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10 College Myths about Safer Sex

Debunking the college myths about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and importance of getting tested.

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10 College Myths about Safer Sex

  1. 1. Myths about Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) 1 0
  2. 2. FACT Contraceptive methods such as the pill, patch, ring, IUD and Depo prevent pregnancy, but NOT STIs. Condoms are the only method of protection against BOTH pregnancy and STIs. For max protection use both a contraceptive method and condoms. I use contraceptives, I don’t need to worry about STIs. MYTH 10
  3. 3. FACT Almost all STI’s that can be passed through vaginal sex can also be passed through unprotected oral and anal sex. The possibility of contracting an STI from oral sex is generally less risky as compared to vaginal or anal sex, although any unprotected sex with someone who has HIV or an STI carries some risk. *Unprotected anal sex is riskier then oral or vaginal sex. Oral and anal are not really sex, so they are the safest. MYTH 9
  4. 4. FACT Although medication can help individuals with HIV infection live longer and healthier lives…  There is no vaccine to prevent HIV  There is no cure for those who are already infected. Condoms are highly effective in preventing the spread of HIV through sex There is a cure for HIV/AIDs MYTH 8
  5. 5. FACT One condom does the job. Condoms when used consistently and correctly are highly effective in preventing the spread of STIs. Each latex condom manufactured in the U.S. is tested for holes before packing. Before use, check the expiration date and make sure the condom hasn’t been damaged. Free condoms available at Health Services. Two condoms are better than one, that is why I “double bag.” MYTH 7
  6. 6. FACT Wouldn’t that be nice if sex at the Cottages hot tub protected against STIs? Well, it doesn’t and neither does douching or jumping up and down. The ONLY way to prevent the spread of STIs AND pregnancy is to use a CONDOM. Having sex in a hot tub, standing, douching or jumping up and down after sex protects against STIs. MYTH 6
  7. 7. FACT Anyone who has unprotected sex, regardless of the number of partners, is at risk for STIs. Many STIs do not show symptoms and you can’t tell by looking at someone if they have an STI. Annual STI testing is recommended for everyone, even those in committed relationships. STI testing is only for people hooking up. MYTH 5
  8. 8. FACT Withdrawal or “pulling out” is NOT an effective means to prevent STIs or pregnancy. Withdrawal is significantly less effective at preventing pregnancy as compared to contraceptives. The only safer sex option that protects against both pregnancy and STIs is condoms. If he pulls out I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant and/or an STI. MYTH 4
  9. 9. FACT Many STIs are curable and most, including hepres, are treatable. The sooner you know if you have an STI, the sooner you can get treatment and take steps to prevent passing it on. Talk to a health care provider at UNH Health Services about getting tested. There are different treatments for different If I get an STI there is nothing I can do about it. MYTH 3
  10. 10. FACT Even though some STI testing may be recommended as part of routine health care, you may need to ask to get tested. STIs often show no symptoms, so not even your health care provider can know for sure if you have an STI without testing. And for women, a pap test is not a test for STIs. If I needed to get tested for STIs my health care provider would test me. MYTH 2
  11. 11. FACT Ah, if only life were that easy. You can’t tell if someone has an STI by looking at them. 1 in 2 sexually active people will get an STI by age 25. Most don’t know it. Many STIs often show no symptoms. Many people who have an STI do not know it. That is why getting tested is so important. You can tell by looking at someone if they have an STI. MYTH 1
  13. 13. “I used a condom and she still got pregnant” “I made him use a condom but I still got herpes” A common myth is that one gets pregnant or an STI because the condom broke. IN REALITY... If a condom is used CORRECTLY the ENTIRE TIME HAVING SEX, it should protect against pregnancy and STIs.
  14. 14. There is no single test that can screen for all STIs. The type of STI test(s) you need can vary with age, sex, sexual orientation and sexual history. Some STIs are so common among young adults that annual testing is recommended. Your STI test at Health Services may include a: - Physical exam - Urine sample - Discharge, tissue, cell or oral fluid sample - Blood sample All testing at Health Services is confidential. Pricing varies based on what STI tests our health care provider recommends. Contact UNH Health Services to find out what testing is right for you (603) 862-2856 Getting Tested at UNH If your test comes back positive, breath & remember that most STIs are treatable & many are curable.
  15. 15. You can reduce your risk of getting STIs by talking openly with your partner(s). Telling Your Partner(s) You Have an STI This is going to be hard, but your partner needs to know so he/she can get tested and treated, if necessary.  Bring it up to your partner(s) when you are ready  Practice what you are going to say in a journal or with a friend  Find a time when you can really have time to talk  Find a quite place with privacy  Tell him/her all that you know  Encourage your partner(s) to get tested  Talk about how you can both integrate condoms into your sex life