How to Prevent an STD
It’s not necessarily common knowledge to know how to prevent an STD, which is why it’s so important that anyone who’s sexually active educate themselves on what to do to stay safe while having sex.
1. Never have sex with someone who has a rash, genital sores, discharge or other symptoms of an STD. If necessary, ask about their health history.
2. Every time you have sex, use latex condoms throughout the entire act. Remember that condoms are not 100% effective at preventing STDs or pregnancy, but they are highly effective when used properly. Make sure you’re using the condom correctly to reduce your risk as much as possible. Avoid condoms that have nonoxynol-9. Once, this was thought to prevent STDs, but it was found to irritate the cervix and vagina, which can increase the risk of an STD.
3. If you use a lubricant during sex, be sure to use one that’s water-based.
4. Don’t share towels or undergarments with other people, even people you’re close with.
5. Always wash both before and after intercourse.
6. Ask your doctor about getting vaccinated for Hepatitis B. This vaccination is a series of three shots.
7. At the doctor, ask to be tested for all STDs, including HIV.
The only time sex is safe is when you and your partner have only had sex with one another and if it’s been a minimum of six months since you were tested and found to be negative for STDs. Also, if you’re struggling with a drug or alcohol problem, seek help. It’s common for people under the influence to make poor decisions when it comes to sex, which can lead to an STD. Keep in mind that the best protection and the only way to prevent an STD 100% is to abstain from sex.
Do you already have an STD? You have a responsibility to keep other people safe and to not spread it. To do this, stop having sex until after you’ve visited a doctor and have been treated for the STD. Be sure to follow your doctor’s instructions in order to effectively treat the STD and when taking medication. Don’t begin having sex again until your doctor’s said it’s safe. Return to your doctor to get rechecked. Talk to your past and current partners to let them know that they should be checked.