STI Myth Busters
MYTH vs. FACT
There are a lot of common misconceptions about STIs – here are a few:
MYTH: “If my partner has an STI, I’ll see it.”
FACT: Some STIs have no visible signs or symptoms, or very mild signs that can be easily overlooked. Thus, anyone who is sexually active should have STI testing done regularly.
MYTH: “All STIs are incurable”.
FACT: Not all STIs are incurable. STIs caused by a bacterial infection are curable. However, viral STIs, like Herpes or HPV cannot be cured, but can be managed effectively.
MYTH: “I can’t get an STI if I have oral or anal sex.”
FACT: Having unprotected oral or anal sex still puts you at risk for STIs. The virus or bacteria causing the particular STI can enter the body through tiny cuts or tears in the mouth, anus and genitals.
MYTH: “I can get STIs from toilet seats.”
FACT: It is extremely unlikely to contract STI from a toilet seat (or telephones, drinking cups, in swimming pools for that matter).
Did You Know?
Half of all STIs occur in people 25 years of age or younger. That’s a staggering statistic!
As well, we know that sexually transmitted infections (STI) can affect your physical well-being as well as your reproductive capacity. So why don’t we talk about them more? And when we do talk about them, why is our information usually not accurate?
There is a lot of stigma surrounding talking about STIs – it’s not a subject most people want to talk about out of embarrassment or fear of being treated differently for having an STI. Many of us have heard of chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and HPV but don’t know much about the signs and symptoms of these infections, how they are transmitted or how you can lower your risk of getting an infection. This information is so important – getting informed can help reduce the fear that most people associate with STIs.
What can I expect from a STI test?
Getting tested for a STI can be quick and easy! Depending on what you are being tested for, the testing process can include taking a blood sample, providing a swab, or obtaining a urine sample.
Where can I go to get a STI test?
At the Student Wellness Centre, you can book an appointment for an STI test with one of our health professionals by calling us at 905.525.9140 ext. 27700 or visiting us in MUSC B101.
If you are looking for medical or counselling support around associated risks, preventative measures and for any other sexual health questions and concerns you may have, please get in touch with the Student Wellness Centre.
There are also many Sexual Health Clinics in the City of Hamilton that are free to use.
Check out http://www.hamilton.ca/HealthandSocialServices/PublicHealth/SexualHealth/SexInfoClinic.htm for more information.
Questions about sexual health, STIs?
Call the Hamilton Public Health – Sexual Health Information Line at 905.528.5894. All calls are confidential (no call display) and available Monday-Friday from 8:30am – 4:30pm.
For more information, check out: