Myths & Facts

You can only catch HIV from gay sex

HIV is a virus that can be passed on through heterosexual (straight) or homosexual (gay) sex, as well as sharing needles and other injecting equipment. Although, men who have sex with men are most at risk of becoming infected with HIV, and women who only have sex with women are least at risk. If you are a gay man, it is recommended you take a HIV test at least once a year.

If you use condoms your partner will be pleased

Research shows that young people say they are impressed when their partner can talk about condom use, carries condoms, knows how to use condoms properly, and puts one on! It can really take the stress out of the situation if you say upfront that you think you ought to be using a condom. If you want respect from your partner, and to show them that you are responsible and care about your own health as well as theirs, then always use a condom.

You can’t get pregnant if you have sex standing up

The truth is you can get pregnant whatever position you are in when having sex. There is no position that is ‘safe’ when you don’t use a condom or another form of contraception. The only way to best protect yourself is by using a condom to avoid contracting an STI as well as avoiding an unwanted pregnancy.

You always get symptoms if you have an STI

The truth is not all STIs show symptoms. Most people with Chlamydia have no symptoms at all which means the infection could go undetected and can be passed on without realising. It is important to ALWAYS protect yourself by using a condom. Click here for more information on STIs and symptoms. If you are worried, contact your GP or a sexual health clinic.

If you are under 16 and talk to your doctor about contraception,
they will tell your parents / carer

Your doctor, nurse or pharmacist will NOT tell your parents / carer about the visit as long as they believe you fully understand the information that you are given and the decisions you are making. Information may only be disclosed if they feel you may be at significant risk of harm. However, they will not break confidentiality without informing you first. Click here for more information on Confidentiality.


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