Myths and Truths about Sexually Transmitted Diseases

False Myth = You cannot get a sexually transmitted disease by having oral or anal sex

Truth = Oral and Anal sex are a common means of infection

False Myth = You can see when someone has a sexually transmitted disease

Truth = There is often no sign of STDs

False Myth = Only dirty people get sexually transmitted infections

Truth = anyone who has unprotected sex can get a sexually transmitted infection

False Myth = My HIV test was negative therefore I definitely don’t have HIV

Truth = The window period for HIV is a few weeks to 3 months so if you have just been infected your test may be negative. You need to retest 6 months later to be sure while practising safe sex all the time.

The full truth on Sexually Tranmitted Infections
You can protect yourself and your partner from STIs, including HIV, if a condom is used each time and for every round of sex. The use of condoms does massively decrease your risk of getting STIs but is not 100% safe, because even with a condom you can still come into contact with infectious areas of the genitals.
HIV is an STI but it can also be spread through blood and breast milk.
In the early stages you cannot see STIs. But even if you can’t see them they are infectious and can be passed onto others.

If you have any of the following symptoms you should consult a health care worker as soon as possible:

> Unusual discharge from vagina or anus.
> Itchy genitals.
> Pain when urinating.
> Pain during sexual intercourse.
> Genital sores.
> Swollen glands in the groin.
> Lower abdominal pain.
> Rashes and warts.
Most STIs (other than HIV) can be cured with antibiotics. The earlier you go to the clinic and get treated the easier it will be to cure the infection.
Always finish all the medicine you are given even if it looks like the infection has gone. If you stop taking your medicine before it is finished, the infection may come back.
Never share your medicines as this will mean that neither you nor the other person will have enough in your system to cure the STI.


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