Hvaing sex can be exciting for many, but if not done safely can lead to Sexually transmitted diseases, known as STDs and even HIV Aids. They are one of the most common forms of contagious diseases, meaning they can easily be transferred from one person to another. Not only this but a recent RTI data stated that as many as 85,000 of HIV have been reported in India during the first phase of the COVID-19 lockdown due to unprotected sexual activity. A steady decline was observed in the number of HIV cases reported due to unprotected sexual activity between 2011-12 to 2020-21. Amid this, it is important to understand the importance of having sex in a safe manner.
The risk of HIV spread due to sexual activity increases if:
One has more than one sexual partner
One becomes sexually active at an early age
One has sexual contact with someone who has had multiple partners
One does not use a condom during sexual intercourse
One shares needles/syringes
Tips to prevent yourself from getting infected:
Therefore, becoming self-aware of how you are indulging in sexual activities is very important. Here are tips to prevent getting infected with an STD:
Protecting yourself sexually involves not only learning about STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) but practicing safe sex every time you engage in any sexual activity, she says.
Avoid or minimize direct oral, anal and genital contact by using a barrier method correctly and regularly
Avoidance of impulsive intercourse with a complete stranger
Form a trusted, honest, and communicative relationship with your partner
Always examine your partner for any wart, ulcer or any other obvious lesion on the genital parts
Limit your number of sexual partners
Talk to your partner about your STI status
Include STI testing as part of your regular medical check up.
Do not use drugs or alcohol in potentially intimate situations as they can inhibit your ability to make decisions and may affect your dexterity
Get vaccinated for Hepatitis B and C (Consult a Sexologist/ Gynecologist/Obstetrician always)
5 Quick tips to practice safe sex:
Educate yourself: Find out all you can about STDs. Understand how each STD is passed from person to person during sex.
Decide to be safe: If you're having sex and not protecting yourself, STD could happen to you-and anyone you might have sex with. Insist on only safer sex.
Choose your protection: Two quick ways - Don't have sex or use condoms (they are cheap and easy to use).
Talk about it: Talking with a partner is a key step in staying safe. Agree that you'll both be tested for STD.
Get Tested for STD: There are different tests for each STD. No single test can screen for all of them. Talk to your doctor and go by his/her recommendation.
STDs can affect anyone, anytime. It is important to be aware, to be transparent with your partner, to maintain sexual hygiene and to practice safe sex.
-Inputs by Dr Himani Gupta, gynecologist/obstetrician
-With IANS inputs