Myth #1: Because I’m in a monogamous relationship
News Flash! People in monogamous relationships can get a sexually transmissible infection (STI). Often STIs have no symptoms and a person may not know they are infected. Sometimes people in monogamous relations have sex outside their relationship without their partner’s knowledge. This increases you and your partner’s risk of getting an STI. Regardless of how long you have been in your relationship, it’s good to get regular sexual health check-ups at least every 12 months.
Myth #2: Because I always use a condom
Yas! Condoms offer the best protection against STIs. However, condoms can only protect the skin that is covered. Even if you’re using condoms every time you have sex, remember that they’re not completely fail-safe. They’re a great tool for helping to reduce your risk, but they don’t eliminate it completely, which is where regular STI testing comes in.
Myth #3: Because I only have sex with people who are clean
Just because a person showers regularly doesn’t mean they haven’t been exposed to an STI infection. In all seriousness, you can’t judge a book by its cover. STIs don’t discriminate and there is no way to tell if someone is infected just by looking at them.
Myth #4: Because I only do oral
Even though the risks of STI transmission through oral sex are lower, giving or receiving oral sex is still a risk for some STIs. Condoms or dams can be used for oral sex. But let’s face it, often people don’t. If you’ve had unprotected oral sex, make sure you‘re getting regular sexual health check-ups.
Myth #5: Because I don’t have an STI, I don’t have any symptoms
Not having symptoms doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t have an STI. Many people don’t experience any noticeable symptoms when infected. Testing is the only way to be absolutely sure.
Myth #6: Because ignorance is bliss
When it comes to STIs, ignorance can be bad for your health. Most STIs are easy to treat, and early diagnosis can help you avoid some of the health issues that can result from an untreated infection.
Where to get STI testing
Finding a place to get STI testing is straightforward and simple! Your local GP, sexual health clinic, or Family Planning clinic is a perfect place to get tested. Most services are free or low cost, and all medical professionals are required by law to keep what you discuss private. This confidentiality can only be broken if there is a serious concern for your or someone else’s safety.
Click here to find an STI testing location.
How often should I test?
If you’re having sex, it’s a good idea to have a sexual health check-up at least every 12 months. Also get tested:
- when changing sexual partners or starting a new relationship
- when you have unusual symptoms
- after sex without a condom
- when you and your partner decide to stop using condoms
Testing is the only way to know for sure if you do or don’t have an STI. Knowing whether you have an infection means you can be on top of you and your partner’s health and move forward with your sex life.