Staying Healthy and STD Free

How to protect yourself from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs):

The the only sure way to prevent getting an STD is to not have sex (abstinence). If you have sex, use a latex condom each time. It’s important to use condoms the right way -- to see how, go to this website.

You can also use other barriers like polyurethane (plastic) condoms, female condoms, or dental dams. Birth control methods like the pill, depo provera, or diaphragms DO NOT protect against STDs.

Talk to your partner(s) about safer sex and protecting against STDs and HIV BEFORE you have sex. Talk about any STDs you or your partner might have (like herpes).

Limit your number of sex partners. The more people you have sex with, the greater your chances of getting an STD. A monogamous relationship — where you and your partner only have sex with each other — is safest.

If you’re having sex, go to a clinic for an STD checkup at least once a year – and sooner if you change partners, have more than one partner, or if you think your partner may be having sex with anyone else.

If you have an STD, make sure both you and your partner(s) get treated. Do not have sex again until both you and your partner(s) complete treatment.

Do not share needles for tattooing, body piercing, and injecting drugs/hormones.

If you are pregnant, get prenatal care early. It is important to find and treat an STD as soon as possible so that you don’t pass the infection on to your baby.

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