At one point or another, we’ve all heard horror stories about Sexually Transmitted Diseases or STDs. Anyone who is sexually active can get an STD, however, some groups can be disproportionately affected by STDs. Such as young adults and adolescents, as well as gay, bisexual, and other Men who have Sex with Men. The good news though is that STDs are preventable, you just have to take the right measures.
If you use latex condoms correctly every time you have sex, this can help you avoid getting STDs. They can be extremely effective when used properly, but they aren’t 100% effective at preventing disease or pregnancy. Make sure that you also use condoms for all forms of sex, including oral and anal. Regardless of your gender, it’s always a good idea to be prepared with condoms when you go out.
Condoms don’t prevent every STD
While you should be using condoms every time you have sex, there are times where condoms won’t prevent you from contracting certain STDs. You still can get certain STDs, like herpes or Human papillomavirus infection/HPV, from contact with your partner’s skin even when using a condom. So if you see that the person you are about to sleep with has genital sores, a rash or other symptoms then you shouldn’t sleep with them.
Make sure you get tested
Another way to prevent yourself from getting STDs is to cut down on the number of people that you are sleeping with. If you find yourself having sex regularly with one person, then it’s probably a good idea for you two to get tested regularly. Knowing your status and knowing your partner’s status is one of the best ways to prevent STDs.
One of the most common STDs is HPV, which can be prevented by getting vaccinated. The HPV vaccine is effective and can help you avoid HPV-related health problems, like genital warts and some cancers.
Talk about it with your partner
Whether you have one or more sexual partners, you should be talking to them about STDs and about practising safe sex beforehand. It may seem uncomfortable at first, but knowing whether they are sleeping with other people and if they’ve contracted an STD before is something that you need to know.
Basically, the best way not to get STDs is to practice safe sex, get regularly tested and to talk about it with your partner(s). You are in charge of your own sexual health, which means that you need to make sure that you look after yourself before and after sex.