Dr. Doctor

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Dear Doctor,

Yesterday, during lunch, my best friend and I were discussing sexually transmitted diseases and we got into quite a brawl about some of the myths and facts of them. It seemed like the only statement we both agreed on was that the topic about sexually transmitted diseases (and how each are transmitted and statistics) should be taught in school, just how biological information and abstinence are being educated.

With that being said, I have quite a few questions to ask you. Is it still possible to get a sexually transmitted disease if you are abstinent? If a person is infected with a sexually transmitted disease, can you tell by their appearance? Is there a higher chance that you will be infected by a sexually transmitted disease if you’re in your teen years? Can STDS only spread through semen and blood? If a woman is on birth control, does that prevent her from obtaining an STD as well? Can you, in fact, catch an STD from a toilet seat? And lastly, once you have a sexually transmitted disease, there’s no chance of becoming infected again, right?

These were a bunch of questions that seemed to be left unanswered yesterday and I was wondering if you might be able to clarify them for me as well as every other reader out there. Thank you Doctor.

Sincerely,
Confused reader.

Dear “Confused reader”,

I do appreciate taking time to write to me about your questions and I also agree with you that the educational system should do more to inform the youth about sexually transmitted diseases before it may be too late. Also, as for your questions..

Yes, there is still a chance that one might become infected with a sexually transmitted disease while remaining abstinent. Abstinence does not prevent AIDS, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C infections that come from nonsexual activities like using contaminated needles for doing drugs, unsterilized tattooing, or even taking steroids.

You have no way of knowing if a person has...
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