There are many myths and misconceptions about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). The following are some common myths and the realities:
You are safe from getting or giving STDs if you only have oral sex.
STDs can be contracted from skin-to-skin, genital-to-genital and oral-to-genital contact. There are a number of STDs that can be transmitted through oral sex, such as genital herpes or warts, gonorrhea, hepatitis, Chlamydia, canchroid, syphilis and internal parasite. Although it rarely happens, it is possible to contract HIV from oral sex. If you believe you have contracted a genital STD and have also had oral sex, you need to let your doctor know. He will need to perform tests on both your mouth and your genitals.
If you have one STD, you can't get a second.
It is quite possible to have more than one STD. Having an STD does not give you immunity to other STDs. If you have an STD from having unprotected sex, you should have your doctor test for those that often are seen together, such as gonorrhea and Chlamydia or genital warts (HPV) and genital herpes. If your doctor suggests testing for additional STDs, it is important for you to have the tests completed and find out which, if any, STDs you have so they can be treated immediately.
I always use a condom so I am safe.
It is possible for condoms to break, limiting your protection. There are also some STDs that can be transmitted because they are active outside of the area covered by the condom, for example genital herpes or genital warts.
Using two condoms gives you better protection against STDs.
Many people believe that if they double up, using two condoms on top of each other they are doubling their protection. This is not true. Using two condoms at once increases friction and increases the chances of the condoms breaking. It is never recommended that you use more than one condom at a time.
If I only have sex once in a while, I won't get an STD.
While it is true that you may not have as much of a chance to get an STD if you don't have sex often, it is not true that you are not at risk. You are at risk of contracting an STD if you have sex with someone who has one, even if you only have sex with this partner once. That means you are at risk every time you have sex, whether that is once a week or every six months. Remember, your "once in a while sex" may be with a partner who has had sex with numerous partners, increasing his or her risk of contracting and giving you an STD.
If you don't have symptoms, you don't have an STD.
Most people believe that if they don't have any symptoms, there is no reason to get tested. This myth can cause a lot of damage because many STDs don't have symptoms but are damaging reproductive organs. Some STDs can cause infertility when not treated. If you have had unprotected sex and are not sure if your partner has an STD, you should get tested.
I've only had sex with one person so I could not have gotten an STD.