MISINFORMATION ABOUT SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES

A study from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta shows that many people have terrible misconceptions about venereal diseases and that changing their views does not protect them from getting venereal diseases in the future.

At the start of the study, many people felt that they could prevent venereal diseases by washing the genitals after sex (16.3%), by urinating after sex (38%), by douching after sex(45.7%), and by taking oral contraceptives (19.9%). All were told that none of these methods are effective in preventing or treating venereal diseases and they were given the same questionnaire every three months. Younger people corrected their misconceptions but those over 24 years of age were less likely to change their incorrect views. The ones who failed to correct their misconceptions were not more likely to get venereal diseases, probably because younger people are less cautious and continue to be driven by hormones, rather than common sense.

RA Crosby, D Newman, ML Kamb, J Zenilman, JM Douglas, M Iatesta. Misconceptions about STD-protective behavior. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 2000, Vol 19, Iss 3, pp 167-173 Address Crosby RA, Ctr Dis Control & Prevent, Behav Intervent & Res Branch, Div STD Prevent, 1600 Clifton Rd NE, MS-E44, Atlanta,GA 30333 USA

Checked 8/9/05

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