Safe sex preventions
Being safe with sex means caring for both your own health and the health of your partner. The practice of safe sex involves protecting yourself and your partner from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or infections (STIs) and also pregnancy, if undesired. Some common STDs include syphilis, gonorrhoea, chlamydia, genital herpes, genital warts, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV (that causes AIDS).
How can you stay safe?
- Always be protected by using a lubricated, latex condom to reduce the risk of infection.
- Always use condoms if you have vaginal or anal sex.
- Use of condoms is the only method of contraception that protects against both STIs and pregnancy. Even if you’re using other methods of contraception (like the pill or a diaphragm), always use condoms as well.
- Be sure that lubricants are water based. Do not use Vaseline, hand lotion, mineral oil or anything without a petroleum base because these will damage the condom
- If you are having unprotected sex, talk to your partner about the risks involved. Remember your decision about safe sex is important, as some STIs can be cured but some can’t, including HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus).
- Do not have sexual intercourse without a condom and do not touch the vagina during a woman’s menstrual period. Blood can contain large amount of HIV.
- Never have sex (even with a condom) if your partner has a visible sore, ulcer or lump on their genitals or anal area. Suggest they see their doctor, family planning clinic or sexual health clinic.
- STIs can be passed from one person to another by oral sex. If you put your month in contact with your partner’s penis, you need to use a condom to avoid STIs. If you put your mouth in contact with your partner’s anus or vulva (outside of vagina) while having sex, you need to use a dental dam (whether you are a guy or girl). This is especially important if you’ve got a cut or sore around your mouth or lips or bleeding gums.
- STIs can also be transmitted if you use sex toys, so you need to be safe. Use condoms and change the condom for each person. Wash the toys carefully after use and wash your hands after removing the condom.