The most reliable ways to avoid STDs/STIs are to abstain from sexual contact or to be in a long-term monogamous relationship with a partner who has been tested and is uninfected.1 In addition, the following measures can also help you avoid STDs/STIs:
- Know your sexual partner's STD/STI and health history.
- Talk to your health care provider about your risk, and get tested for STDs/STIs.
- Get vaccinated against hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and human papillomavirus (HPV).
- Use latex condoms correctly and consistently.
Remember, however, that while condoms greatly reduce the chance of getting certain STDs/STIs, such as gonorrhea, condoms cannot fully protect against infection because viruses and some bacteria can be passed from person to person by skin-to-skin contact in the genital area not covered by a condom.2
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2010, September 1). Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs): Genital herpes. Retrieved June 6, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes [top]
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2011, July 21). Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs): STDs & infertility. Retrieved June 6, 2012, from http://www.cdc.gov/std/infertility [top]