With the steady increase of people contracting sexually transmitted diseases, it is more important than ever to use caution when making dating decisions that could ultimately pose a real threat to your health. Below are some suggestions for ways to protect yourself without having to give up too much of your dating freedom:
- Communicate openly and honestly with all dating partners - Let your dating partner(s) know how many other people you have been sexually active with in the past and whether or not you plan on being intimate with anyone other than your current partner. Ask your partner to share the same information with you. Discuss the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases with your partner and explore the options that you both have for staying safe.
- ALWAYS use protection - Remember that contraceptives are only effective for protecting against unwanted pregnancies but they do not help in preventing the spread of sexually transmitted diseases. Using a condom is always the safest way to go. Even if you are in a monogamous relationship, it is always better to be safe than sorry.
- Get tested - Check out the free health clinics in your area and get tested for sexually transmitted diseases. Never assume that getting tested once is enough. Make it a point to get tested often andinsist that your partner do the same.
- Be choosy - Being choosy and responsible about who you choose to share your body with can greatly reduce your risk of contracting a sexually transmitted disease.
- Get and stay informed - Do your research and learn about the different sexually transmitted diseases that are out there. Make sure that you know exactly what the dangers are, why it is so important to avoid them and what measures you can take to keep yourself safe. Debunk popular myths about sexually transmitted diseases and then share what you’ve learned with your partner and others. Remember that knowledge is power!