STD Prevention Options
Sure, HIV treatment has come a long way in the last few years, but it’s best to avoid getting infected in the first place. Find out how below:
Why are condoms important?
Many STDs, including:
to choose from
that lets you
and stay safe
A male condom is a thin layer of latex, polyurethane, or polyisoprene, worn over the penis during sex. Avoid natural membrane condoms such as lambskin because they don’t protect you from HIV and other STDs.
Latex condoms provide the best protection against HIV. Polyurethane (plastic) or polyisoprene (synthetic rubber) condoms are good options for people with latex allergies, but plastic ones break more often than latex ones. Natural membrane (such as lambskin) condoms have small holes in them, so they don’t block HIV and other STDs.
Use water-based or silicone-based lubricants to lower the chances that a condom will break or slip during sex. Don’t use oil-based lubricants (for example, Vaseline, shortening, mineral oil, massage oils, body lotions, and cooking oil) with latex condoms because they can weaken the condom and cause it to break. Don’t use lubricants containing nonoxynol-9. It irritates the lining of the vagina and anus and increases the risk of getting HIV.
A female condom is a thin pouch made of a synthetic latex product called nitrile. It’s designed to be worn by a woman in her vagina during sex.
When worn in the vagina, female condoms are comparable to male condoms at preventing HIV, other STDs, and pregnancy.
Some people use female condoms for anal sex. But we don’t currently know how well female condoms prevent HIV and other STDs when used by men or women for anal sex. But we do know that HIV can’t travel through the nitrile barrier.
It is safe to use any kind of lubricant with nitrile female condoms.
Even if you use condoms the right way every time you have sex, there’s still a chance of getting HIV. For some individuals at high risk of getting or transmitting HIV, adding other prevention methods, like taking medicines to prevent and treat HIV, can further reduce their risk
which help protect you
during oral sex
A dental dam is a stretchy, flat latex barrier that can be placed over a front hole, anus or vagina for oral sex. Plastic wrap can be used the same way, and is cheaper and easier to find than dental dams.
Dental dams and plastic wrap are excellent for oral sex and rimming.
Remember to change barriers between partners and when switching between front holes or vaginas and anuses.
Also remember that you should only use one side of the barrier; you shouldn’t flip it around and use the other side.
Should I use condoms if I’m on PrEP?
like syphilis, gonorrhea
syphilis infections are extremely high and can lead to serious health issues if left untreated
significantly reduce your risk of HIV infection if taken daily, you can take additional steps like using condoms along with PrEP to reduce your risk even further.
When should I use PEP?
These emergency situations
If you’ve recently had unprotected sex with someone you suspect might be HIV positive
If you recently shared needles and works while using IV drugs
If you’ve just been sexually assaulted
If you recently experienced any of these situations, talk to a health care provider or an emergency room doctor about PEP right away. That’s because PEP must be started within 72 hours after these emergencies in order to be effective. 24 hours after exposure is ideal, but the sooner you start PEP the more likely it is to work.
If you regularly have sexual encounters, or engage in other behaviors which you think might expose you to HIV, it’s safer to think ahead and speak to your health care provider about taking PrEP. If you’ve been in situations which led you to take PEP, that’s a good sign that you should seriously consider taking PrEP, once you finish your 28 days on PEP.