Though abstaining from sexual activity altogether may be the most obvious and clearly the most effective method of protection from STDs, it isnít exactly the most realistic. People are sexual beings and while abstinence may work for some, it isnít right for everyone. If you have made the decision to become sexually active but want to be as safe as possible, take the time to educate yourself about what kind of STDs are out there and what you can do to minimize your risk.
According to some figures reported on the American Social Health Association (ASHA) website, more than half of all people will contract a sexually transmitted disease at some point in their lives. The site also reports that there are more than 65 million people with a viral STD living in the United States and an additional estimated 19 million new cases each year. Since the odds are clearly stacked against anyone engaging in sexual activity today, it only makes sense that education and precaution will help to improve the hand of sexually active people who want to have the most fun with the least amount of risk.
Some of the most common STDs include:
- Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
It is important to note that although each STD typically has a list of associated symptoms, many people who are infected with an STD have no symptoms at all. As a result, a dangerously large number of STDs tend to go undetected, which inevitably increases the likelihood that they will be spread to others.
Safe sex practices:
- Regular STD testing for you as well as any and all sexual partners you may have.
- Proper use of condoms each and every time you have sex.
- Open and honest communication with sexual partners about each otherís sexual histories and sexual practices.
- Avoidance of high-risk sexual behaviors such as unprotected sex, anal sex, or sex of any kind with prostitutes, intravenous drug users or people with multiple sexual partners.