The Love Bugs section gives you the low down on the unsexy side of sex - sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
If you're sexually active or thinking of having sex, do yourself a favour - avoid STIs by always practising safer sex...sex with a condom.
STIs don't discriminate by age, sex or race. Having sexual intercourse puts you at risk of a stack of STIs - many of which are "silent" infections, which means there are no symptoms to alert you that anything is wrong.
Some STIs are merely irritating, others increase your risk of cancer and infertility and some, such as acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), can kill you. To protect yourself from STIs, follow the guidelines below.
Top tips to avoid STIs
- Don't have sex with someone who won't wear a condom, is doing drugs, or has a STI. It isn't worth your life.
- Use only water-based lubricants like K-Y Jelly or Liquid. Other products can cause the condom to weaken and break.
- Limit the number of people you have sex with. The more sexual partners you have, the greater your chances of contracting an STI.
- Be sure the condom covers the whole penis. If it doesn't, it won't provide enough protection.
- See your doctor or family planning clinic for an annual Pap smear and STI check-up (or as often as you are being advised). Early treatment can cure many STIs and reduce the impact of others.