“Remember what you are taught and told.”
-Cup’ik Cultural Value
STIs/STDs are infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi that can be transmitted through oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Some of these infections can be cured with antibiotics, but others can only be treated and not cured.
The best thing to do is to prevent rather than treat HIV/STD infections. The 100% proven prevention for infections is not having any type of sexual intercourse, vaginal, oral, or anal (abstinence). If you choose to have sex, protect yourself every time with latex condoms and sticking to one partner who has been tested for STDs.
You can reduce your risk for an HIV/STD infection by:
- Abstaining from sex (not having vaginal, oral or anal sex).
- Sticking to one mutually-monogamous partner who has been tested and is not infected.
- Using latex condoms (consistently & correctly) for both oral (penile) sex and penetrative (vaginal or anal) sex. If you are allergic to latex, you can use condoms made of polyisoprene or polyurethane. Lambskin condoms do not protect against STIs. All internal condoms are latex-free.
- Using dental dams for vaginal oral sex and anal oral sex.
- Using lube during sex. Lube minimizes friction. Friction can cause irritation and tearing during sex which makes it easier to catch an STD.
- Using latex or latex-free medical gloves when touching another person’s genitals.
- Not sharing needles, syringes, razors or toothbrushes.
Did you know you can get an STD without below-the-belt penetration?
If you’ve had manual stimulation AKA “handjob”/”fingering”, you could be at risk for:
- Pubic Lice
If you’ve had oral sex (vaginal, penile, or anal), you could be at risk for: