All About Prevention for HIV and Other STD’s

How can HIV and other sexually transmitted infections and diseases be prevented?

Here are some suggestions. Note that several of these strategies are specific to herpes and related viruses.

  • Use latex condoms every time you have sex. It is highly recommended that you not only use a latex condom, but use one every time you have vaginal, oral, or anal sex, which decreases the chances of infection.
  • Avoid sharing towels or underclothing.
  • Wash thoroughly before and after intercourse.
  • Get a vaccination for hepatitis B.
  • Get tested for HIV.
  • If you have a problem with drug or alcohol abuse, get help.
  • Consider that not having sex is the only sure way to prevent HIV and other STD’s.
  • Know your sexual partners and limit their number. Your partner’s sexual history and exposure is just as important as your own.

What Can You Do to Prevent STD and HIV Transmission During Oral Sex?

  • For oral sex on the penis: Cover the penis with a nonlubricated latex condom. Use plastic (polyurethane) condoms if you or your partner is allergic to latex.
  • For oral sex on the vagina or anus: Use a dental dam.

How Can I Prevent Spreading an STD or HIV?

  • Stop having sex until you see a doctor and are treated.
  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for treatment.
  • Use condoms whenever you have sex, especially with new partners.
  • Don’t resume having sex unless your doctor says it’s OK.
  • Return to your doctor to get rechecked.
  • Be sure your sex partner or partners also are treated.

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