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What’s a myth and what’s the truth when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)?
Myth #1: STDs can’t be transmitted by anal or oral sex or skin-on-skin contact.
Truth: Any type of sex, even just sexual contact, can cause STDs. The viruses and bacteria that cause STDs can enter the body through tiny cuts or tears in the mouth and anus. STDs, like herpes or genital warts, can spread through skin-on-skin contact with an infected area or sore.
Myth #2: You can always see STDs.
Truth: Often there's no sign a person has an STD because many don't cause any symptoms. It’s possible to carry and spread a virus without ever having a sign.
Myth #3: Only trashy people get STDs.
Truth: STDs don't discriminate. Even someone having sex for the first time can get an STD. The only people with no risk of getting an STD are those who haven't had sex or any kind of sexual contact.
Myth #4: Chlorine will kill any STD if you have sex in a pool or hot tub.
Truth: This is an urban myth. Chlorine isn’t a disinfectant and won’t kill STD-causing bacteria or viruses.
Myth #5: Taking the Pill prevents STDs.
Truth: Birth control pills can prevent pregnancy, but not keep you safe from STDs.
Myth #6: Chlamydia and gonorrhea aren’t serious.
Truth: Untreated Chlamydia or gonorrhea can lead to infertility and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Myth #7: You can be tested for every kind of STD
Truth: For some diseases, testing is limited or not available. For example, there’s no test for human papillomavirus (HPV) in men.
Myth #8: Once you've had an STD, there's no chance of getting it again.
Truth: You can get some STDs more than just once. Herpes and HIV last a lifetime. Chlamydia and gonorrhea can be treated, but you can get them again if you have sexual contact with an infected person.
Myth #9: If you get checked and are STD free, there’s no need for your partner to get checked.
Truth: Your partner could have an STD and not know it. Plus run the risk of giving it to you.
Myth #10: All STDs can be cured.
Truth: Unfortunately, this isn’t true.