If there was ever a time when you weren’t completely safe, you don’t need to freak out. You just need to get yourself tested. Find a health center.
The Internet didn’t exist in 1972, so folks had to rely on pamphlets featuring pictures of badly drawn monsters to educate themselves about syphilis and gonorrhea. A lot has changed in the last 40 years — for example, now we say sexually transmitted infection instead of VD (short for venereal disease). But it’s still true that syphilis and gonorrhea are completely curable when treated in the early stages. When was the last time you got tested?
Today is National HIV Testing Day. Have you been tested? Were you nervous about the results? How did you feel after you got the results? Share your story in your reblog. And if you haven’t been tested in awhile (or ever), we’re here for you! Check out plannedparenthood.org to learn more about HIV and AIDS, getting tested, or to find your nearest health center.
(image: Centers for Disease Control)
Someone asked us:
Q. Not sure if you folks are the right ones to ask, but I was wondering about lesbian safe sex. What are the actual chances of getting an STD from oral sex? I’ve heard you can get herpes from cold sores, so obviously avoiding oral sex when one’s got a cold sore is a good plan, but outside of that, what are the actual chances of getting an STD from standard lesbian sex?
You’re right, herpes can be transmitted through oral sex. But keep in mind that it can be even when someone has no symptoms at the time. For lesbian partners, if one partner has herpes, the best way to avoid transmitting it to anyone else is by using dental dams for oral sex. Using condoms on shared sex toys is also a good idea to minimize the risk. Other STDs like syphilis and HPV can be spread through oral sex, too. And while it’s less likely through oral sex than through vaginal or anal, HIV can also be spread orally. Even fingering carries a risk — that’s why there’s no such thing as “safe” sex, only safer sex. For sex toys, using condoms and cleaning them regularly is recommended.
If you’re concerned about spreading STDs, you and your partner might want to get tested together beforehand and continue to get tested regularly, as some STDs take a while to show up. And if you go to your local Planned Parenthood health center, make sure to stock up on condoms and dental dams while you’re there!
-Tobias at PPFA