When most of us think of ways to contract STDs or STIs, we often think of the ‘traditional’ way: having sex with an infected person. That’s the way most of our parents have taught with regards to avoiding HIV & AIDS.
Unfortunately, there are people out there who think that for as long as they don’t have sex with somebody, they won’t contract a sexually transmitted disease or infection.
And while this is all true, it could use a truckload of more information on the other spreading methods and how many of us can do our best to keep from contracting an infection or a disease.
In case you didn’t know:
- You could be reading this and not know you currently have an STD.
- Get tested every 3 to six months depending on your lifestyle. You can never be too safe.
- Don’t blindly trust your partner(s) when it comes to your health. Get them tested, too.
- PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) can be used in high-risk sexual activities to protect yourself from contracting HIV.
- Oral sex needs to be protected, as well.
- Cold sores can be caused by Herpes simplex 1.
Reasons to be safe:
According to a presentation by Leena Nathan, MD, despite the legal age of consent, 40% of sexually active women between the ages of 14 and 19 have at least one STD, which is most likely HPV. Does this sound unfamiliar to you?
40% of sexually active women between the ages of 14 and 19 have at least one STD, which is most likely HPV.Leena Nathan
Human Papilloma Virus is the most common STD. It often doesn’t cause any symptoms at all, however, it has the most serious consequences. It causes almost all cases of cervical cancer in women.
In every 13,800 new cases of invasive cervical cancer diagnosed, about 4,290 of these women die. As for men, there’s about 8,000 cancers found in them annually; throat, anal and penile cancer.
According to WHO, most women who get Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea will have mild to no symptoms at all. However, as the infection continues, the female reproductive organs will become affected. As a result, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) arises, which will then lead to infertility.
A lot of STDs and STIs can be transmitted through other means, not just sexual intercourse. Such contacts include:
- sharing eating utensils (forks, cups)
- oral sex
- contaminated food
- sharing toothbrushes, razors or needles
- sharing sex toys
- skin to skin contact (rubbings hands)
- blood transfusion.
Have you noticed sores, warts, itches and blisters on or around your genitals – vulva, penis, gums? Do you experience discomforts or unusual discharge, or maybe changes in terms of texture, odour or colour? Perhaps it’s time you got to the bottom of that, don’t you think?
Take control and be safe out there.