that one condom equals safer sex.

What is HIV and AIDS?2017-07-28T16:34:39-06:00

HIV stands for human immunodeficiency virus. HIV attacks the body’s immune system. Persons infected with HIV are more likely to become ill from infections and disease that healthy persons usually can fight off.

AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) is a disease you get when HIV destroys your body’s immune system.

How does someone get HIV?2017-07-28T16:33:59-06:00

HIV is found in the blood, semen and vaginal secretions of infected people and can be spread in the following ways:

  • Having unprotected sex — vaginal, anal or oral — with an HIV-infected person (male or female)
  • Sharing needles or injection equipment with an HIV-infected person to inject drugs, including hormones, insulin or steroids
  • From an HIV-infected woman to her baby during pregnancy, birth or breastfeeding
  • Before 1985, some people were infected with HIV through blood transfusions or use of blood products
  • Since 1985, blood products have been screened for HIV, so infection through a blood transfusion is extremely rare
How is HIV not spread?2017-07-28T16:32:50-06:00

HIV is not spread through casual contact such as everyday activities that do not involve bodily fluids.

You cannot get HIV by:

  • Sitting next to someone
  • Shaking hands
  • Giving a hug
  • Using public facilities (restrooms, drinking fountains, restaurants or swimming pools)
  • Insect bites
  • Donating blood
  • Dry kissing (though kissing can spread other STDs such as herpes)
What does HIV do to a person’s body and how long does it take?2017-07-28T16:30:49-06:00

Some people infected with HIV may feel healthy. Others may have symptoms that include unexplained tiredness, swollen glands or lymph nodes, dry cough or shortness of breath (not from a cold), fever, chills or night sweats, unexplained weight loss, persistent diarrhea or unusual spots on the skin or in the mouth. Remember, these symptoms are common in other illnesses as well. If these symptoms don’t go away, you should see a doctor.

People with HIV can develop signs of infection anywhere from months to years after being infected. About half of the people with HIV develop AIDS within 10 years, but the time between infection with HIV and the onset of AIDS can vary greatly.

Can I tell if someone is infected with HIV?2017-07-28T16:29:18-06:00

No. Many people with HIV show no signs of infection. However, being infected means HIV is in the body for the rest of their lives, and they can infect others if they engage in behaviors that can transmit the virus.

How can I reduce my risk of getting HIV?2017-07-28T16:28:12-06:00

Abstinence is the only 100% effective way to prevent transmission of STDs, including HIV. This includes oral sex.

Use a new latex condoms correctly every time you have vaginal, anal or oral. If you use a lubricant, be sure it is water-based.

Avoid drugs and alcohol because they can increase your chances of infection and can lead to risky behaviors.

Never share needles or injection equipment. Sharing needles or equipment to inject drugs, hormones, insulin or steroids — even once — can transmit HIV. This is because HIV from an infected person’s blood can remain in a needle or injection equipment and can then be injected into the bloodstream of the next person using the equipment.

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