April is STD awareness month, and should remind us to become more aware of our sexual health and their impact on society. Also, it should be a reminder for everyone to take charge of their sexual health by getting an annual STD screening. To aid in your knowledge of STDs, here is a list of common STD myths:
STD Myth # 1: You cannot get an STD from oral sex.
The Truth: Any sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, and oral sex can result in acquiring an STD. The most common STDs to be transmitted through oral sex are Herpes, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, and Syphilis.
STD Myth # 2: Oral contraception is a protection against STDs.
The Truth: Birth controls serves a single purpose and that purpose is to prevent pregnancy. If engaging in sexually activity, the only way to protect yourself from STDs is to use condoms and dental dams consistently and correctly with every sexual encounter.
STD Myth # 3: Herpes can only be spread when a sore is present.
The Truth: Herpes can be contagious even when sores are not present. In addition condoms may not cover the entire affected area so the use of condoms may not provide full protection against Herpes as it is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact.
STD Myth # 4: No symptoms means no STDs.
The Truth: Most STDs have no symptoms or symptoms are so mild they go unnoticed. Chlamydia is often symptomless. Gonorrhea and Syphilis usually cause symptoms at some point, but they may go undetected for months before any symptoms appear. Genital Herpes may go undetected because blisters appear inside the urethra or vagina. HIV is often symptomless for the first few weeks to months, or the symptoms are very mild. HPV is often symptomless, but can be a precursor to cervical cancer.
STD Myth # 5: All STDs are curable.
The Truth: STDs that are caused by bacterial or fungal infections can be cured with antibiotics and antifungal medication, but STDs caused by viral infections cannot be cured. They either have to run their course or be managed with medication. Incurable STDs include HIV/AIDS, Herpes, HPV, as well as certain cases of Hepatitis B and C.