By Kelly Cristine Barbosa Cherulli
Psychologist and Sexologist
We understand as safe sex to a set of precautions to diminishing the risk of transmissions and infections by sexual transmitted diseases (STD) whilst having sexual intercourse.
Abstinence is an absolute answer to prevent STD, although it’s not practical or desirable for most people.
In our modern society, the most acceptable prevention measure that is possible to take is probably a monogamous relationship with a person that you know that isn’t infected by any STD. You’d better get to know your partner. Before engaging in sexual intercourse with a new partner it’s wise to be careful of STD, specially HIV and Hepatitis B.
The use of condoms by both partners may remarkably decrease the probability of infections by STD. However, the condoms must be worn properly. The condoms have to be worn from the beginning to the end of sexual activity and whenever a person engages in sexual activities with non monogamous partner or any kind of suspect partner.
Condoms are very cheap, if you consider the consequences of being infected by a STD.
Other methods: Know your Partner
It seems pretty obvious, but most people engage in sexual activities without even establishing a previous relationship, allowing trust and an open conversation. It would be wise to discuss past sexual experiences and STD or the use of injectable drugs with your partner, as well as if you’re perfectly healthy. Feel free to start or finish a relationship, without feeling pushed to have sexual contact. Use methods to prevent contact with sperm, vaginal fluids or blood.
The constant and proper use of condoms is essential. The use of extra lubrication may decrease its efficiency. The use of latex condoms is recommended for both oral and vaginal intercourse. People who decide to have sexual activities implicating anal contact may search for additional information to reduce risks, consulting their personal clinicians or public health professionals, available in most clinics or medical centers specialized in HIV.
The use of alcohol or drugs reduce the ability to communicate and the coordination required using prevention methods or lubricants. Alcohol and drugs may also blur the capacity to make appropriate suitable sexual selections. Having consideration with your partner is important.
People infected by HIV or AIDS should notify any potential sexual partner of their situation, from a moral, ethic and legal standpoint. They must avoid any fluid exchange during sexual activity and may use a prevention method (such a latex condom) to give better protection to the couple. If you’re a pregnant woman, take extra precautions.
Women infected by STD may look for counseling before getting pregnant, since it may put the child in danger. It’s better for a pregnant woman to call for medical care to prevent the cross- infection of the fetus. HIV positive women may refrain from breast-feeding.