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STI Myths & Facts Quiz

You can’t get a sexually transmitted infection (STI) the first time you have sex.

The correct answer is myth. You can get an STI any time you have sex with someone who has an STI. Some common STIs include chlamydia, herpes, genital warts, gonorrhea, HIV, and syphilis. If you think you might have an STI, see your doctor.

You can’t get an STI from oral sex.

The correct answer is myth. You can get an STI from any kind of sex. Using a male condom or a dental dam can protect you from STIs while having oral sex. A dental dam is a thin piece of plastic you place over the anus or vagina during oral sex.

A female condom isn’t as good as a male condom at protecting against HIV.

The correct answer is fact. Experts don’t know for certain that female condoms work as well as male condoms when it comes to protection against HIV. But if your partner won’t wear a male condom, a female condom is better than using nothing.

Using a male condom and a female condom together gives you double protection.

The correct answer is myth. Male and female condoms should never be used together. This can make them break or fall out of place, putting you at higher risk for STIs. For the best protection against STIs, use a male condom every time you have sex.

You can’t use condoms if you’re allergic to latex.

The correct answer is myth. People who are allergic to latex can use polyurethane condoms instead. These condoms are less likely to break, but cost a little more money. Avoid condoms that are labeled “natural” or made of lambskin. These don’t protect against STIs.

The best place to carry condoms is in your wallet, so you’ll always have one.

The correct answer is myth. It’s best to keep condoms in a place that's dry and cool. This makes them less likely to break while you’re using them. Always check the wrapper for the expiration date and don’t use the condom if it’s old, looks discolored, or has a hole.

Using a lubricant with a condom makes it less likely to break.

The correct answer is fact. But make sure to use a lubricant that is water-based, such as KY Jelly. Don’t use lubricants that are oil- or petroleum-based, such as petroleum jelly. These types of lubricants make latex condoms more likely to tear.

Which activity increases your risk for an STI?

The correct answer is all of the above. Any type of sex puts you at risk of getting an STI. Using alcohol or drugs makes you more likely to have unprotected sex. To reduce your risk of STIs, always use a condom or dental dam for any kind of sexual activity.

The best condoms are those with nonoxynol-9.

The correct answer is myth. Nonoxynol-9 is a type of spermicide. While it may lower your risk of pregnancy, it can increase your risk of getting an STI. For the most protection against STIs, don’t use any products that contain nonoxynol-9.

Which is the surest way to avoid STIs:

The correct answer is abstinence. The only way to completely avoid STIs is to not have sex. If you do choose to have sex, you can lower your risk by wearing a condom, waiting until you are older, and having only one partner.

Douching can help protect you from HIV.

The correct answer is myth. Douching can make you more likely to get HIV. This is because it removes some of the bacteria in the vagina that help prevent infection. To reduce your risk of HIV, don’t douche.

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