How to Protect Yourself from STDs

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Many STDs are asymptomatic, since there are no visible symptoms to alert you to the disease. Instead, they may cause serious health problems years later. Following are the ways to lower your chances of contracting an STD.

Practice Safe Sex

You might practice safe sex when you know there is a good possibility of having sex and are prepared. But when sex is spontaneous or unexpected, you might give in to the moment. You might think that one time won’t matter, but one time does matter. Make it a rule that you will only have sex when you have the tools to practice safe sex (condom).

Limit Your Sexual Partners

Dropping your risk means controlling the number of people with whom you have sex. Be discerning in choosing sexual partners. Choose him/her who shares your sexual values.

Don’t Rely on the Other Person for Protection

You are responsible for your health; therefore, you are responsible for your protection. Whether you are male or female, if there is a possibility of sex, you should have a condom with you. Don’t rely on the male to carry it. If neither of you have a condom, sex should wait until a time when you do have one.

Get Tested for HIV

Testing is the doorway to care and treatment. With care and treatment, people with HIV can lead longer and healthier lives, but if you wait to too long, treatment is not as effective. HIV testing is recommended at least once for all adolescents and adults. You should be tested at least once a year if you have had sex without a condom, have multiple partners, have an STI, or shared drug-injection equipment.

Abstinence

Avoiding sex is the only way to keep you safe from STD. This is not a choice most people are eager to make. Abstinence doesn’t mean that you can’t have a close relationship. Having sex can be saved until you and your partner are ready to make a faithful commitment to one another.

You and Your Health Matters

You can protect your health and future by taking care of your sexual health today. We know you have a lot of other important stuff to do, but taking care of your sexual health is no less important. Just like other facets of your health – heart health, diabetes and blood pressure – sexual health is worth your time. Taking care of your sexual health can help you enjoy a healthier body, satisfying sexual life, positive relationship and peace of mind.

Health Care Routine

Find a health care provider, have open conversations about how to stay healthy, and any concerns that you have. Take charge of your health and make sure you get all of the sexual health care services that are recommended for you, including vaccines and screenings for STIs, STDs and HIV.

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