Last reviewed by Dr. Frank Cockerill, MD, June 2, 2017
How can I protect myself and others from STDs?
Abstinence (no sexual contact) is the only way to prevent STDs
with 100% certainty. If you are sexually active, the best ways to
stay healthy are:
Practice mutual monogamy, ideally with a person who has
tested negative for STDs, or who has been tested and treated for any STDs,
Use a latex condom, dental dam or female condom every
time you have sex
Use a latex dental dam to decrease chance of infection
when having oral sex
Get tested and take charge of your health.
If you’re sexually active, getting screened for STDs annually is the
surest way to know your status. If you have multiple sexual partners
or unprotected sex, we recommend getting tested every six months. Protect
yourself, protect your partners … and give yourself peace of mind.
If you have an STD…
First, you’re not alone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) estimate 20 million new STD cases in the United States every year.
If you are positive for an STD, it’s critical to complete the recommended
treatment exactly as instructed by your doctor.
And while it’s not easy to do, be sure to tell everyone you’ve had sexual
contact with in the last six months or even up to a year so they can get
tested and treated, too.
Remember, once you’ve been treated for an STD, you’re not immune. You
can be re-infected. Practicing safe sex and seeking out testing and treatment