Avoiding HIV/STD Infections
- Abstinence (not having sex)
- Having sex in a monogamous (faithful) relationship is safe if:
- Both of you are uninfected (HIV-negative)
- You both have sex only with your partner
- Neither one of you gets exposed to HIV through drug use or other activities
- Oral sex (mouth to genitalia) has a lower risk of infection than anal or vaginal sex, especially if there are no open sores or blood in the mouth.
- Use a condom every time you have sex. Male condoms go on the penis, and female condoms go in the vagina. See below for more information on condoms.
- Birth control pills or the patch do not offer any protection from HIV or STDs.
- If you're high on drugs, you might forget to use protection during sex. If you use someone else's needles you can get infected by tiny amounts of blood. The best way to avoid infection is to not use drugs.
- If you use drugs, you can prevent infection by not injecting them. If you do inject, don't share equipment. If you must share, clean equipment with bleach and water before every use.
- Oral sex has some risk of transmitting HIV, especially if sexual fluids get in the mouth and if there are bleeding gums or sores in the mouth. Pieces of latex or plastic wrap over the vagina, or condoms over the penis, can be used as barriers during oral sex. Condoms without lubricants or flavored condoms are best for oral sex. Most lubricants taste awful.
Decide how much risk you are willing to take. Know how much protection you want to use during different kinds of sexual activities. Before you have sex,
- Think about safer sex
- Set your limits
- Get a supply of lubricant and condoms or other barriers, and be sure they are easy to find when you need them
- Talk to your partners so they know your limits
click here for information on condoms.