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Be informed. Protect yourself.

Myth: You can avoid STDs by having oral or anal sex.

Fact: In any form of sex (oral, anal, vaginal, or even just sexual contact), there can be STDs.

The viruses or bacteria that cause STDs can enter the body through tiny cuts or tears in the mouth and anus, as well as the genitals. Some STDs, like herpes or genital warts, can spread just through skin-to-skin contact with an infected area or sore.

MYTH: Condoms are 100% effective in preventing STDs.

FACT: The only way to 100% avoid STDs (and pregnancy) is not to have sex.

Condoms are most effective in preventing AIDS but less effective in preventing other STDS and STIs. Condoms can fail in preventing STDs when used incorrectly, are the wrong size or if they break. Also, if any part of the genitals are exposed and come in contact with your skin can cause an STD.  Surveys show most people don’t use condoms properly or consistently.

Myth: If your partner has an STD, you'll see it.

Fact: There's often no sign that a person has an STD.

Even doctors often can't tell by looking if people have STDs. So they need to do tests, like bloodwork. People with STDs might not know they have them: STDs don't always cause symptoms. But it is possible to carry and spread the virus without ever having an outbreak. Untreated STDs can add up to serious health problems, like infertility (the inability to have a baby) or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), which may land you in the hospital.

Myth: Once you've had an STD, there's no chance of getting it again.

Fact: You can get some STDs more than just once.

Some STDs are yours for life, like herpes and HIV. Others, like chlamydia and gonorrhea, can be treated, but you may get infected again if you have sexual contact with someone who has them.

Myth: If you get checked and you're STD free, your partner doesn't need to get checked as well.

Fact: Your partner could have an STD and not know it.

Your partner could have an STD regardless if you don’t. Likewise, you could have an STD and your partner could get tested and not have contacted it yet. The only way to know for sure is for you both to get tested.

Myth: The only people who get STDs are “slutty.”

Fact: Anyone who has had any form of sexual contact can get an STD.

STDs don’t discriminate. Even someone having sex for the first time can get an STD. The only people who have no risk of getting an STD are people who haven't had sex or any kind of sexual contact.

MYTH: If I have sex in a pool or hot tub, the chlorine will prevent me from contracting an STD.

FACT: Sex in any location could lead to an STD. 

Chlorine can actually break down the latex in a condom increasing your risk of getting an STD and pregnant, if you are a woman.

MYTH: You can’t get STD from skin to skin contact.

FACT: There are types of STDS you can contract from just skin to skin.

Syphilis and herpes are two of the STDs you can get even if you are not having oral, anal or vaginal sex. Even if sores and rashes are not present, there may be tiny unnoticeable tears in the mouth and other moist areas that leave you vulnerable.

MYTH: I can’t get an STD if I only sleep with virgins.

FACT: Someone who calls themselves a virgin may have participated in other sexual activity and could still be carrying an STD.

A virgin technically means a person has never indulged in intercourse/penetration but it doesn’t speak to oral sex and in some cases anal sex. Unless the virgin in question has never performed any type of sexual act, which includes kissing and fondling, than that person is still a candidate for a STD. Frottage (dry humping) is thought to be safe but if performed skin-to-skin, there is a definite possibility of being exposed if either person is infected.

MYTH: All STDs can be cured. 

FACT: Only some can be cured. All can cause lifelong health problems.

HIV/AIDS and genital herpes are just two examples of STDs with no cure yet. Caught early, they can be treated but can still be passes on to future partners. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are some STDS that can be cured and are treated with antibiotics. Still, they should be taken seriously and treated right away. Failure to treat chlamydia or gonorrhea can result in permanent damage to your reproductive organs and an inability to get pregnant.

Take your sexual health seriously. Left untreated, some STDs can cause permanent damage, such as infertility and even death. If you need to talk to someone about your sexual health or need a referral for STD testing, give us a call today.

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Choices: East Chattanooga
6232 Vance Rd | Chattanooga, TN 37421
(p) 423-892-0803 | (f) 423-894-1775
Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, 10am-4pm; Thurs 10am-7pm
(Admin. Office Hours: M-F 9am-4:30pm)

Choices: Downtown Chattanooga
846 McCallie Ave. | Chattanooga, TN 37403
(p) 423-267-7943| (f) 423-267-7945
Monday - Thursdays 10am-4pm

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