STD Prevention

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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, if necessary

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 when needed.

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