Safe sex is very essential to maintain one’s sexual health as well as overall well-being. To be able to enjoy the intimate acts without the stress of transmitting or contracting any sexually-transmitted disease is what comprises the concept of safe sex.
What is Safe Sex?
Safe sex is the practice of following certain precautions during a sexual activity that helps avoid STDs. The most common and effective way of protecting one from STDs during sex is the usage of condoms. By means of using such barriers, the risk of transmitting or acquiring a STD is negligible.
As STDs are easily transmitted from one partner to another and can stay dormant or hidden in the body for a long duration before manifesting any symptoms, preventing them is important. Some STDs such as Syphilis, HIV, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C can be highly damaging, if not detected or treated on time. Other STDs, though easy to treat, can be harmful by lowering one’s immunity thus paving the way for other diseases and hampering overall health.
How to Have Safe Sex With STDs?
If you or your partner have any of the STDs, it is better to abstain from sex till it is completely cured. Else, it is important to use barrier methods such as condoms for penetrative sex or dental dams during oral sex etc to stop the spread of disease. As STDs spread through contact with the body fluids (semen, vaginal fluid, blood etc.) of an infected person, avoiding contact by using condoms, dental dams or gloves is necessary. If you share sex toys, cleaning or sterilising them after every use is important.
Getting regularly tested for STDs is important to be sure of one’s STD status and to avoid passing it on to the partner.
Sticking to one sexual partner and avoiding the intake of alcohol or drugs before indulging into sexual activity are other measures that help one in practicing safe sex.
Having Safe Sex if you or Your Partner Have HIV
For HIV, in addition to the protective barriers such as condoms, taking PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) medicine for preventing HIV is also, recommended. PrEP is a combination pill of antiretroviral drugs such as tenofovir and emtricitabine, commonly known as Truvada or MyVajra. It is to be taken once daily till there is risk of contracting HIV. So in cases where the partner is HIV positive, PrEP can be initiated for the HIV-negative partner to prevent the contraction of the disease. Only PrEP has been found to be about 99 % effective in preventing HIV, if taken regularly under medical supervision. Taking PrEP in addition to using condoms offers the maximum protection against HIV and STIs
Barriers for Safe Sex
Latex condoms during sexual intercourse are the most effective and widely used barriers for safe sex. Female condoms can be used in case the male is not comfortable wearing one. A condom should be used properly to avoid any tear, slipping or accidental rupture during the act.
Dental dams for oral sex
Gloves for foreplay (in case of visible manifestations of STDs in your partner like sores, ulcers, blisters in the mouth or in the private parts)
Wash your hands before and after touching your partner’s genitals.
Have a stress-free and STD-free sex life with these few, simple precautions. Safe Sex Ensures A Safe You.