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How can I reduce my chances of catching an STD?

How can I reduce my chances of catching an STD?

Sexually transmitted diseases are typically spread through sexual contact with an infected partner. By using condoms, you can significantly reduce the risk of transmitting disease. But you should always keep in mind condoms are only effective if used properly and consistently.
Lab studies from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have found the use of latex condoms provide an effective barrier for even the smallest STD pathogens. They have been found to reduce the spread of STDs like AIDS/HIV, Chlamydia, gonorrhea, genital herpes, syphilis and the human papillomavirus that has been linked to cervical cancer and genital warts.
But condoms don’t protect against viruses that are not contained within the condom. So the use of condoms is not effective in the prevention of pubic lice and bacteria on the testicles.
For optimal effectiveness, the CDC recommends:
• Use a new condom for every act of vaginal, anal and oral sex throughout the entire sex act.
• Before any genital contact, put the condom on the tip of the erect penis with the rolled side out.
• If the condom does not have a reservoir tip, pinch the tip enough to leave a half-inch space for semen to collect. Holding the tip, unroll the condom all the way to the base of the erect penis.
• After ejaculation and before the penis gets soft, grip the rim of the condom and carefully withdraw. Then gently pull the condom off the penis, making sure that semen doesn’t spill out.
• Wrap the condom in a tissue and throw it in the trash where others won’t handle it.
• If you feel the condom break at any point during sexual activity, stop immediately, withdraw, remove the broken condom, and put on a new condom.
• Ensure that adequate lubrication is used during vaginal and anal sex, which might require water-based lubricants. Oil-based lubricants (e.g., petroleum jelly, shortening, mineral oil, massage oils, body lotions, and cooking oil) should not be used because they can weaken latex, causing breakage.
It is also recommended to avoid using lambskin condoms, as they are not effective in the prevention of STDs.

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