Practicing safe sex


These days, there’s simply no excuse for not being educated on the dangers of STDs, and how to prevent them with proper safe sex methods.

The information on STDs and safe sex is everywhere, all you need to do is be receptive to it.

Safe Sex and Birth Control

The first thing to understand about safe sex is that birth control and preventing STDs are not the same thing. Topical spermicide will kill most viruses, as well, but it doesn’t prevent the transmission of body fluids, and it won’t do anything if you’re having sex without a condom, which is why topical spermicide isn’t very common these days: It just doesn’t work so well.

Many other forms of birth control such as the diaphragm and birth control pills are pretty much useless against sexually transmitted diseases including the HPV virus.

The only way to prevent pregnancy and prevent STD and HPV transmission is with condoms.

Playing it Safe

If you and your partner have both been tested and are certain that you are completely disease free, you don’t necessarily need to use condoms and are probably safe to switch to the pill or some other form of birth control, but any time you are having sex with a new partner, and especially if you don’t know that partner’s sexual history, use a condom, every time.

In the past, condoms have received a… if you’ll forgive the pun… “bad wrap”.

People complain that they lessen the physical sensation of intercourse, they argue that condoms aren’t effective, that they’re for nerds and so on.

Don’t Risk it

The truth is that if you are having sex without a condom, and you can’t verify that you and your partner are 100% STD free, it’s like playing Russian Roulette with your health. You cannot spot most STDs on sight alone, especially not HPV or HIV. Of the dozen or so sexually transmitted HPV types, only two will show external symptoms.

A recent study showed that around 75% of sexually active people will contract some form of HPV within their life. Luckily, most forms of HPV are relatively benign and many lay dormant without affecting the infected person for years, decades or even forever, but it’s not worth the risk. At least, not when coupled with the risk for HIV transmission, genital herpes, syphilis, and various other sexually transmitted diseases.

Beyond just using condoms, know your sex partners. It’s not a matter of morality or being prudish or anything like that, it’s a matter of health. If you have sex with multiple partners, don’t be ashamed of it, let your doctor know, talk about what you can do to prevent contracting STDs.

Have tests conducted every now and then and know for sure whether or not you’re safe. If you’re getting married, it’s actually quite commonplace these days to have an STD test conducted as a matter of business before the wedding.

Above all, don’t be careless. Keep condoms available to yourself. Even if you’re not currently sexually active, it’s easy to tell yourself “I’ll get them if I need them”, and then to not be prepared when the time comes. Keep condoms on hand, and don’t neglect to use them.