It can be an uncomfortable subject, but discussing the facts of sexually transmitted infections and diseases is an incredibly important aspect of healthcare. When people know more about them and feel comfortable talking about them, they’re more likely to prevent transmission and treat any infections that do occur. Here are four facts about STDs and STIs.
1. Common Myths
Unfortunately, there are many myths circulating about sexually transmitted diseases. These include misinformation regarding how these infections are spread. A common myth of this kind is that you can’t transmit an STD if you don’t have vaginal sex or if you use the pull-out method. Another myth is that STD testing is painful or expensive. One of the most dangerous myths is that HIV only infects gay men or intravenous drug users. All of these are categorically untrue. Any kind of sexual activity can result in STD transmission if you’re not using protection. There are free and low-cost testing options and doctors will make sure tests are as painless and non-awkward as possible. HIV is just like any other STD in terms of transmission.
There are many types of STDs that all tend to fall into a few different categories: fungal, viral, bacterial and parasitic. Yeast infections are fungal and are one of the most common types of vaginal infection. One of the most well-known viral infections is herpes, which causes genital blisters, cold sores on the lips and burning or itching sensations. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are both bacterial infections spread by contact with infected bodily fluids. Parasitic infections include scabies and pubic lice. It’s essential to know what types of STIs exist so you have a better idea of what treatment you need if you contract one.
STDs and STIs are transmitted through sexual contact of any kind. This can include touching, kissing, penetration and oral sex. Any part of your body being touched during intercourse may be at risk of contracting an STD. Sexually transmitted diseases don’t discriminate based on gender, sexuality or the number of partners you have. If you’re sexually active without taking certain precautions, you’re at risk. This is why it’s important to use protection at all times, especially when using free sex sites and similar ways of meeting new sexual partners.
There are three main ways to prevent STD transmission. You can choose to be abstinent. If you don’t engage in sexual activity, you likely won’t contract most STDs, with exceptions like herpes and HIV which can be spread in other ways. If you do engage in sexual activity, always use a condom. It’s not 100% effective, but it is the method of birth control also designed to mitigate STI transmission. Lastly, you should always keep lines of communication open with any sexual partners. Require the use of a condom, discuss any possibilities of infection or the need to be tested candidly and don’t let anyone pressure you into sexual activity. If you’re worried someone has an STD, don’t let him or her make you feel guilty for not agreeing to have sex.
If you think you might have an STD or STI, consult a doctor right away. It can feel awkward, but doctors are only concerned with making sure you’re healthy and receive any treatment you may require. Treatment might include research peptides such as tesamorelin for HIV patients. It’s not the end of the world if you have HIV. Break the stigma surrounding STDs and get yourself tested regularly.