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Reduce your Risk of HIV/STDs

Reduce your Risk of HIV/STDs

1 in 2 sexually active people will get a sexually transmitted disease or infection – an STD/STI – by the age of 25 (and there is still risk beyond that). But were here to tell you that there is lots of steps you can take to reduce your risk. To start, we have free condoms and other forms of birth control, free and low-cost STD testing, and nurses who can answer all your questions about STDs and HIV. See, DHD#10 has got you covered (no pun intended).

Let’s recap on the basics of STDs/HIV first:

Sexually transmitted infections (STI) and sexually transmitted diseases (STD) mean the same thing and that is a disease that is spread from one person to another through intimate physical contact – such as heavy petting – and from sexual activity including vaginal, oral, and anal sex. Anyone who is sexually active is at risk for getting and spreading an STD. The Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), the virus that causes Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), is transmitted by blood and body fluids. The most common way HIV is transmitted having anal or vaginal sex with someone who has HIV without using a condom or taking medicines to prevent or treat HIV and sharing needles or syringes, rinse water, or other equipment (works) used to prepare drugs for injection with someone who has HIV.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from STDs:

 Abstinence (not having sex) .
 Monogamy (having one sex partner at a time).
 Use a male condom, female condom, or dental dam for every type of sex (oral, anal, and/or vaginal) and during every sexual encounter.
 Get yourself and your partner tested.

Here’s what you can do to protect yourself from HIV:

 Abstinence (not having sex).
 Monogamy (having one sex partner at a time).
 Use a male condom, female condom, or dental dam for every type of sex (oral, anal, and/or vaginal) and during every sexual encounter.
 Do not share needles or syringes, or other drug equipment used during injection drug use.
 Get yourself and your partner tested.

At DHD#10 you can get confidential STD/HIV testing. STD testing at DHD#10 is available at low or no-cost; cost is based on your income if you do not have insurance. Services at DHD#10 are inclusive to all sexualities and genders.

People with multiple sexual partners, those who think they may have been exposed, those who’ve had unprotected sex with a partner whose health status was unknown, or anyone who has symptoms of an STD should get tested. Make an appointment to get test right away and hold off on sexual activity until you get tested. To make an appointment call 888-217-3904, option #2.

Upon result of your test, a nurse can discuss safe sex practices, treatment options, birth control, how to talk to your partner, and more. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

For more information on STDs and HIV visit: www.beforeplay.org or the CDC.