Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) are diseases you can contract through sexual interactions such as (kissing, vaginal sex, oral sex, anal sex).
Yes, you can absolutely contract some STDs by kissing. One prime example is oral herpes. You can read more about herpes here.
Research shows us that STDs are common, but for many reasons, they are still a taboo topic to discuss with anyone, including your partner or doctor.
Many people believe that it is shameful to have a conversation about STDs with friends or family. Therefore, the lack of discussion has led to many believing certain myths about STDs that are far from the truth. However, by reading this article, we hope to help you bust a few myths.
Tackling the myths
Here are nine common misconceptions about STDs and why you should not believe them.
Myth 1: You can guess if someone has an STD.
Nope, not true. A person having an STD may look completely normal on the outside, as well as inside. They may not even show symptoms of an STD if the bacteria/virus is still in its incubation period. Therefore, the best way to know if the person has an STD is by initiating a conversation about it. Also, getting tested is the only way to tell if you or your partner has an STD or not.
Myth 2: If you had an STD once, you can't get it again.
If you had an STD once and got treated for it, you can definitely get it again. With the exception of Hepatitis B. As of now, Hepatitis B is the only STD that your body can build immunity against.
STDs do not work like a vaccination. If the bacteria or the virus enters your body, there is a high possibility that you will contract an STD.
Myth 3: You cannot contract an STD with oral or anal sex.
This is a prevalent misconception. You can easily contract STDs from oral or anal sex, not just penetration. The STD bacteria or virus can transfer from genital fluids from the mouth or any other cuts on the body. Some STDs can also occur only with skin-to-skin contact. For example, herpes.
Myth 4: STDs can spread from a toilet seat.
This is a bizarre myth. The only possible ways of contracting an STD are:
- Through sexual contact (remember oral and anal sex counts)
- STDs can also be spread from a mother to her child through breastfeeding.
- With the case of HIV, the virus can spread through the use of shared needles.
But again, you have zero percent chance of contracting an STD from a toilet seat.
Myth 5: Using condoms can prevent STDs.
While using condoms can decrease the chances of contracting an STD, it does not guarantee your safety. Sometimes, infected areas may not be fully covered, leading to the transfer of the infection. Common STDs that spread despite the use of a condom are herpes and genital warps. However, even though you know that condoms cannot entirely prevent an STD, make sure to wear one during intercourse. In addition, dental dams are encouraged for members of the LGBTQIA community and those that engage in other forms of sexual activities. And remember, any toys or objects used should be cleaned before and after sex.
Myth 6: Taking birth control pills will prevent STDs.
If you are under the impression that taking birth control pills will prevent an STD, you need to think again. Birth control pills only help you in avoiding pregnancy. STDs spread through specific bacteria/viruses, and birth control pills do not kill those pathogens. Therefore, if you are experiencing any symptoms of STDs, get tested immediately.
Myth 7: Being in a relationship eliminates the risk of getting an STD.
This myth is a little complicated to bust. If you are in a committed relationship, then the chances of getting an STD are low. However, it does not rule out the possibility entirely. Firstly, the partner may not know he/she/they had an STD before committing to a relationship. Secondly, if the partner is unfaithful, they may contract an STD from somewhere else. So again, the only way to sort things out is by talking about it and getting tested.
Myth 8: Chlorine kills STD pathogens, so having sex in a pool is safe.
No, chlorine does not kill STD viruses or bacteria. This myth has purely come into existence because people do not know their science facts well. Pools have many other chemicals apart from chlorine. These chemicals can, in fact, increase the risk of other vaginal infections.
Myth 9: STDs can go away without any treatment.
Lastly, addressing this myth is important because of how dangerous this misconception can be. Some STDs can actually lead to life-threatening consequences if not treated. STDs cannot go away without treatment. The symptoms may subside after a while, but the infection is never completely gone. If you do not seek treatment at the right time, it may potentially be life-threatening. Therefore, getting medical assistance is the right to do.
Myths busted with knowledge.
Myths related to STDs arise because of the stigma around them. Many sex-education programs in schools and colleges are spreading awareness about the misconceptions about STDs, but many of them are not comprehensive enough.
As a result, myths gain importance over the truth. Also, people are often embarrassed to talk about STDs with their partners. Some also refuse to get tested, which puts their partner's health in danger. The only way to fight the embarrassment is to be more open and engaging in conversation about STDs. Having an STD is not shameful. With the help of the proper practices, curing the STD or keeping them under control becomes easy.
For questions or concerns about STDs, call us at 813.932.3741. If you feel like it’s time you got tested, do yourself a favor and order a 247Labkit At-Home STD Testing Kit. 247Labkits are the new way people are opting to get tested and peep this you don’t have to leave your home, schedule an appointment, or feel embarrassed. No one will know but you. Now that’s what we call privately and conveniently taking control of your sexual health.