Shortly, the answer is no. Children cannot transmit a sexually transmitted disease (STD) by hugging you, and neither do adults. The only way children can acquire an STD is through their mother, during pregnancy and delivery. However, nobody can get or transmit an STD through hugging. STDs are different diseases that spread in various ways. What they have in common is that they are all transmissible through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. In this article, we will focus on some of the principal and most popular myths surrounding STDs, their transmission, symptoms, and treatment. 

8 Myths about STDs

Myth #1: If you had an STD, you would notice the signs.

Most people think that STDs always come with visible symptoms and signs that would indicate there's a problem and that you should see a doctor. 

Fact

Most STDs are asymptomatic. Therefore, they present with few or no symptoms. This phenomenon happens in both sexes, but especially in women. Other STDs initially present with symptoms which disappear on their own, to appear later in the course of the disease. STDs are often silent diseases that people spread to each other without knowing it. They can remain in a latent phase for years and lead to chronic diseases, and high morbidity and mortality. 

Myth #2: Although they are bothersome, STDs do not lead to severe complications.

People believe that STDs are not dangerous diseases and that they don't have the potential of causing harm in the long term. 

Fact

STDs left untreated may lead to high disability and discomfort. Bacterial STDs, such as gonorrhea and chlamydia, may result in infertility. HPV infections can even lead to cancer of the cervix. Other STDs, such as HIV and syphilis, can lead to progressive organ failure and death. Hepatitis B and C can cause liver cirrhosis, and eventually, hepatic cancer. There is no STD that is harmless. All of them can lead to severe or life-threatening complications if left untreated. 

Myth #3: If you got yourself exposed to an STD, wait and see if you have symptoms. 

Most people believe that exposure to STDs equals symptoms and signs.

Fact

If you got yourself exposed to STDs, then you shouldn't wait until symptoms and signs appear. Get tested immediately and find out if you have the disease or not. STDs have a better prognosis if identified and treated early. To gain time and money, get tested with an STD rapid test kit at home, and get your results in fifteen minutes. Get one for your partner as well. Most STDs present with few or no symptoms. Do not wait until signs appear. 

Myth #4: You can catch an STD by objects used by an infected person.

Some individuals think that objects used by an infected individual can give them an STD.

Fact

STDs are sexually transmitted diseases, meaning they are transmissible through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. However, this is not the only way of transmission. Some spread through skin-to-skin contact or by blood. However, the chances to get an STD by objects of an infected individual are remarkably low. Viruses cannot live long outside a host. At the same time, bacterial STDs are exclusively spread through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. 

Myth #5: If you got an STD once, you cannot get it again. 

People think that getting an STD once gives them life-long immunity. 

Fact

You cannot build immunity for any STD, except for hepatitis B. If you got an STD once and you treat it, you can get it again. For instance, if both you and your partner have chlamydia, and only one of you treats it, you can pass the disease back and forth. In other words, you both have to receive treatment for it. 

Myth #6: Only certain people can get an STD.

Do STDs discriminate? Some people think so.

Fact

STDs do not discriminate. You don't have to belong to a certain population to get an STD. On the other hand, some people are at a higher risk of getting an STI, such as men who have sex with men (MSM), people that have multiple partners, or individuals that practice unprotected sex. In some people, even the first sexual experience could be the source of an STD infection. 

Myth #7: You can avoid STDs by having oral sex.

Many people think STDs are only transmissible through anal or vaginal sex.

Fact

STDs can spread through unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Some of them are also transmissible through kissing, foreplay, and skin-to-skin contact in general. In general, the only sexual acts that do not carry an STD transmission risk are those during which you cannot come in physical contact with the others, such as sexting or cybersex.

Myth #8: You can get HIV by being around an HIV-positive individual.

Can you get HIV by breathing the same air with an HIV-positive person?

Fact

The only way you can get HIV is through infected body fluids, such as blood or genital fluids. However, you cannot get the disease by tears, pee, saliva, or sweat. Also, you cannot get HIV by touching, kissing, or hugging a person with HIV. Finally, you cannot get HIV from objects or surfaces, such as the toilet seat or the organs at the gym. 

Know the signs of STDs and how they spread

Since many myths are going around about STDs, one should be updated and educated about how they present and spread from person to person. Reading information about STDs from certified websites or asking your doctor can keep you knowledgeable about STDs. You can find all the information you need about some of the most common STDs on our website.

READ
What are the Chances of Catching an STD?

If you are sexually active, do regular screenings

Sexually active individuals should do regular STD screenings. STD rapid test kits are ideal for this job. They are easy to perform and provide you with fast results in fifteen minutes. Protect yourself and the people you love starting from your home.