The dos and don’ts of preventing STIs.
World AIDS Day on December 1 serves as a reminder that you need to understand the dos and don’ts of preventing STIs. Our Women’s Health Texas ObGyns are always available to answer questions and provide confidential diagnosis and treatment for women who are concerned about STIs.
STIs, or sexually transmitted infections, are transmitted through sexual contact. Millions of people contract an STI each year. In addition to HIV/AIDS, women may come into contact with chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis or genital herpes.
Preventing STIs and reducing your risk begins with these important dos and don’ts.
- DO use a latex condom every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex if you are not in a monogamous relationship or do not know your partner’s sexual history.
- DON’T use condoms lubricated with spermicides. Frequent use of spermicides can increase your risk of contracting HIV.
- DO limit the number of sexual partners you have, and try to find partners who do the same. Having fewer partners reduces your STI risk.
- DO talk with your partner about his or her sexual history, including testing for STIs.
- DON’T engage in excessive drinking or recreational drug use because these behaviors can impair your judgment and lead to unprotected sex.
- DON’T engage in sexual practices such as rough sexual intercourse or anal sex that can lead to tears in the skin. Injury to the skin increases your risk for STIs.
- DO talk with your ObGyn about preventing STIs with certain vaccinations. If you’re age 26 or under, the HPV vaccine can help protect against the human papillomavirus. You should also talk with your ObGyn about the hepatitis B vaccine.
Preventing STIs begins with you. Learning more about prevention, risk factors, your body, and your partner’s history are vital components of prevention. We can help you take charge of your sexual health. For more information, diagnosis or treatment, request an appointment with one of our physicians.