The VD Season (not just the one that requires a doctor’s visit) is nearly upon us. Dates are secured, gifts purchased, reservations made, but before you vandalize your summer love be sure to gift wrap her package… True, talking to your soon to be sex partner about his/her sexual past and method of birth control can really douse your flame. Unfortunately, the alarming rate of people contracting STD’s and STI’s should be enough to make you read on. According to About.com’s Adolescent AIDS Program, half of the new HIV infections in the U.S occur in people ages 13-24. However, there is Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Syphillis, Genital Herpes, Hepatitis B & C, and the Human Papillomavirus and Warts.
So what’s a person to do when faced with the opportunity to physically satisfy some love jones? Be mature, prepared and safe…
Don’t be a Man Whore
Now this may sound like common sense, but men and women who are promiscuous increase their chances of contracting HIV/AIDS or another STD. Basically you have sex with all the previous partners of your sex partner, if you aren’t protected. A man or woman who partakes in sexual activity as often as shaking hands or taking a dump, is playing Russian roulette with their health.
Limit the number of people you have sex with down to one. True, being in a committed relationship does not guarantee you will not contract something, but it reduces your risk. Also, if you do end up with an STD, you will be able to handle the situation together, as adults.
Have “Thee” talk with your partner.
Whether you’re in an exclusive relationship or not, discussing your sexual past needs to be done. There will never be the perfect time or place, so just work with what you got. Secure a private location and chat. Ask whether your partner has done the deed bare back before. If so, ask if he/she had numerous partners. No, an exact number is not necessary. But try to make it as conversational as possible. You don’t want to come off as an accusatory douche.
Keep communication open, but not demanding or intrusive. Do your best to listen as well as converse. If your girl or boy toy does not wish to disclose the information and becomes angry or upset, consider finding a new partner. You do have the right to know if your lover’s man meat or lady pudding are tainted. While the talk may seem daunting or awkward, better to be uncomfortable for a few moments, than to be uncomfortable for 9 months or the rest of your life.
Bite the Bullet and Get Tested
Extracting blood from a vein, mouth swabbing, peeing in a cup. We could all do without these unpleasant experiences. However, getting tested for HIV/AIDS and other STD’s is relatively simple. The latest rapid HIV test does not involve needles and will give results within 20 minutes. Plus you can take your partner along if he/she needs to be screened.
If you are engaging in sexual activity get tested at least once a year. However, if you engage in risk activities like: unprotected sex with a Professional Sex Worker, someone who is promiscuous, has had other STD’s/STI’s, or has had unprotected sex or shares needles, you may want to increase the rate of your testing.
Choose a method of birth control prevention
Deciding what form of contraception to use can be annoying. Yet, there are more choices today than 10, 20, even 30 years ago. One of the most common is condoms. Not only do condoms protect against STD’s, they also help protect you against unwanted pregnancy. Now of course they are 99% effective only when used properly, but at least the odds are in your favor.
Ladies can also consider preventing pregnancy by the use of a diaphragm, female condom, a pill (oral contraceptive), the patch, vaginal ring, or injection.
Some recent studies have shown that prolonged usage of oral contraceptives may lead to difficulty conceiving and increased chances of developing various forms of cancer. If you have any further questions in regards to the adverse effects of oral contraception, please contact a health care worker or physician.
Just say no to sex and drug use
While many of you are already saying no to drugs, especially the ones that involve needles, voluntarily packing away your privates for an extended vacation may not seem like an option. However, abstinence is still the one full proof method of not contracting an STD/STI.
We all love a healthy sex-capade. But sometimes your body, mind and soul can use a break from the copulating, particularly, if you’ve had an STD or pregnancy scare.
On the bright side, abstaining can end whenever, so going back to moistening bed sheets will still occur. Just be sure to sandwich wrap your salami first.