Embracing safety over stereotype : 

In the perpetual journey to 'normalise' the normal, we have yet another stop to halt at. After exploring the many undebated topics related to sex, orgasms, etc ., it is time that we openly discuss yet another stereotypical subject: sexually transmitted infections (STIs). However, before delving into the topic, it is important to understand the 'why' behind it.​

Here is why you need to be an 'STI astute':

Sticking to the common mindset, most adults feel that 'STIs can only happen to others. Perceiving oneself to be STI-immune is one huge bubble adults live in. Here are some realities of bursting the bubble :

  1. According to CDC reports, around 6% of the adult population in India is infected with one or more STIs
  2. Across the globe, the majority of people getting infected are aged between 15 and 24. 

Therefore, the next time you pacify yourself with an STI-immune mindset, think about the alarming STI rate and fill yourself with the required knowledge. To help you get all the necessary insights, the blog ahead further sheds light on the various aspects of STIs that should not go unheeded! 

Common STIs: 

Whenever the word 'STIs' falls to the hear, our minds automatically associate it with AIDS/ HIV. Although this is a commonly found STI, it is not the only infection in the list of sexually transmitted infections. Some of the other common STIs are as follows: 

  1. Chlamydia 
  2. Gonorrhoea
  3. Syphilis 
  4. Herpes 
  5. Human Papillomavirus 
  6. Trichomoniasis
  7. Human Immunodeficiency Virus 

These broad types of STIs can be further segregated into two branches: curable and not curable. STIs caused by bacteria are the ones that can be cured with the right medication and treatment. Example: Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Syphilis.

The ones that are not curable are Herpes, HPV, and HIV. These are viral STIs, and therefore, once contracted, they remain in the body forever. 

What causes it, and who can get it?

STDs (Sexually transmitted diseases), which doctors now prefer to term 'STIs', are passed on from person to person via sexual contact concerning vaginal, oral, and anal sex. These infections also have the potency to pass on via semen, blood, urine, saliva, and other bodily fluids. 

While everyone is prone to STIs, individuals who indulge in sexual activities are at a higher risk of developing sexually transmitted infections. Although sexual activities highly expose you to developing STIs, here are some other risk factors that also contribute to this cause: 

  1. Sharing of needles, razors 
  2. Unregulated tattoos/ Piercings 

Thereby, to sum it up, contrary to the STI-immune mindset, everyone and anyone can fall into the clutches of sexually transmitted infections. Hereby, knowing all the ins and outs of the subject becomes, although more crucial. Now that the basics have been covered, let's slide to various rumours that go around STIs. 

What to not believe: Myths

Now that we are past the fundamentals of what STIs are, how they are caused and who can get them, here are some myths that actually need to pass over our minds! Given below is a list of common myths concerning sexually transmitted infections: 

'If you'd had STI, you'd know it.'

Studies have shown that 50% of men and 70% of women who develop STIs show no symptoms. Although there is a list of symptoms allocated for each sexually transmitted infection, these go neglected as there is no significant symptom that signals the probability of being STI-infected. Therefore, you could be healthy and still have an STI. What is more scary is that in such cases, people unknowingly become a contagious source of spreading STIs among the masses. 

What can you do? Do not sway away with the thought of no symptoms – no risk. Getting regular check-ups and STI tests is the best way to determine the presence or absence of STIs. 

'STIs are for the backward section of society'

As individuals, we've created discriminatory borders, but STIs don't discriminate. Anyone, right from a CEO, doctor, poor person, etc, can get infected with STIs. Another façade spread is that people engaged in regular sexual activities get STIs. However, there is no proven fact to support this. In fact, studies have shown that people engaging in sexual activities for the first time can also get STIs. Therefore, the next time you hear that STIs are for the poor class, you know what not to believe! 

What you can do: Understand that STIs don't look at your class, race, status, etc. The best is to get an STI test done before engaging in any sexual activities. Or the least you can do is use a condom. (Remember, although condoms reduce the risk of getting an STI, these provide no 100% guarantee) 

'You can get STI only once.'  

STIs such as herpes and HIV, are lifelong, while others, like chlamydia and gonorrhoea, can be treated but may recur upon exposure to an infected partner. To safeguard your health, consistently use condoms and inform your doctor if you're sexually active for regular testing. In case of an STD diagnosis, it's crucial for both partners to undergo simultaneous treatment to prevent future complications and avoid reinfection. 

Preventive Measures: What can you do? 

To minimise the risk of acquiring STDs, follow these guidelines:

  1. Refrain from direct contact with genital areas and the exchange of bodily fluids.
  2. Receive vaccinations for hepatitis B and HPV.
  3. Utilise condoms for vaginal and anal intercourse and dental dams for oral sex.
  4. Undergo regular STD testing.

Recognise the early symptoms and seek medical attention if you encounter symptoms such as:

  1. Sensations of burning or itching in the genital region.
  2. Discomfort during sexual activity.
  3. Unusual bleeding or discharge from the vagina.
  4. Pelvic pain.
  5. Presence of bumps, sores, or blisters in the anus, vagina, or mouth.


In conclusion, raising awareness about sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is paramount for teenagers. Acknowledging that STIs affect a significant portion of the population, dispelling myths, and embracing preventive measures are crucial. Understanding that STIs do not discriminate based on socioeconomic status or sexual history is essential. Regular testing, regardless of symptoms, helps in early detection and management. By fostering a culture of openness and education, individuals empower themselves to prioritise sexual health. Breaking stereotypes, challenging misconceptions, and adopting preventive measures ensures a safer and healthier environment for informed discussions about sexual and overall well-being!