Sex & STDs 

"Gather knowledge and wisdom." -Saint Lawrence Island Yup'ik

 

First, what is sex?

Sex can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. When you take a survey or fill out a form, there’s usually a box that says, “Sex: Male or Female. Circle one.” That’s one definition. Sex is also the act of engaging in sexual behaviors with another person, whether vaginal, oral or anal intercourse. Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) or Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) and HIV/AIDs can be spread through all these types of sex.

YOU can reduce your risk for an HIV/STD infection by:

  • Abstaining from sex (not having vaginal, oral or anal sex). Abstinence is the 100% proven way to avoid STDs!
  • Sticking to one mutually-monogamous partner who has been tested and is not infected.
  • Using latex condoms (consistently & correctly) for both oral (penile) sex and penetrative (vaginal or anal) sex.
  • Using dental dams for vaginal and anal sex.
  • Using latex or latex-free medical gloves when touching another person's genitals.
  • Using lube during sex. Lube minimizes friction. Friction can cause irritation and tearing during sex which makes it easier to catch an STD.
  • Not sharing needles, syringes, razors or toothbrushes. 

Learn more about STDs under Facts about STDs and Related Conditions.