SURVIVOR SERIES: PROTECTION IS KNOWLEDGE
Are you wondering if you should get a Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STD) test? Or, do you think that your partner needs one? It doesn’t matter what the reason is, the more you know, the better you can protect your body. Here are some quick and very informative tips about STDs:
- Watch for symptoms. If you or your partner have any symptoms of an STD; such as pain or odor when urinating or having sex, bumps on the genitals, itching, or unusual discharges, it is essential that you get tested. However, you should also keep in mind that many infections often do not cause any symptoms.
- Be Honest. If you’ve had sex with another person and did not use protection (eg. condom, female condom, dental dam, or other barrier), it’s recommended to talk to your healthcare provider about STD testing. Getting tested can put your mind at ease or get you (and your partner) needed treatment.
- Talking can make you feel closer. Don’t be afraid to ask “Can we talk about being safe?” Have a talk with your significant other about other sexual partners. Agree that you’ll both be tested for STD before you have sex, and decide what protection you’ll use.
- Learn how to protect yourself. It’s essential to learn about ways you and your partner can protect yourselves in the future through safer sex. The most effective way to avoid STDs is through abstinence (not having sex). However, you can have safer sex by using protection every time (eg. condom). Look for sources of information such as Mary Walker Health Center, the Lifestyles’ Blog and Toilet Talk.
Read more at: http://pub.etr.org/upfiles/ETR_Avoid_STD_Fact_Sheet.pdf
Written by Stacy Palacios, Peer Educator