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STI Prevention

What is an STI?

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are also known as sexually transmitted diseases (STDs).

Reduce the risk for an HIV/STI infection by:

  • Abstaining from sex (not having vaginal, oral or anal sex). Abstinence is the 100% proven way to avoid STIs.
  • Sticking to a 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.
  • Using dental dams for vaginal and anal sex.
  • Using latex or latex-free medical gloves when touching another person’s genitals.
  • Using lube during sex. Lube minimizes friction. Friction can cause irritation and tearing during sex which makes it easier to catch an STI.
  • Not sharing needles, syringes, razors or toothbrushes.

Visit the page about STIs to learn more.

Condoms

When used consistently and correctly, condoms are highly effective in preventing HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. There are different kinds of material for condoms. The most common condoms out there are standard latex condoms. For those that are allergic to latex, non-latex condoms usually are polyurethane condoms.

Place a free order for latex or non-latex condoms.

Dental Dams

Dental dams are small pieces of latex or silicone rubber that prevent the spread of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) during oral sex. Sometimes they can come in fun flavors like vanilla, strawberry, or mint. Many STIs can be transmitted during oral sex, including (but not limited to) gonorrhea, chlamydia, herpes, the human papillomavirus (HPV), and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).

They can be used during oral-anal or oral-vaginal sex, but they are only one-time-use so if you’re planning on switching between the two, use a new one. If you go from oral-anal to oral-vaginal without changing the dam, you’re putting yourself or your partner at risk for vaginal or urinary tract infections.

Don’t have a dental dam? No worries, you can make one out of a condom.

Try to use non-lubricated condoms without spermicide. Lubricated condoms may taste bad and spermicide can make the tongue go numb. Flavored condoms and special lubricants may improve the experience.

How to use a dental dam:

Check the dam for any holes or tears, because they’ll get bigger when you stretch it. Do this especially if you just used the instructions above. You may need to rinse powder from a pre-packaged dental dam to prevent irritation.

If the dam isn’t pre-lubricated, lubricate the side that will touch the vagina or anus with water-based lubricant. Oil-based anything is not good, it will damage the dam. Don’t use Vaseline, baby oil, lotion, or cooking oil as lubricant. If you don’t have any water-based lube, you can use plain water, or the recipient (the one who isn’t performing oral sex) can use their own saliva on their own side.

Spread and hold the dental dam over the entire vulva or anus. You’re now ready to have oral sex!

Dental dams are one-time use:

  • Don’t move the dam from one place on the body to another – always use a new one
  • Don’t flip it over – that defeats the purpose of protection!

Get Help

For general resources about relationships, sex, wellness and more, please do a search on the Get Answers page.

Are you in immediate danger?

Call 911 or your local police. If not in an immediate threat, please view resources on the Get Help page.