The ABCD's of STI Prevention
Updated: Mar 30
There are a variety of Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) out there, and each of them have different modes of transmission. That being said, there are some general practices which can reduce your risk of contracting an STI. If there’s a specific STI you’re concerned about getting, you can learn more about it by checking out our STInfo series.
As you consider which of these options are best for you, remember to treat yourself with dignity and respect, and to not feel ashamed or guilty about any decision you come to - despite what other people around you might say.
A is for Abstinence!
Abstinence is a guaranteed prevention method for STI’s. However, it does not fit everyone. Each person decides when and who they'd like to be sexual with, or not be sexual with. This decision should be based on your personal values, and with a clear mind that is free from drugs, alcohol or any external pressures. It's important to consider this option carefully and make the choice which is the best fit for you.
B is for Being Faithful!
Having only one partner is a good way to prevent STI transmission. It's important that you and your partner know each others status before engaging in any unprotected encounters. After that, as long as you and your partner stay monogamous, there is virtually no risk of contracting any new STI's. If you decide on this method of STI prevention, you may want to consider periodical testing for you and your partner, especially if you have any concerns about infidelity.
C is for Condoms!
Condoms are an excellent way to reduce your risk of contracting any STI's, especially if you have multiple partners! However, this only applies if used correctly, so it’s important to know how to properly apply and dispose of condoms.
check out our blog post on condom usage here
D is for Drugs
There are many medications available at the moment which can be taken to prevent STI infection. These types of medication are known as prophylactic medications. Currently, prophylactic medications for HIV are available as either Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) or Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP).
Another important aspect of this prevention strategy is the proper treatment of any STI's that you might have. That starts with testing yourself regularly and knowing your status.
Getting the treatment you need for any STI's you may have will prevent further transmission of these STI's. This includes HIV! To find out more about how HIV treatment can prevent transmission, read more here.