The surest way to protect yourself against STIs is to not have sex. That means not having any vaginal, anal, or oral sex. It’s okay to say “no” if you don’t want to have sex.
Make sure that you and your partner use a condom from start to finish every time you have oral, anal, or vaginal sex. It is not safe to stop using condoms unless you’ve both been tested for STIs, know your results, and are in a mutually monogamous relationship. Remember, a condom only protects the part of the body that it covers.
The RHC has free condoms in the lobby. You can also order free condoms from www.iknowmine.org.
If you do decide to have sex, you and your partner should get tested for STIs beforehand.
The Anchorage Public Health Clinic offers STI testing and treatment. Click here for more information.
When you and your partner both agree to only have sexual contact with each other, this can help protect against STIs, as long as you’ve both been tested and know you’re STI-free. Since most people who have STIs do not have symptoms, getting tested is the only way to know for sure whether or not someone has an STI.
Before you have sex, talk with your partner about how you will prevent STIs and pregnancy. You should also talk to your partner ahead of time about what you will and will not do sexually. Your partner should always respect your right to say no to anything that doesn’t feel right. Click here for tips about starting these conversations with your partner.
Avoid mixing alcohol or recreational drugs with sex.
If you use alcohol and drugs, you are more likely to take risks, like not using a condom or having sex with someone you normally wouldn’t have sex with.
Special Needs of Girls and Women
Girls and women should talk to their doctor or nurse about regular cervical cancer screening, and routine chlamydia and gonorrhea testing.