Do you believe that if you’ve had an STI once you’ll never get it again? Then you need to get informed about sexually transmitted infections so you can protect yourself when you have sex.
Who cares about STIs – they clear up on their own
If you believe this then you’re putting yourself at risk of long-term health problems. If you don’t seek treatment as soon as possible then you run the risk of passing an STI onto your partner as well. If you’ve had unprotected sex, get tested for STIs as soon as possible.
Testing for STIs is really painful
If you can pee in a bottle, then you can get tested for STIs – it really is that simple. You may also undergo a blood test, visual examination or a swab on the genitals that might cause momentary discomfort. But it’s a small price to pay to find out whether you need treatment or not.
STI testing costs a fortune
Not at all. STI testing is free at your local GUM (genitourinary medicine) or sexual health clinic, and many GPs offer a free service as well, though you may have to pay a prescription charge for any treatment. You can even get a free home testing kit for chlamydia, so don’t forget to pick up your free home STI kits in Medway from a provider like https://www.pitstopplus.org/.
You can’t get an STI from oral sex
Yes you can. The risk is lower than for vaginal or anal intercourse but herpes simplex, syphilis and gonorrhoea can actually be passed more easily by oral sex, so use a male or female condom or an oral dam to protect yourself.
Only gay men and drug users get HIV
Fact: anyone who has unprotected sex regardless of gender, sexuality, number of sexual partners or whether they’re a drug user is at risk of getting HIV. In fact, of the estimated 108,000 people living with HIV in the UK, around a quarter don’t even know they have the virus. That’s why using a barrier method of contraception like a condom is so important to safeguard yourself and your partner from infection.
So don’t fall for the STI myths – use your free condoms and enjoy an active and healthy sex life!