Health

5 Myths and facts about LGBTQIA+ Sexual Health

By Stigma Health

HUD App is thrilled to partner with Stigma Health, Australia’s largest online sexual health clinic group, to educate and empower dating app users to take control of their sexual health and wellbeing.

Sexual health doesn't have to be complicated and you don't need to overthink it - no matter what your sexual orientation and preferences are. But there are definitely persistent myths about queer sexual health that deserve to be debunked. Here are five things that you need to know - and whether you're gay or straight or anywhere on the rainbow spectrum, you should know these things.

1. Myth: You can't contract an STI unless you have penetrative sex.

Fact: Um, yes you can. STIs can also be transmitted through oral sex, as well as skin-to-skin contact with an infected area or sore. Some STIs, like herpes and HPV, can be spread through close personal contact with the genital area, even without penetration.

2. Myth: Two condoms increase protection.

Fact: Using two condoms at once, often called "double-bagging," can actually increase the chance of both condoms tearing due to friction between them. The best practice is to use one condom correctly to ensure its integrity and effectiveness.

3. Myth: You can't spread or contract an STI if there are no symptoms.

Fact: Many STIs can be asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms, but can still be transmitted to others. Regular testing is important for sexually active individuals, especially because you can spread an STI without knowing you have it.

4. Myth: Only gay males contract HIV.

Fact: Actually, HIV can affect anyone, regardless of sexual orientation, age, gender, or race. It's transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids, not through your sexual orientation. Engaging in unprotected sex or sharing needles are common ways the virus is transmitted, regardless of the gender of sexual orientation of the individuals involved.

5. Myth: You can't get an STI from sharing sex toys.

Fact: STIs can be transmitted through the sharing of sex toys that have not been properly washed or covered with a new condom between uses. It’s important to clean all sex toys thoroughly according to the manufacturer's instructions before and after use, and ideally use a new condom on the toy between partners.

The most important fact of all: You need to look after yourself

Looking after your health as a LGBTQIA+ human is not just about overcoming stigmas, challenges, and harmful myths, but also embracing self-care as a form of empowerment. It's essential to prioritize your wellbeing and nurture your physical and mental health, including your sexual health and wellbeing. By practicing self-care, you're not only advocating for yourself but you're also contributing to a healthier, more inclusive community.

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