Protecting your partners from STIs? Here’s how!
We love sex. We don’t love STIs.
That’s why good sexual health is part of a good sex life, and why it’s important to protect yourself and your partner(s) from not only HIV, but also other STIs such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and shigella. Start with these 5 simple tips to make sure you’re looking after each other’s sexual health, even when you’re not in the bedroom.
1. Get tested every 3 months, even if you don’t have symptoms
Getting tested every 3 months (and treated if necessary) helps stop the spread of STIs — here’s how! It also helps pick up STIs with longer window periods such as syphilis.
Talk to your partners about how often they get tested too – more guys getting tested more often is one of the best ways to reduce the number of STIs for all of us. Condoms and lube are our first line defence against STIs — but whether you do or don’t use them, there’s still a chance for STIs to spread through kissing or other skin to skin contact.
2. Talk about it before it happens
Ask your sexual partners when they last got tested and how you’re managing your HIV and STI risk together. Are you on PrEP? Is he? Do you both know your HIV status? Do you want to use condoms? Find a strategy you’re both comfortable with.
3. Talk about it after it happens
Anyone can get an STI, even if you’re using barrier protection. If you are diagnosed with an STI, get treated and make sure you let your sexual partners know. That way they can get tested as well and treated if necessary. If either of you needs a sexual health testing service in a hurry, use our interactive map to find one nearby. Not sure about talking to a doctor for the right tests? Here’s how!
4. Be informed
Do some reading about STIs so you can better protect yourself and your partner. Emen8’s Knowledge Hub has all the information you need on STIs and HIV, including symptoms, prevention, testing and treatment.
5. Be prepared with condoms and lube, always
Even if you’re managing your HIV risk in other ways, condoms and lube are still the best way to protect each other from the most common STIs.
And that’s it – 5 simple ways to help protect yourself and your partners, so you can both to get more of what you love, and less of what you don’t.