16 Sep How to play it safe
- Not engaging in any type of sexual activity is the best way to avoid getting an STI. As stated above, even kissing can spread the Herpes Simplex 1 virus while all other forms of sexual behavior can lead to more severe STIs, some of which may leave you infertile, in pain or DEAD.
- So before you engage in any type of sexual behavior (kissing, touching, exploring with hands or mouth) DEFINITELY get to know your partner extremely well. It’s best to be with someone you trust, someone well educated on this subject, someone who is loyal to you and someone you can talk to about all of these issues.
- Speak to your doctor about your health before you engage in sexual activity. If you have already had sexual relations, then you might want to see a doctor about the possibility of having contracted a disease. The sooner you receive treatment, the less long-term damage and the sooner you can be back on track for great health.
- Safe sexual practices, besides not having sex, are: ALWAYS use condoms, have few sexual partners—with a mutually monogamous relationship (meaning both people have agreed not to date or be intimate with anyone else) your best bet, and demand that both you and your partner be tested if either one of you has had ANY prior sexual contact with someone else.
What to do if you get an STD
It’s not the end of the world, although it may feel like it! Some people live with these diseases their entire lives. And if that includes you, it will be your mental attitude toward the disease that is most important. Talk to your doctor and figure out how you will manage the disease, what treatment options there are, and how you will be affected going forward. Become educated! And do NOT spread the disease. Be responsible. Be honest.
Also, do not add to the stigma about STIs. Of course, we all want to avoid them, and we try our best to do so, but some people still get them. For example, your best friend could get herpes, even though he used a condom and had asked his partner about any possible infections. The last thing he now needs is to hear you making herpes jokes, as what he really needs is to be able to confide in you that he’s freaking out. Be mindful of how you think and talk about STIs so as not to spread more stigma.
And, if you are worried that your partner won’t accept you because of an STI, then you need to rethink the value your partner places on YOU. Is he with you because he loves you, all of you, or just the sexual part of you? Don’t spread your STI out of fear of rejection if you share with your partner that you have one, or out of selfishness (you want to have sex and don’t really care what happens to the other person… if this is you, please seek help or read the Your Self Series books cover to cover.)
What will you do to protect yourself from an STI now and always?