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STD Myths and Facts

He said he is clean. He promised he “never” does this. It was my first time.

Sexually transmitted diseases do not respect you as a person. Just because someone says they are clean, doesn’t mean they’ve been tested. They may think they are clean, but in reality, they aren’t. And, get this, just because you don’t see any symptoms of infection doesn’t mean the infections aren’t there. Some STDs have no symptoms and go undetected until you are tested.

Check out the incubation periods for the most common STDs

Also, just because it was your first time doesn’t mean it was your partner’s first time. Even if your partner says it was their first time, how can you be sure? Every person you have sexual contact with exposes you to their sexual past, and the sexual past of everyone they’ve been with.

How Many Partners Has Your Partner Had?

According to Zava, a medical website, if you have had 3 partners and your partner had 3 partners, you have been indirectly exposed to 1,092 people and their possible STDs. Scary isn’t it? The more sexual partners you have, the more exposure you have. It’s just that simple.

Concerned You Have An STD?

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STD Exposure ChartNearly 20 Million New STD Infections Yearly

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in this country, half among young people ages 15 – 24. STDs are very serious issues, and if untreated, can cause lifetime complications.

STDs can be viral or non-viral. Non-viral STD? STDs can be treated and cured if caught in time. Viral STDs are not curable and are with you for life.

79 Million Americans Infected with HPV

One deadly viral STD is the Human Papillomavirus (HPV). According to the CDC, 79 million Americans are infected with HPV. The worst part is, there is no test to detect if you’ve been infected. You only know if you’re positive if symptoms arise, or you come up with an abnormal Pap test. HPV is linked to genital warts and a variety of cancers including cervical cancer. Every year close to 20,000 women are affected by cancers that are linked to HPV. That’s a lot of women.

Look, a lot of people are afraid to talk about STDs because they could be embarrassed or ashamed. You have nothing to be ashamed of. We are all so much more alike than we are different. Unless you are abstinent (not engaging in any sexual behavior) you are susceptible to infection. We don’t judge, we just want to help you become educated about your body.

Do You Have an STD? Find Out For Sure With Our Free STD Test

Contact us to schedule an appointment to meet with one of our licensed medical providers for your FREE STD test.

Some STD myths:

  • I won’t get it if we just do it orally. WRONG!
  • As long as he pulls out, I’m ok. WRONG!
  • We just do it anally, not vaginally. WRONG!
  • I’m safe with sexual contact because I don’t have any penetration and we just touch each other. WRONG!

How do I get an STD?

An STD is transmitted sexually. That is any type of sexual contact. This includes genital touching, vaginal, oral and anal sex. Yes! Even genital touching can spread infection. If you are heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, have several partners, or just one partner you are at risk of exposure.

How do I protect myself from an STD?How can I protect myself from an STD?

  • Abstinence: The best and most effective way to protect yourself from an STD and/or unwanted pregnancy is abstinence. In fact, abstinence is 100% effective 100% of the time. You might be thinking that everyone has sex, but that’s simply not true. There are a lot more people practicing abstinence than you think. The Center for Disease Control found that 40% of high school students were practicing abstinence.
  • Stand in Your Power: Engaging in any type of sexual activity is an extremely personal choice that encompasses your body and mind. This decision can have lifelong effects that include pregnancy and STD/STIs. The most important thing is that you take care of yourself. Communicate your sexual past with your partner, and ask them questions about theirs. If you choose to continue to engage in any sexual activity, demand to use a condom. This is your life. It is wrong to feel manipulated, pressured or coerced into engaging in sexual activity. You have the right and the power to say NO in any situation. It doesn’t matter if you’re just about to have sex right at that second and your change your mind. You can say no at any time.


Note To Parents and Mentors:

Life brings all kinds of challenges we weren’t expecting, including STD and pregnancy concerns. If someone comes to you with concerns about their sexuality or sexual activities, listen and let them share. Coming to you means they trust you, and they feel like you will offer them sound guidance. Make sure you listen and ask questions as to best hear them. Try not to shame them or sound disappointed. It takes great courage to chat with parents or adult mentors about their personal sex life and preferences. If you feel unable to help them, then give us a call. We are here to help you as well! We can suggest great resources and are happy to help out!

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that nearly 20 million new sexually transmitted infections occur every year in this country, half among young people ages 15-24.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are serious issues. If you are sexually active and have not been tested in the past year – InnerVisions HealthCare will happily provide free STD testing for you and/or your partner. These services are confidential and without judgment.

STDs can be viral or non-viral. Non-viral STDs can be treated and cured if caught in a timely manner. Viral STDs are not curable, meaning they may be with you for life. Many of the symptoms of non-viral STDs may be treatable; however, it is something that you may have to deal with for the long haul.

Sources:

National Domestic Violence Hotline

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Innervisions Health Care - Free Pregnancy Test Iowa
Free, Caring & Confidential Pregnancy Care
Since 2011, InnerVisions HealthCare has helped hundreds of women throughout Des Moines and Central Iowa with pregnancy testing, STD/STI testing, ultrasounds and more. We offer pregnancy services and STD/STI testing in an open and caring environment provided by trained medical staff.

InnerVisions HealthCare is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your gift of any amount can help keep our doors open so we can continue to provide free medical services and empower women with their sexual and reproductive health decisions. Donations are tax deductible and appreciated.
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The information on this website is provided for educational purposes only. We do not perform or refer abortions. The information provided should not be considered to be a diagnosis or used to treat any person in any way. Please always seek in person professional medical advice for all issues pertaining to your health and wellbeing. IVHC is not suggesting medical treatment in any way. This information is purely educational.