In today’s world, we must look beyond the taboos of speaking about sexual issues to ensure that everyone is aware of the best way to stay safe in their sex lives and how to prevent STD’s (sexually transmitted diseases. And with STD Awareness month just over, we want to give you the best tips for prevention, testing and treatment.
According to the CDC, Every year, there are an estimated 20 million new STD infections in the United States.
If you are sexually active, you are at risk for an STD.
Fortunately, there are methods to protect yourself from STDs to keep yourself and your partner(s) healthy:
- The most effective way to avoid contracting an STD is to abstain from all forms of sex, including vaginal, oral, or anal sex.
- When you do have sex, the correct use of a condom every time can help you to avoid STDs. Condoms reduce the risk of infection for all STDs. There is still a risk of infection from some STDs, such as herpes or HPV, from contact with your partner’s skin even when a condom is used.
- You can also reduce your risk greatly by limiting your sex partner to one person who agrees to do the same. Be certain to get tested to know for sure that you are both free of STDs. This is one of the best ways to avoid STDs.
- The HPV vaccine is a safe and effective way to reduce the risk for this particular STD. The vaccine can help you avoid HPV-related health problems like genital warts and some cancers. The FDA has approved this routine vaccination for boys & girls ages 11 to 12. It can also be used as a catch-up vaccine for the following: young women ages 13 to 26 and young men ages 13 to 21, gay, bisexual, & other men who have sex with men up to age 26 and men with compromised immune systems up to age 26.
We encourage open communication with your sex partner(s) about STDs and staying safe before having sex. It might be a little uncomfortable to start the conversation, but protecting your health is your responsibility.
Many STDs don’t have symptoms, but they can cause problems to your health. The only way to know for certain if you have an STD is to get tested.
Please understand that if you do contract an STD that many are curable, and all STDs are treatable. If you or your partner becomes infected with an STD that can be cured, you both need to start treatment immediately to avoid re-infection.