This weeks guest blogger is Claire Swan, Health Promotion Coordinator, Healthy UON.
We have all heard one at some point. Admit it. There are many myths about sexual health and it’s surprising how many untruths are still widely believed. What is more troubling is that sometimes people’s sexual behaviour is based on these myths, putting their sexual health and that of their partner/s at risk. Positive and safe sexual health relies on being informed and having access to accurate information.
Here are some common sexual health myths:
You can get an STI from a toilet seat.
False.You get STIs by having sex (vaginal, oral or anal) or by skin-to-skin touching–not from toilet seats.
You can tell if someone has an STI
False. You often cannot tell if someone has an STI by looking at them. Most people do not show any signs. 80% of people who have Chlamydia do not show any symptoms. A person may not show signs of an STI but can still pass them on during sexual contact. If you every have unprotected sex or the condoms broke it is important to get a sexual health check.
Lesbians do not need pap tests
False. Lesbians are advised to have regular Pap tests if they have ever had sex with a woman, if they or their partner has ever had a male sexual partner or if they or their partner has had genital warts/HPV. Pap test are a screening tool for early changes to the cervix caused by the Human Papilloma Virus.
There are so many more sexual health myths and misunderstandings. For more information and support on sexual health access the Healthy UON Sexual Health webpage.