Sex Dictionary – H

There’s a lot of words out there about sex...here’s a bunch you
wanted to know about

SEX DICTIONARY

H

Hepatitis

Hepatitis is a range of viral diseases, which can be both STI’s or blood-borne. There are a number of different types of hepatitis which all affect the liver, including hepatitis, A, B, C, D and E.

Heterosexual

Heterosexual refers to the sexual orientation of people who are attracted to the opposite sex. Another term for heterosexual is “straight.”

HIV

The virus, Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) to be exact, is what causes AIDS, or as the doctors will call it, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. You can get HIV by having sex without a condom, sharing a needle or other injecting equipment with a person who is infected.

You can reduce the risk of contracting HIV, a blood and semen based virus by always using a condom. You can find out more about HIV here.

Homosexual

Homosexual is a sexual orientation. It means a person who is attracted to another person of the same sex.

If you are questioning your sexuality and have some questions, there is nothing to be afraid of – you can ask an expert here.

Homophobia

Homophobia is the fear of homosexual people, or a non-heterosexual person. It is irrational, and unfortunately still exists throughout the world. If you, or one of your friends, are on the receiving end of homophobic behaviours, please ask for help at your local youth centre, or talk to a trusted adult about getting support.

Hormonal Contraception

This is a term for all forms of contraception that use hormones to regulate the female menstrual cycle to prevent pregnancy.

Hormones

Hormones are chemicals that all people have in their body, controlling and affecting our bodies in different ways throughout our lives. Hormones change our bodies during puberty and they can also affect our emotions and mood.

HPV

The human papilloma virus or HPV, is the virus that causes genital warts. It can’t be cured but the genital warts can be removed. HPV is sometimes linked to cervical and oral cancers. There is a HPV vaccination designed to protect from HPV and it is common for younger females to have this immunisation.

For more information on genital warts, check out the information on safe sex.

Hymen

The hymen is a membrane that closes the entrance to the vagina. The hymen can break from masturbation, fingering, or even horse riding – this can cause some bleeding when it first happens but this is normal and natural and nothing to be worried about.