Walking around in the haunted house or on the haunted hayride you are constantly thinking of the next person or item that will jump out at you. The constant “what if” - what if there’s a monster waiting to grab you, what if there’s a scary photo, what if there’s nothing and you got yourself all worried for nothing? So, translate all those scary feelings to your STD testing and not knowing proper STD facts.
We pretty much nailed it on the head, huh? There are many fears people have about STDs, but we are here to beat those monsters. Sexually transmitted diseases and infections are nothing to be afraid of. Let’s talk about STD facts to go against some myths and misconceptions you may have about STDs.
“I don’t have any symptoms, so I am in the clear.”
STD Fact #1: It is very common for men and women to never show symptoms of a possible infection from a partner. This is especially true as chlamydia is known as a silent infection. More than 50% of people don’t have symptoms for chlamydia or gonorrhea and can go months without any knowledge of what their body is fighting. Because many people won’t have symptoms it is important to be open and honest with your partner, use condoms, and have regular tests to protect your health!
“I want to get an STD/STI exam, but it might be painful.”
STD Fact #2: Don’t be afraid of STD/STI exams. They are more often than not quick, easy, and painless! Sometimes they involve urine samples, visual exams, and swab exams. Swab exams are common whether you or the doctor swab a possible infected area to test. Think of a cotton swab, but longer and rounder. Swabbing the genital area only takes a few seconds and does not hurt but may feel uncomfortable for a moment.
“Can I get an STD from a public toilet seat?”
STD Fact #3: We won’t lie that public toilet seats can be rather disgusting - believe us we’ve run out of a stall before too. However, don’t be concerned about this. STDs are given through unprotected vaginal, oral or anal sex, as well as through shared sex toys. While some STDs like pubic lice can be carried through skin contact, clothing, towels, and bedding, most are contracted through unprotected sex.
“I’ve already had that STD, so I won’t get it again.”
STD Fact #4: FALSE. When you have an STD, it is not unlikely to happen again. STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are bacterial infections and can occur more than once in a lifetime. Because these are bacterial infections they are often easily cured with an antibiotic prescribed from your doctor. However, these three STDs have been on the rise since the early 2000s as stated from the CDC and are affecting men and women greatly.
“It isn’t possible to get an STD from Oral Sex”
STD Fact #5: It is common to get an oral version of sexually transmitted diseases. Although oral sex is considered safer sex, it is still something to be aware and cautious about. HPV, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis are all infections that can be transmitted orally. All except HPV can also be treated with antibiotics. We suggest getting tested orally when you are being tested genitally to cover all your bases.
“I can’t get herpes unless my partner has an outbreak.”
STD Fact #6: This is not true. A person with herpes virus 1 or 2 is contagious at any time, not just during an outbreak. Herpes 1 often infects the mouth area and herpes 2 often infects the genital area - but either virus can be found in either place. Often dormant in nerves they come forward when an outbreak occurs. Condoms and dental dams are useful to help prevent the spread of herpes. A person with the virus should be honest in telling you and not embarrassed. When an outbreak occurs, it is best to avoid contact near those areas until the outbreak clears.
Being tested regularly, taking treatments seriously, and using proper safe sex methods is a big step in preventing STDs from spreading between partners. Never have a fear of STDs and always be honest with yourself, your partner, and your doctor. STDs are nothing to fear when you have the proper facts. If you wish to test yourself SelfCollect provides testing kits for viruses and other STD's. Don't be afraid. Be smart. Get tested!