The only preventive measure that you can take to ensure that you do not ever come down with a sexually transmitted disease is to abstain from having sexual contact with anyone. The next step to protect yourself is to practice safe sex. While many people feel that safe sex practices diminish spontaneity, it sure beats coming down with a disease! There is simply no way to know if someone you are having sex with is disease-free unless each of your partners is tested.
- The first step to practicing safe sex is to understand that someone may have a sexually transmitted disease, even if he has no symptoms. There are countless numbers of people who have STDs and they are unaware of it. So, just because your partner looks healthy and tells you they are free of disease, do not take any chances that could compromise your health. Practice safe sex.
- Next, you should come to grips with the fact that when you have sex with someone, it is equivalent to having sex with everyone he has ever had sex with. Not only are you exposing yourself to a disease that your partner may be carrying, but any diseases which his past partners may have been carrying. Just because your partner may have had limited sexual experiences in the past does not guarantee that he is disease-free.
- One of the most important things to practicing safe sex is honesty. Individuals who engage in sex together should be forthright and open about their sexual histories, and if they have had any past STDs. If someone tells you he had a STD, ask if it was treated. What kind of treatment did he receive and was the disease cured?
- You should also find out if your sexual partner has any blood diseases. This includes such diseases as hepatitis and HIV. Does your partner engage in any practices which would make them at risk for a blood disease? Have they ever engaged in prostitution, homosexuality or used IV drugs?
- The most important thing you can do to practice safe sex is to request that both you and your partner get tested for HIV and STDs. (If your partner shows disinterest in getting tested, refuses to get tested, or does not want to practice safe sex, this should be a sign to you that he does not have your best interests at heart.)
- You should always use condoms until the test results come back--as most sexually transmitted diseases are spread through bodily fluids. There are both male and female condoms available in the marketplace. Condoms should be used for any sexual activity, including oral sex.
- If you notice any bumps, redness, or open sores in your genital region--or if you have burning during urination or a feeling of being ill--you should make an appointment with a doctor to be checked for a STD. You should abstain from sexual activity until your appointment, and you should be honest with your partner about the results.