When it comes to sexually transmitted infections (STIs), there is a lot of misinformation. Due to a lack of safe sex education, "how can you get an STI?" is still a question many people have. But the more you can learn about safe sex practices, as well as any habits that mightincrease your chance of getting an STI, the healthier we can all be.
First off, it's a good idea to keep the convo going with your partners, so you can be on the same page about safe sex practices. But it never hurts to talk to your doctor, too. "There is so much evidence-based information available to you that can help keep you safe," Kongit Farrell, Licensed Marriage, Family, & Sex Therapist, tells Bustle. "All you need to do is invest a few moments into reaching out to a sexual health professional to talk about your sexual practices. They are trained to be very easy to talk to, and can offer you simple and valuable insights that can literally save your life — and both you and your partner are worth that."
Basically, the more you know about the facts regarding sexually transmitted infections, the better off you'll be. Because there are so many other ways to get an STD or STI that you may not be aware of. For that reason, as Farrell says, "knowledge is power," and with knowledge we can start to acknowledge, and ultimately remove the stigma surrounding STIs. Because of the misinformation that creates this stigma, many people often feel ashamed to discuss, or get tested for STIs, and being open about sexual health may sometimes feel worse than the infection itself. But this doesn't have to be the case; by sharing the correct information surrounding STIs, we can take away the shame that often wrongly coincides with keeping ourselves protected. Here are a few habits that experts say can increase your chances of getting an STD, so you can stay safe.