Millions of people contract sexually transmitted diseases (STD) every year in the US and the two major reasons responsible in most of those cases are ignorance and carelessness. While it is true that you can never really guarantee that you won’t ever be afflicted by an STD (unless you practice lifelong abstinence), there are definitely ways to make sure that the chances are as low as possible.
Practice Safe Sex
You have probably heard this one a million times before, but it is still the best way to avoid STDs for those that have an active sex life, and especially for those who are not committed to any one person.
- Always carry a condom
- If there’s a chance of having sex later on, don’t get too high because it may mess up your judgment
- Talk about it with your partner openly to make things more comfortable and safer
- Don’t force yourself or get forced into practicing unprotected sex
- Take a bath and wash both before and after sex
- Limit your sexual activities to as few partners as possible
- Get yourself and your partner/partners tested
Loyalty and Monogamy
It may sound moralistic, but the truth is that it is inarguably one of the most practical ways to keep sexually transmitted diseases away from your life. A cheating partner may contract the disease from someone and infect his/her partner without even realizing it. With so many people out there who already are active carriers of various types of STDs, it wouldn’t really be surprising if one of them passed an infection onto you. Safe sex definitely helps but there are diseases like crabs, HPV, herpes, and syphilis that can and often do surpass the protection a condom provides. Staying loyal and monogamous eliminates external infections, but keep in mind that if either of the two people in a sexual relationship is already infected, it will spread. This is why it’s a good idea to get yourself and your partner checked for STDs before indulging in unprotected sex.
Treat Your STDs
Regular checkups are a must if you have a sexually active life, but that’s only the first step. If you find out that you have indeed contracted an STD, immediately seek medical advice because many sexually transmitted diseases can either be completely cured or effectively controlled with the proper and timely usage of antibiotics for STDs and other medications such as antivirals. Treatment is necessary to not only protect yourself from the effects of the disease but also to make sure that you are not spreading the disease. Refrain from sexual activities until you heal. If you have a disease that cannot be cured but only controlled, mention that fact to all of your partners beforehand. Also, it is better to consult with your doctor about how you should approach your sex life in the future.
Protection against STDs is more about awareness and alertness than anything else and on that note, you should also be aware of certain things that do not directly relate to sex but can still spread the disease just as well.
- Using or coming in touch with someone else’s underwear is a bad idea
- Doing drugs and sharing needles is by far one of the most prevalent non-sexual causes of STD infections in the US
- A bite from an infected person can transmit the disease to you
- Even a kiss can be responsible for transmitting oral herpes
Now that you know where the danger lies, you are far better equipped to protect yourself from STDs than before. Spread your knowledge and make it a safer place.