Sex happens. Let’s be honest, sex happens a lot. But keeping it sexy also means keeping it 100!!! At Heart to Hand, we’re here to make sure you have the right information – not something you heard, but information you know for yourself.
Here’s what you need to know.
What is an STI?
What are the different kinds of STIs?
When are STIs passed more easily?
How do I know if my partner has a STI?
What puts a person at risk for a STI?
- Anal, oral or vaginal sex without protection
- Sex with several partners
- Injecting drugs
- Having had a STI in the past
How can I know if I have a STI? What are the symptoms?
- Itching around the vagina and/or discharge from the vagina for women.
- Discharge from the penis for men.
- Pain during sex or when urinating.
- Pain in the pelvic area.
- Sore throats in people who have oral sex.
- Pain in or around the anus for people who have anal sex.
- Chancre sores (painless red sores) on the genital area, anus, tongue, and/or throat.
- A scaly rash on the palms of your hands and the soles of your feet.
- Dark urine, loose, light-colored stools, and yellow eyes and skin.
- Small blisters that turn into scabs on the genital area.
- Swollen glands, fever, and body aches.
- Unusual infections, unexplained fatigue, night sweats, and weight loss.
- Soft, flesh-colored warts around the genital area.
What causes STIs?
How are STIs diagnosed?
What is PrEP and how can it prevent me from getting HIV?
Studies have shown that PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken daily. Among people who inject drugs, PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV by at least 74% when taken daily.
Is there any way I can avoid getting a STI?
- Is only having sex with you
- Does not have a STI
- Uses PrEP since if you or your partner is on the PrEP pill, taking it can keep you from getting HIV
- Always uses condoms when having anal, oral and vaginal sex
Do condoms prevent STIs?
Why can’t condoms prevent STIs 100% of the time?
What is the correct way to use a male condom?
- Put the condom on before any contact is made.
- Unroll the condom over an erect penis to the base of the penis.
- (Uncircumcised men should pull back their foreskin before unrolling.)
- The unrolled ring should be on the outside.
- Leave about 1/2 inch of space in the tip so semen can collect there. Squeeze the tip to get the air out.
- Pull out after ejaculating and before the penis gets soft.
- To pull out, hold the rim of the condom at the base of the penis to make sure it doesn’t slip off.
- Don’t reuse condoms. Again, do no reuse a condom under any circumstance
What is the correct way to use a female condom?
- Follow the directions on the condom package for correct placement.
- Be sure the inner ring goes as far into the vagina as it can. The outer ring stays outside the vagina.
- Guide the penis into the condom.
- After sex, remove the condom before standing up by gently pulling it out.
- Don’t reuse condoms.
- Again, do no reuse a condom under any circumstance.
What else can I do to prevent STIs?
Limit the number of sex partners you have.
Ask your partner if they have ever had a STI. Be honest. Tell your partner if you have had a STI. Talk about whether either of you have ever been tested for STIs and whether you should be tested.
Look for signs of a STI in your sex partner.
There are outward symptoms that could indicate your sex partner has a STI. But remember that STIs don’t always cause symptoms.
Don’t have sex if you or your partner is being treated for a STI.
If you or your partner are being treated for a STI, do not have sex until your treatment has been completed. Your doctor will let you know when it is OK to have sexual contact.
Wash your genitals with soap and water and urinate soon after you have sex.
This may help clean away some germs before they have a chance to infect you.