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Facts Vs Myths



You can get HIV from getting a tattoo or body piercing.

FACT!  There can be a risk for HIV or another blood-borne infection (like hepatitis B or C) if the instruments used for piercing or tattooing either are not sterilized or disinfected between clients. Any instrument used to pierce or cut the skin should be used once and thrown away. Ask the staff at the parlor about their equipment. They should show you what precautions they use, or don’t get pierced or tattooed there.


You’re tested for STD/STI’s when you get your annual Pap test.

MYTH! Pap tests are not specific tests for any sexually transmitted disease or infection (STD/STI). While some women think (or assume) that they are being tested for STDs/STIs when they have a Pap test, this is not the case. Talk to your healthcare provider about STD/STI testing and see if she or he recommends any tests for you.


You can get HIV from a mosquito bite.

MYTH!  HIV is not transmitted by mosquitoes. Studies conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and elsewhere have shown no evidence of HIV transmission from mosquitoes or any other insects—even in areas where there are many cases of AIDS and large populations of mosquitoes.


You can get an STI just through oral sex.

FACT!  During oral sex, you can give your partner your STI and you can get theirs. Not all STIs are transmitted through oral sex, but some are. For example, if your partner has a cold sore (oral herpes) and performs oral sex on you, you could become infected with herpes in your genital area.


Baby oil and petroleum jelly are OK to use with latex condoms.

MYTH!  Oil-based lubricants (like baby oil, Vaseline®, hand creams, Crisco) can break down latex and allow STDs/STIs to pass through. Instead, water soluble lubricants like K-Y Jelly®, Glide®, Aqualube®, most contraceptive jellies, saliva, or even plain water are good lubricants to use with condoms.


The best way to avoid getting pregnant is to use a condom.

MYTH!  The best way to avoid getting pregnant is though abstinence. Abstinence (not having any kind of sex) is the only 100% effective form of birth control. If abstinence isn’t an option, using a condom in combination with a hormonal form of birth control is a close second. For example, this could be a condom used together with the birth control pill.


You can use a condom more than once.

MYTH!  A condom should NEVER be used more than once under any circumstances.


You can't get pregnant the first time you have sex.

MYTH!  You can get pregnant anytime you have vaginal (penis-in-vagina) sex. If you're having sex without a condom and/or birth control, you can get pregnant — whether it's the first time or the 100th time.

You can't get pregnant during your period.

MYTH! It's not very common, but it's possible to get pregnant from sex you had during your period. This is because sperm can hang out in your reproductive organs for SIX whole days, waiting for one of your eggs to come out.


My partner uses the "pull out" method. I can’t  get pregnant.

MYTH! Once he releases pre-ejaculation fluid, that's at least 300,000 sperm swimming upstream. And guess what? It only takes 1 sperm to fertilize an egg, so the answer is yes, it is possible that you can get pregnant.


Birth control really works.

FACT!  When used correctly, lots of birth control methods are effective — more than 99 percent effective — at preventing pregnancy. But if you don't use birth control correctly, it doesn't work as well.

Some methods, like the IUD and implant] are easy to use correctly — they're placed in your body and do their thing without the chance that you could mess it up. Other methods, like the pill, are a little harder because you have to remember to take it every day, try not to miss any pills, and keep getting your new packs on time. If you miss pills, you're at risk for pregnancy.

Condoms are 98 percent effective at preventing pregnancy when used correctly. And condoms are also the best way to avoid STDs. The best thing to do is to use both a condom and another birth control method.