By Lucy Marley

So you’ve got to the end of this article and thought… ‘I wish there was an STI quiz to top this all off?’

So you’ve got to the end of this article and thought… ‘I wish there was an STI quiz to top this all off?’
Well why don’t you take part in our quiz below to find out how much you really know about catching STIs off a toilet seat?
The NHS collects info on women attending by age, group and location…but not by anything else.
You’re welcome. Enjoy!
Lucy x
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Lucy Marley

Journalist interested in “anything to do with women, really”.


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Your myth busting skill


Myth 1

Cervical screening is only for straight women.

Fact 1

No, incorrect it’s false.

Cervical screening is for anyone with a cervix. Trans, non-binary or intersex people with a cervix. If you have one, you need a screening.

Myth 2

I’ve had my HPV vaccine so I don’t really need to turn up for my cervical smear test.

Fact 2

No, incorrect it’s false.

The HPV vaccine protects around 70% of cervical cancers. But you still need to have your smear just in case.

Myth 3

Women are as likely to give HPV to other women.

Fact 3

No, incorrect it’s false.

It doesn’t matter about your sexuality, your gender, if you’re having sex with whoever, you’re potentially spreading it around guys AND girls.

Myth 4

You have to have anal sex to get anus cancer.

Fact 4

No, incorrect it’s false.

HPV can spread from the genital area to the anus without having anal sex, either from skin-to-skin contact or by oral anus sex.

Myth 5

I’ve been with my partner for a year. I’ve not cheated on them but I’ve just found out I’ve got genital warts. Surely this means they’ve cheated?

Fact 5

No, incorrect it’s false.

Genital warts can take months even years to develop after getting an infection. So, I mean, don’t jump to conclusions. Hold the breakups for just a min.

Myth 6

Heterosexual men are more likely to get oral cancer than gay men.

Fact 6

No, incorrect it’s false.

Oral cancers are more likely in heterosexual men in their 40s and 50s.

Myth 7

People who have sex a lot and with a lot of different people will get STIs and HPV.

Fact 7

No, incorrect it’s false.

STIs don’t care about how many people you’ve slept with. Yes it may increase the likelihood of you coming into contact with someone who has HPV but it only takes one partner to give you an STI.

Myth 8

You can get HPV from hugging and toilet seats.

Fact 8

No, incorrect it’s false.

That is a proper big fat myth. And the same goes for sharing towels, cups and cutlery for that matter.

Myth 9

You can get HPV even if you’re a ‘virgin’.

Fact 9

No, incorrect it’s false.

But we need to talk about how we define being a ‘virgin’. When we think of ‘sex’ we think of ‘penetrive sex’ but actually, if you and your partner have had oral sex and mutual masturbation, HPV can still be passed by skin-to-skin touching.

Myth 10

I’ve always worn condoms, I’m not at risk of HPV.

Fact 10

No, incorrect it’s false.

Condoms can help reduce the chances of spreading HPV but they don’t cover all areas, so you can still pass HPV through skin-to-skin rubbing.
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HPV Misunderstood