How do I protect myself from STIs-STDs
If you’re going to have sex, there really is only one way to protect yourself from contracting an STI, and that’s by practicing safe sex. And it can’t just be safe sex some of the time, or even most of the time…it really has to be every time.
The best and easiest way to protect yourself from STIs is to use either a male condom or a female condom. You can also use dental dams and condoms for protection during oral sex.
How do I protect myself?
It’s your responsibility to protect yourself. Here are a few pointers to help:
- Correctly and consistently use a condom if having vaginal and/or anal intercourse. Latex condoms are the best defense against STIs.
- Protection is available for oral sex. For men, wearing a condom while receiving oral sex can help prevent the transmission of STIs. Women can use a sheet of latex called a dental dam to protect themselves and their partner while receiving oral sex.
- Keeping yourself free of other STIs decreases your risk of becoming infected with HIV.
- Have regular check-ups to screen for STIs, especially if you are with a new partner.
- Make sure you know the common symptoms of STIs. Inform your doctor immediately if you notice any signs. Remember though, many STIs will not have symptoms so testing is still important.
- Avoid douching because it removes some of the normal protective bacteria in the vagina and increases the risk of getting some STIs.
- Never share needles.
- Don’t have sex with someone who has a lot of partners.
- Avoid having sex when you’re drunk or on drugs. When your heads not right, it’s easy to make decisions you’ll regret.