Fact or Fiction: An STD Quiz
Quick! You’re experiencing vaginal discharge; what is it? You could be ovulating, you could have a bacterial infection, or you could have an STD. But which is it? If you don’t know, you could be at very real risk for developing serious health problems down the road. Take this short quiz to find out if you can separate fact from fiction when it comes to sexually transmitted diseases:
1.I’m a Virgin, I Can’t Get a STD
Fiction. All sexually transmitted diseases are not only spread through vaginal intercourse. If you’ve had any other type of sexual contact, thinking that you’re keeping yourself safe and your virginity intact, you’re still at risk. You can contract a sexually transmitted disease through skin-to-skin contact, oral sex and anal sex.
2.I Have a Boyfriend, so I’m Safe
Fiction. The only person that you have total control over is yourself. Just because you are sexually active with only your boyfriend, you don’t know how many partners he has. Yes, he could be faithful to you but, then again, he may be having sex with other girls. Whether you have a boyfriend or a girlfriend, the only way to be sure that you are as protected as possible is to use a new condom every time that you have sex.
3.I Don’t Have to Have Symptoms to Have an STD
Fact. Many people don’t realize that they can have a sexually transmitted disease and exhibit no symptoms at all. Infections like gonorrhea, chlamydia and herpes can lay dormant in the system for years before they show themselves. Additionally, just because you aren’t exhibiting symptoms, you can still pass your STD on to others. If you are sexually active, you should be screened for STDs at least once per year.
4.The Highest Rate of STDs is Among 15 to 29 Year Olds
Fact. Unfortunately, if you are a teenager, this puts you at the highest risk. You should also know that there are millions of people in this age group that have a sexually transmitted disease, whether they know it or not. If you are going to have sexual intercourse with anyone, or participate in oral or anal sex, you simply must use a condom if you hope to protect yourself.
5.Hormonal Contraceptives Do Not Protect Against STDs
Fact. Birth control pills, the birth control patch and the birth control shot do nothing to protect against sexually transmitted diseases. The only way to protect yourself is to use a barrier method of contraception, like the latex condom. Coupled with spermicidal creams or jellies, condoms are the most effective form of protection against pregnancy and STDs.
6.Latex Condoms are 100 Percent Effective
Fiction. In order to protect you, a condom has to be used perfectly. Accidents happen; nothing in life is 100 percent. Condoms must be placed over the penis in the correct manner, before penis to vagina contact, to offer the proper protection. This means that if you start to have sex, stop to put on a condom before you ejaculate, and continue with sexual intercourse, you are still at risk. Remember that skin-to-skin is all that it takes and pre-ejaculate can contain bacteria and sperm.
If you got all of these questions correct, good for you! If you got some of them wrong, you may want to talk to your doctor, health teacher, parent or other trusted adult about sexually transmitted diseases. STDs are not only embarrassing, they are dangerous. By learning all there is to know, you can better protect yourself the next time you choose to have intercourse.
Sue L. McBride is a writer for health blogs. Is your relationship getting serious? If you live in Florida consider STD blood testing in Tampa at one of the many health testing centers.