First, a brief discussion on terminology. STIs stands for sexually transmitted infections, STDs for sexually transmitted diseases. All STDs start as STIs. STIs only become STDs when they cause symptoms.
Every day more than 1 million STIs are acquired worldwide, according to the World Health Organization (WHO). STIs are spread predominantly by sexual contact through vaginal, anal and oral sex. Fortunately, STIs can be prevented with the right knowledge and behavior.
Here are five ways you can prevent STIs (and, therefore, STDs as well):
Not having sexual intercourse is the most reliable way to prevent STIs – it provides 100% protection.
There are four viral STIs which are incurable: hepatitis B, herpes simplex virus (HSV or herpes), HIV, and human papillomavirus (HPV). The good news is that vaccination can significantly lower your risk of acquiring hepatitis B and HPV. Talk to your doctor for the recommended vaccination schedules.
3. Reduce number of sex partners
Reducing your number of sexual partners can lower your chances of having a partner who could transmit an STI to you. The more partners you have, the more likely you are to get an STI. Experts strongly recommend that you and your partner get tested, and that you share your test results with one another.
4. Mutual monogamy
Mutual monogamy means that you commit to be sexually active with only one person who in turn agrees to be sexually active only with you. Being in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner is one of the most reliable ways to avoid STIs. However, mutual monogamy only works if you and your partner are certain that both of you are not infected. As such, it is important to have an open and honest conversation with your partner.
5. Use condoms
Use a male latex condom every time you have anal, vaginal, or oral sex. Correct and consistent condom use is highly effective in reducing STI transmission.
Consult your doctor for more information on STI and STD prevention.
Shop at Watsons for prescription medications and other essential healthcare needs.
References: https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/sti-vs-std#infection-vs-disease. Accessed 29 July 2021 https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/sexually-transmitted-infections-(stis). Accessed 29 July 2021 https://www.cdc.gov/std/prevention/default.htm. Accessed 29 July 2021 https://www.hiv.gov/hiv-basics/hiv-prevention/reducing-sexual-risk/preventing-sexual-transmission-of-hiv. Accessed 29 July 2021
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