It is important to remember that it is usually impossible to have entirely safe sex with another person.

But there are some other things you can do to help protect yourself from catching an STI / STD:

  • The HPV vaccine can help protect some people against the HPV virus which causes genital warts and some cancers including cervical cancer.
  • The Hepatitis B vaccine can help protect against the Hepatitis B virus.
  • Some studies have indicated that Male circumcision can help protect against the transmission of HIV. Note this is NOT to be relied upon and the use of condoms is always highly recommended.
  • Regular testing for all STD’s and STI’s has been proven to reduce the overall incidence of infections. Early detection can help in the treatment and outcomes of most infections and diseases.
  • Sex with one partner (monogamy) if practiced faithfully is very safe (in regards to STD’s and STI’s). If one partner is unfaithful however, the risk of transmitting an STD or STI increases.
  • Good communication is a very important and effective means of determining the risk of catching or transmitting and STD / STI. Partners should openly discuss their sexual habits and history and condoms or other protective barriers should be used. Couples entering into a sexual relationship should both be tested early in their relationship for the full range of STD’s / STI’s.

Other considerations

It is important to remember that most methods of birth control do not protect against STD’s and STI’s.

The birth control pill (The Pill), vasectomy, tubal ligation, contraceptive coils, diaphragms, contraceptive foams and gels, sponges and other contraceptive methods do not offer any protection against contracting and STD or STI. Whilst condoms (both male and female) do provide good protection against pregnancy and STD’s / STI’s) they are never 100% effective.

Pulling out prior to ejaculation (coitus interruptus) when the penis is withdrawn from the vagina, anus or mouth before ejaculation is not safe and does not prevent either pregnancy nor the possible transmission of STD’s / STI’s. Even before ejaculation, the penis can release pre-ejaculate fluid which can carry bacteria, viruses and other disease causing organisms, and it can also carry sperm which can lead to pregnancy.

Alcohol and other drugs

It is important to remember that if you have drunk to much alcohol or have taken drugs, your judgement may be impaired and your ability to resist having unsafe sex may be reduced.

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