The only way to totally protect yourself from sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is to not have any kind of sex ever.
But let’s be real. Not many people are going to be interested in that.
Sex and intimacy are big parts of happy relationships for lots of people. Consensual, satisfying sex is also good for stress, blood pressure, and your immune system.
There are ways for you to make sex safer, and they are available, for free, at your community clinic.
If you’re having sex, you should be getting tested regularly for STIs. Many STIs don’t have symptoms, but can be dangerous if they aren’t treated. Most STIs are really easy to treat, though, and if not, your doctor can help you manage symptoms.
If you’re on Medicaid, you can go to your clinic and get tested for free.
Condoms are a really good way to keep yourself and your partner safer. Latex and plastic condoms keep fluid that can carry germs from moving from one person to another. They also help prevent pregnancy. Lambskin condoms won’t protect you from STIs.
You can get free condoms at your local health clinic.
Make sure you know how to use condoms. Don’t feel embarrassed to ask a clinician – it’s their job to help you! If you aren’t interested in condoms, there are other options for you. Talk to your clinic.