How to Have Safe Sex
Safe sex means avoiding sexual contact where semen, blood or vaginal secretions of one person can enter the body or bloodstream of another person. Condoms, used properly, are the most effective means of reducing the transmission of semen or vaginal fluids from one person to another. It is necessary to constantly reinforce the correct use of condoms and encourage people to use them. Although it has been clearly shown that condoms effectively reduce the transmission of most STDs many people are still hesitant to use them. This is due to many factors—but often it relates to a lack of perception of being 'at risk'. It has also been reported that even in motivated gay men who practice safer sex 'always', there are times when condoms are not used—for example when under the influence of alcohol. Safer sex guidelines therefore need to focus on general principles of moderating behavior and lifestyle as well as specific advice with regard to sexual practices. Other reasons given for not using condoms include decreased sensation, unacceptability to the sexual partner, embarrassment associated with purchase or lack of knowledge or interest. Sexual intercourse always carries some risk of sexually transmitted disease and or pregnancy. However, there are certain ways that can make your sexual experiences safer.
Safe sex rules
- Kissing involves minimal amount of risk as well. But cold sores, often caused by the herpes virus, can be transmitted by kissing so you should avoid kissing if you or your partner is having an outbreak.
- Never forget to use a female condom or condom with spermicide when having vaginal intercourse. Unprotected vaginal sex carries a very high risk of transmitting HIV between partners. Remember that other diseases can also be transmitted to both partners during vaginal sex, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, genital warts and hepatitis.
- Don’t forget to use condoms when having anal sex, as microscopic tears in the anal wall occur easily and provide a rapid and efficient mode of transmission for HIV. Use lubricant or lubricated condoms to prevent friction that can disturb the lining of the anal canal.
- Keep in mind that other diseases can also be transmitted to both partners during anal sex, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, herpes, genital warts and hepatitis.
- Remember that other diseases can also be transmitted to both partners by oral sex.
- Know your partner. Sex with anonymous partners carries a higher risk, as the HIV and sexually transmitted disease status of the partner is unknown.
- Touching amounts to a very minimum risk. HIV and most other STDs are not transmitted merely through touching. But, if contact is made with an open sore or ulcer on a person's genitalia caused by syphilis, a risk of transmission does exist.
- Don’t forget to wash all sex toys between partners to decrease the risk of transmitting HIV and other STDs.
Safe sex practices
- Safe sex means not allowing your partner's blood, semen, vaginal fluids into your body and vice versa.
- With some forms of sex, it's possible to avoid any transfer of body fluids.
- Oral sex carries a lower risk of transmitting most (not all) of the STDs.
- Not getting semen or blood in your mouth.
- Avoid oral sex if you have mouth ulcers.
- If you get cold sores, don't give your partner oral sex when you have an outbreak.
- If you have vaginal or anal intercourse, use condoms.
Things you’ll need to have safe sex:
- Condoms With Spermicide
- Dental Dams
- Lubricated Latex Condoms
- Personal Lubricants
- Specialty Condoms
- Female Condoms
- Latex Gloves
Tips & Warnings
- If protection is not used in either male-to-male or female-to-male oral sex, it is important not to reach orgasm while the penis is inside the partner's mouth. Semen carries a high concentration of HIV.
- Drugs and alcohol can affect your judgement. Several studies have demonstrated increased risks of HIV transmission when one or both partners are intoxicated.
- Although female-to-female sex is statistically the least likely form of sexual intercourse in which to acquire and/or transmit HIV, transmission has been reported and safer sex guidelines should be followed.
- Oil-based products can compromise the effectiveness of the condom or dental dam and allow HIV to be transmitted - always use water-based lubricants instead.
- The person giving oral sex carries a higher risk of acquiring HIV than the person receiving.