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Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are diseases and infections generally acquired through intimate contact like intercourse. Today, STDs and STIs are a lot more common than we think. With so much misinformation getting passed around about how STDs and STIs are contracted and prevented, it’s important to know what the misconceptions are and how you can stay safe and healthy.
“You’ll immediately see if someone has STD.”
STDs or STIs can be seen through a range of symptoms and even no symptoms in some circumstances. It’s still possible to get STDs or STIs from seemingly healthy people who may not even know they have an infection.
“You can’t get STDs from oral sex”
Viruses and bacteria enter the body through tiny cuts and tears in the mouth, anus, and genitals. You are still at risk for various types of infections like herpes, gonorrhea, chlamydia, and more.
“Condoms prevent all STD transmission”
Using a condom during sex is effective at minimizing the risk of infection - not ridding of all possibilities of an infection. Skin that isn’t covered by a condom could still put you at risk for various types of STDs.
“You can’t get STDs again”
Some STDs stay with you for life like HIV but there are others that can be treated like chlamydia. You can still get infected when you come into intimate contact with someone who has it without the necessary precaution.
STDs can lead to serious health issues like infertility, and pelvic disease, and could be passed down from infected mothers to infants. Don’t wait for symptoms to show up to get an STD check. If you’ve had sex (especially unprotected), get checked so you can ensure you’re protecting yourself and others.