When it comes to sexual health, how well are you taking care of yourself? To help suss out how savvy you are, take this little quiz on some key factors that impact overall health, which will give you a little refresher on how you can be better taking care of yourself.
How often should gay and bisexual men, and men who have sex with men, get tested for HIV?
(a) Twice a year
(b) At least once a year
(c) Only if your doctor recommends it
(d) Once a month
Answer: (b) At least once a year. When was your last test?
Lesbians have a higher body mass than heterosexual women.
Answer: (b) True. Many studies have found this. Calculate your body mass index by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in metres squared (or just search Google for an easy online calculator). Having a BMI of 25.0 or more is considered overweight, while the healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9. This calculation is not applicable to certain groups, including muscle builders, long-distance athletes, children and the elderly.
Compared to other men, gay or bisexual men, or men who have sex with men, have higher rates of drug and tobacco use.
Answer: (a) True. This rate is also higher among lesbian women.
Which of the following factors – which are high among lesbians – raise a woman’s risk of heart disease?
(d) All of the above
Answer: (d) All of the above. Heart disease is the number one killer of all women, and these risk factors are ones that you can take steps to reduce your risk.
Storing more fat around the abdomen and having a greater waist circumference (which studies have suggested is more common for lesbian women than other women):
(a) puts them in a higher risk category for heart disease and premature death
(b) doesn’t impact their health any more than if they carried weight in other areas of the body
Answer: (a). Visceral fat (found in your belly area and around vital organs, including the liver, stomach and intestines) differs from body fat andinfluences how hormones function in the body.
You can transmit STDs by sharing sex toys.
Answer: (a) True. Reduce the chance of transmitting an STD by not sharing, and by proper cleansing and storage of sex toys.
Canada’s Food Guide was recently updated and recommends eating more of a plant-based diet. Who is less likely to eat fruits and vegetables every day?
(a) Bisexual women
(b) Lesbian women
(c) Heterosexual women
(d) Both (a) and (b)
Answer: (d) Both (a) and (b). Canada’s Food Guide recommends seven to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day.
Hepatitis C, which can lead to liver failure, liver cancer and death, is:
(a) easily preventable by making sure you get a vaccine to protect you against it
(b) not prevented by any vaccine
Answer: (b) There is no vaccine for hepatitis C, which is a liver infection that affects one in every 100 Canadians. It can be spread by sharing drug needles and syringes, and, less commonly, through sexual intercourse.
KAREN KWAN is a freelance health, travel and lifestyle writer based in Toronto. Follow her on Twitter at @healthswellness and on Instagram at @healthandswellness.