STD prevention.

Essay by turtlesUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, July 2003

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How are STDs prevented?

The most certain ways to avoid contacting an STD are abstaining from sexual relations (including vaginal, oral or anal sex) or having sex with only one partner-someone who only has sex with you. Also, keep in mind that some STDs, such as HIV/AIDS can be spread through the sharing of intravenous drug needles.

In general, your risk of acquiring an STD increases with the number of people with whom you have sex . However, even if you are having sex with only one person, your risk increases if he or she has sex with other people, something which you may or may not know. Keep in mind too that some people who know they have an STD won't tell you. If you or your partner are having sex with more than one person, or if you are unsure of your partner's sexual history, the following steps can reduce your risk of getting STDs:

·Use condoms correctly every time you have vaginal, oral and anal sex.

Latex condoms offer the best protection against HIV, which is a small enough virus to penetrate other condoms.

·Spermicides used in birth control foam, cream or jelly can kill certain STDs. They can offer some extra protection if used along with condoms.

·If you use a lubricant along with a latex condom, make sure it's water-based (such as K-Y Jelly). Oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline damage latex.

·If you have more than one sexual partner, make sure you are examined for STDs by your health care provider several times per year, even if you have no symptoms.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), once called venereal diseases, are among the most common infectious diseases in the U.S. today. More than 20 STDs have now been identified, and they...