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How to Avoid an STI?

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Loving Safely
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Play it Safe
Sex is better when you don’t have to worry about sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Unsafe sex can put you or your partner at risk for STIs. Protect yourself and your partner. Then you can relax and feel close. If you decide to have sex, be sure to carry condoms.




It Can Happen to you
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In all societies, sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are among the most common of all infections. In developing countries like India three of the bacterial STIs–gonorrhea, chlamydial infections, and syphilis, were found to be the most common, as found by Disha, a project initiated by Population Services International, India.

No single STI can be regarded as an isolated problem because multiple infections are common and because the presence of one STI denotes high–risk behavior which is often associated with other more serious infections. The elicitation of sexual history and the management of sexual partners are therefore of paramount importance. The failure to identify and to examine or refer the infected partner represents a failure in management, both at the community level (since sources of spread of infection are not identified) and at the individual patient level (since re–infection are not prevented).
What Most People Don’t Know
Even someone you love can have an STI. Millions of people have STIs – most do not know they have a disease. But they can still give the STI to others.
If you have had unprotected sex you may have an STI and not know it.
If your partner has had unprotected sex, your partner may have an STI and not know it.
If you think you have an STI, there is only one thing to do. Get tested.
STIs Can Keep a Woman From Ever Having Children
STIs can infect a woman deep inside. They can damage a woman’s body so she cannot have children. Many women don’t know they have an STI until it’s too late.
It’s Okay to Wait to have Sex
The surest way to prevent any STI is don’t have sex. There are many ways to show love besides sex. Kissing, talking, and touching feel good and are safe. You cannot spread an STI if there is no contact between the penis, vagina, mouth, or anus.
If you have had Sex, Use Condom
Latex condoms help protect both people if you use them the right way every time. Use condoms for any kind of sex – vaginal, oral, or anal.
If You have had Sex, Get Tested for STIs
  • It’s important to get tested once a year, even if you feel fine. Go to a doctor’s office or clinic right away if you have any of these symptoms: pain when you go to the bathroom.
  • a strange fluid or drip from the penis or vagina and/or
  • bleeding between periods (women).
Most STIs can be Treated
If you have an STI
  • Tell your partner they need to get tested too.
  • Take all of your medicine, even if you start to feel better.
  • Never take another person’s medicine or give someone yours.
  • Don’t have sex until you and your partner are treated.
The Right Way to use a Condom
The Male Condom
Keep condoms cool and dry. Never use skin lotions, baby oil, Vaseline or cold cream with condoms. The oil in these products will cause the Condom to break. You may use products made with water (like K–Y jelly or glycerin). Put on a new Condom before any kind of sex. Hold the condom by the tip and squeeze out the air. Unroll the condom all the way over the hard penis. Have sex. Hold the condom so it can’t come off the penis. Pull out.

The Female Condom
The female condom fits inside a woman’s vagina. It has a soft ring on each end. The outer ring stays on the outside of the vagina and partly covers the labia (lips). The inner ring fits inside the vagina to hold the condom in place. Put the condom in any time before sex. Add water–based lubricant to the inside of the condom. Squeeze the inner ring of the condom. Put the inner ring and pouch into the vagina. With your finger, push the inner ring as far into the vagina as it will go. Guide the penis into the condom. After sex, remove the condom before standing up. Pull out gently.

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