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STD/STI Prevention

Updated on 7/27/2010 12:37:18 PM

Consider This...

  • Abstinence (not having anal, oral, or vaginal sex) is the best way to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases (STD/STIs).
  • If you choose to become sexually active, the use of a latex, polyurethane, or female condom can help protect against STD/STI's (not 100%).
  • Some STD/STIs such as herpes simplex virus (HSV) or human papillomavirus (HPV or genital warts) can be transmitted from skin-to-skin contact, meaning that even if you do not have anal, oral or vaginal intercourse you can still become infected.

Reduce the risks! Tips to use to practice safer sex

  • Protect yourself from your partner’s bodily fluids, such as blood, cum, pre-cum, vaginal fluids, and discharge from sores. Also, protect your partner from your bodily fluids.
  • Do not touch any sores or growths that appear on your partner and could potentially be a sexually transmitted disease. If you have any sores or growths do not participate in any sexual activity and seek medical attention.
  • Get routine check-ups by your doctor. Before beginning a new sexual relationship both you and your partner should get tested.
  • Communication is key. Talk to your partner about their sexual history, different birth control options, and ways to prevent STD/STIs. Be honest and open with him/her about what risks you are willing to take and what you desire in the sexual relationship.

Sexual Activities and Risks

Not all STD/STIs are transmitted in the same way. Here is a list of sexual activities and the risks associated with them:

Unprotected Vaginal or Anal Intercourse—High Risk For...

  • trichomoniasis
  • gonorrhea
  • chlamydia
  • syphilis
  • pubic lice
  • scabies
  • hepatitis B virus (HBV)
  • human papillomavirus (HPV)
    • some HPVs can cause genital warts
    • some can cause cancer
  • herpes simplex virus (HSV)
    • can cause oral and genital herpes
  • human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
    • can cause AIDS

Unprotected Oral Sex—High Risk For...

  • gonorrhea
  • syphilis
  • herpes simplex virus
  • human papillomavirus

Sex Play Without Intercourse—High Risk For...

  • herpes simplex virus
  • human papillomavirus
  • pubic lice
  • scabies

Condoms

Latex, polyurethane, and female condoms are the best way to protect yourself from STD/STIs if you become sexually active. Condoms will help reduce your risk of contracting vaginitis caused by trichomoniasis, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea and HIV/AIDS. They may also provide some protection against herpes, HPV (genital warts), and hepatitis.

Latex condoms can be used during:

  • oral sex on a male
  • vaginal sex
  • anal sex

Female condoms can be used during:

  • vaginal sex
  • anal sex

Polyurethane condoms can be used by those allergic to latex during:

  • vaginal sex
  • anal sex
  • oral sex on a male

Dental dam or Latex Condom (cut lengthwise to form a rectangle) can be used during:

  • oral sex on a female

Never use more then one condom at a time. Click on the following for more information on how to use a latex condom, female condom, or polyurethane condom.

Vaccines

There are two STD/STIs with vaccines, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and Hepatitis B. Hepatitis B vaccinations are required when entering the Alexandria City Public Schools and have been listed as a recommended infant immunization since 1991 and as an adolescent immunization since 1995. If you have not received this vaccination and/or need more information, please visit the American Social Health Association.

The new HPV Vaccine, Gardasil ®, is recommended for girls ages 9-26. This vaccine does not protect against all types of human papillomavirus. Currently it is shown to help prevent HPV type 6 & 11 (subtypes associated with 90% of all genital warts) and types 16 &18 (subtypes associated with 70% of all cervical cancers, and many vulvar and vaginal cancers)1. For more information on the HPV Vaccine please visit the American Social Health Association or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


1. Source: http://www.ashaSTD/STI.org/pdfs/HPV_FAQ_032007.pdf.

Information for this page was gathered from Planned Parenthood, the American Social Health Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention