1. Get Smart
Find out all you can about STD. Start with the most common STDs. Learn about chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, vaginitis, genital warts (HPV), herpes, HIV and hepatitis B. Understand how each STD is passed from person to person during sex. Some STDs (HIV and hepatitis B) are also spread by contact with infected blood. Learn how to protect yourself. You can choose not to have sex (abstinence). Or you can have safer sex—use a condom every time, talk with your partner, get tested.STD is passed during vaginal, oral and anal sex, and sometimes by genital touching.
2. Decide to be Safe.
Once you know that anyone who has sex can get STD, the next step is deciding to be safe. Believe you can get STD. It’s easy to think that STD only happens to other people. But if you’re having sex and not protecting yourself, STD could happen to you—and anyone you might have sex with. Make a commitment to yourself not to take chances with your sexual health. Insist on only safer sex. Make a fresh start. Promise yourself that from now on you will only have safer sex, even if you’ve had unsafe sex in the past. Make a plan to protect yourself. You can’t tell by looking if someone has an STD. Many people have an STD with no symptoms.
3. Choose Your Protection.
Design a plan that will work for you. Here are some good ways to stay safe. Don’t have sex. This is the surest way to avoid getting STD. Even if you’ve had sex, you can stop any time. And abstinence doesn’t have to be boring! Use condoms. If you decide to have sex, learn how to use latex condoms correctly every time. Condoms are cheap, easy to use and a very good way to prevent STD. Be monogamous. This means you and your partner only have sex with each other. Get tested for STD and then use condoms to have healthy, happy sex. Watch for symptoms. If you or your partner have any bumps, sores, unusual discharge, itching, or pain or odor when you urinate or have sex, get checked. Get checked even if you don’t have symptoms. Some STDs don’t have symptoms.
4. Talk About It
Talking with a partner before you have sex is a key step in staying safe. Plan what you’ll say. Talking can be hard. Make it easier by thinking ahead. Practice with a friend or by yourself. Talk about STD. Make sure you and your partner know about STD and how it’s passed. Agree together to be safe and decide what protection you’ll use. Talking can make you feel closer. Be honest. Talk together about other sexual partners and about needle drug use. Agree that you’ll both be tested for STD before you have sex. You might start by saying, “Can we talk about being safe?”
5. Be Sexy and Safe Make abstinence sexy.
Sexual intercourse is only one way to express sexual feelings. Try romantic movies, moonlight walks or snuggling. Use what works for you. Make condoms sexy. Experiment. Find a latex condom you both like. Try condoms with different sizes, smells, flavors, textures, colors, thicknesses and styles. Use a plastic (polyurethane) male or female condom if one of you is allergic to latex. Practice. Practice alone until you can put on a condom easily. (Women can practice with a banana or cucumber.) Practice with a partner so condoms can become a natural part of having sex. Use a water-based lubricant on the outside of the condom to make it sexier and less likely to tear. Try lubricants with different flavors, smells and thicknesses. Enjoy the advantages. Men often last longer with condoms. And not worrying about STD or pregnancy can make you both feel more relaxed. Never use oil-based lubricants. They can ruin condoms. What About STD Testing? Testing is easy and quick. * There are different tests for each STD. No single test can screen for all STDs. * Your doctor might take a little blood from your finger or arm, ask you to pee in a cup, or take a few cells or some fluid from your body. This is called a “sample.” * Samples are usually sent to a lab. Results can take about 2 weeks. You have to ask to be tested for STD. It’s not part of a regular physical or pelvic