Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are diseases caused by a virus or bacteria that transmit through sexual contact. Because sex can sometimes be a taboo topic among Singaporeans, there may be some myths and misconceptions about STDs that are spread and propagated among the community here. Myths about STDs can be dangerous as the misinformation may cause people to discriminate against patients who are suffering from STDs. As a result, it is very important to know what these myths are and to understand the correct facts about STDs. Understanding the facts about STDs and learning more about STDs would help you to decide if you need to visit an STD clinic in Singapore for testing, diagnosis or treatment. Here are three common myths about STDs in Singapore.
You can tell if your sexual partner has an STD.
Some STDs are asymptomatic. This means that a patient who has contracted the STD may not appear ill or show any symptoms of illness. Asymptomatic STDs such as chlamydia are actually very common because those who have chlamydia will often engage in more sexual activity as they do not exhibit any symptoms of illness. There is no way to visually tell if someone has an STD. The most accurate way is to get tested at an STD clinic. It is recommended that partners get tested for STDs before beginning a new monogamous relationship, especially if either partner has a high risk of contracting STDs.
Only “bad” people can contract an STD.
STDs do not discriminate. While it is true that those who are more sexually active, have multiple sexual partners or engage in the sex trade are more likely to contract an STD, it does not mean that someone who has contracted an STD is necessarily more promiscuous. It is possible for any sexually active person to contract an STD. Even somebody who is engaging in a sexual activity for the first time can contract an STD. There are ways to reduce the risk of contracting an STD, such as using a condom during sex and reducing the number of sexual partners, but there is always a slim chance that an STD can be contracted.
Once you’ve contracted an STD once, you cannot contract it again.
While there is no cure for some STDs like the Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), some STDs can be cured. However, just because an STD is cured does not mean that your body has built up immunity against that STD. In fact, your body can contract the same STD multiple times. It is especially common for bacterial STDs like chlamydia and gonorrhoea, especially if a regular sexual partner is asymptomatic and has not been tested for the disease. As such, it is important to get tested and seek treatment at an STD clinic if your partner has contracted an STD to ensure that you do not have the same disease.
Common STD myths can cause more harm than good in our society. It’s important to learn the true facts about STDs and know how to take measures to protect ourselves from STDs.