By Oluwalayomi Omolola
Sex—it’s complicated; especially when you have false information going about. Over the years, MTV Shuga has addressed sexual health misinformation through various storylines. This year’s International Women’s Day theme is #ChoosetoChallenge. We want our Shuga fam, especially women, to challenge misinformation on sex, seek professional guidance, and be empowered to make better decisions.
The following are five false statements addressed on MTV Shuga. Which ones have you believed?
MYTH #1 – As long as a condom is used in the middle of sex, pregnancy can be prevented (“half and half”)
In season four of Shuga Naija, Wasiu and Simi are about to have sex when Simi asks him to use a condom. Frustrated, but willing to compromise, he suggested the “half and half” method described above. Unfortunately for both of them, Wasiu contracted HIV and Simi—an STI. Condoms are the most effective method to prevent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), HIV, and pregnancy.
MYTH #2 – Condoms reduce pleasure
The reason why Wasiu didn’t want to use a condom when he and Simi had sex, was because he falsely believed condoms reduced the pleasure in sex. Sex can still be safe and pleasurable for both parties. Lubricant, different condom types, approaches, and more are just a few ways of ensuring this. For more information on this, click here
MYTH #3 – Jumping up and down after sex without a condom prevents pregnancy
After Diana found out Simi and Waisu had unprotected sex, she advised Simi to jump up and down so “‘everything’ can come out”. Diana’s advice wasn’t much help to her when she later discovered her own pregnancy. Although unprotected sex is not advised, if it occurs, emergency contraception can be used to prevent pregnancy. It is also very important to seek medical advice from a gynecologist, your primary care provider, or clinic if you have access to them.
MYTH #4 – Sexual partners must have the same HIV status
Not at all. Femi and Sheila dispelled this myth in season 4 of Shuga. They are what’s called a “serodiscordant” couple or magnetic couple. They do not share the same HIV status. Femi is HIV positive whereas Sheila is HIV negative. How do they make it work? Femi takes his antiretrovirals (ARVs) daily, Sheila uses Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and they wear condoms each time they have sex.
If you’re interested in someone that has disclosed their status to you, learn how to properly navigate the relationship. Talking helps, so discuss with your partner and medical provider.
MYTH #5 – Touching someone with HIV/AIDS spreads the virus
On Shuga Babi, Kara publicly disclosed Tony’s HIV status (do not try this). Kara told everyone to move away from Tony because he was HIV positive. HIV/AIDS isn’t transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. However, it is spread through some bodily fluids (i.e. semen, breastmilk, vaginal fluid, etc.). This means hugging, holding hands, and other casual contact is okay. Especially, if the individual with HIV/AIDS has a low viral load from taking their ARVs, it makes them much less likely to spread the virus.
To learn more about HIV/AIDS transmission, click here
In short, not everything you hear about sex is true. #ChoosetoChallenge all information by using credible sources and seeking medical advice, always.