Sex is a constant influence in media, in politics and in our personal lives. Unfortunately, good information about STDs and sexual health isn’t as prevalent.
No matter who you are, if you don’t know the facts about STDs and STD risk factors, you’re probably living with a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety. Even actor Matthew Morrison – better known as Mr. Schu in the TV show “Glee” – said recently that he avoided sex when he was younger because of an irrational fear that any kind of sexual activity would result in an STD. Singer and songwriter Katy Perry also stated in an interview that her religious upbringing left her clueless about sex and STDs.
Being uninformed or misinformed about STDs leads to fear. So here are the basics of what you need to know to protect yourself and others from getting infected or spreading an infection:
1. Know your partner & communicate. With every new relationship, get tested for STDs. Give yourselves the peace of mind of knowing each other’s STD status. And don’t be afraid to share your concerns with each other…your sexual health is worth talking about!
Do you trust your sexual partner? Do you know if your partner has a history of STDs? Are you worried about whether your partner is having sex with other people? Ask away…you deserve to know.
2. Use condoms & practice safer sex. You’ve seen the ads on buses and billboards: “No condom, no way.” Those ads are for real. Using latex condoms or dental dams every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex greatly lowers your risk of getting HIV or other STDs from someone who might be infected…or from spreading a sexually transmitted infection to others.
And use common sense: avoid contact with open cuts or sores.
Being smart about your sexual health also means understanding how STDs can’t be spread. For example, you can’t get HIV through everyday contact with people who are infected with the virus…or through contact with their urine, sweat, tears, coughs or sneezes. And you can’t get HIV by “dry” kissing an infected person…or from toilet seats or eating utensils.
STDs aren’t taboo like they used to be…so if you have questions, ask us and put your fears to rest. Our knowledgeable, STD-certified Care Advisors are just a call away: 866.660.2593 (toll-free).
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