The only 100% sure way to prevent STIs is to not have sex, including oral sex. If you are sexually active, there are lots of ways you can protect yourself to help prevent STIs.
- STIs are passed through bodily fluids between people when they have sex (such as semen, vaginal fluids, blood) or genital/skin-to-skin contact.
- Condoms, when used correctly every time you have sex, provide a great barrier to bodily fluids and can help prevent STIs and HIV infection.
- Talk with your partner about using condoms
- The important thing to remember is to use condoms every time you have sex, and use them correctly.
Know the Symptoms
Not every STI shows up with a clear giveaway symptom, but it’s important to know what they are so you can tell you medical provider what you’re experiencing.
Common symptoms of STIs might be:
- Burning when you pee
- Cloudy discharge (vaginal or from penis)
- Itching in genital areas
- Having to pee frequently
- Skin rashes or redness
- Pain or discomfort during sex
For a full list of symptoms for each STI, go to teensource.org
If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms and/or you have had unprotected sex recently, use the “Where to get tested” feature to make an appointment for testing.