BY Hakim Hari Kishan Lal Dawakhana Shafakhana, Sexology
Sexually Transmitted Diseases are bacterial or viral infections and diseases transmitted through sexual contact. There are a fair number of myths circulating around STDs, primarily owing to the lack of awareness and the entire ‘hush-hush’ about sex in the society. The common myths about STDs include:
#1Myth: STDs can only spread through intercourse.
Fact: Not all STDs spread through sexual intercourse. Syphilis and oral herpes, among many other STDs, may spread through sexual contact alone and not just through intercourse.
#2Myth: You can get herpes from a toilet seat.
Fact: The bacteria causing herpes or any other STD barely survive outside the human body. It is not much likely for herpes or any another STD for that matter to spread through contact with a toilet seat.
#3Myth: HIV/AIDS can spread through sexual contact only.
Fact: AIDS can spread through bodily fluids which aren’t necessarily sexual fluids. Reusing syringes and needles used for tattoos and other body piercings can also cause AIDS to spread.
#4Myth: If you have sex with more than one person, you can develop an STD
Fact: The number of sexual partners isn’t exactly a criterion in developing an STD. Getting afflicted by an STD primarily depends upon whether the partner has been diagnosed with any STD or whether he/she practices unsafe sexual intercourse.
#5Myth: STDs can spread through regular contact such as a handshake.
Fact: While these diseases are contagious in nature, they do not spread through regular contact and touch. This myth revolves especially around AIDS, making it the most feared disease of all times. AIDS or for that matter, any other STD, requires sexual contact or contact with bodily fluids of an infected person to spread. Just being around a person who has been diagnosed with HIV/AIDS or touching that person non-sexually cannot cause any STD to spread.
#6Myth: If you have had STD before or you already have one, you will never be afflicted by one again.
Fact: It is possible to contract a sexually transmitted disease more than just once or be afflicted by more than one STD at the same time, and hence, precaution is always advised. Avoid contact with bodily fluids of an infected person and practice safe sex to minimize chances of developing an STD.