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Reducing your risk besides using condoms
Apr 29, 1998

i am a girl and its my first time having sex,besides a condom how much more careful can i be from getting pregnant or getting an STD.what do i tell my partner ?

Response from Mr. Sowadsky

Hi. Thank you for your question. Besides using condoms, there are a number of different ways to reduce your risk for STDs (including HIV) and unwanted pregnancies. These include:

1) Postponing sex. Have sex when you are ready to have sex, and when you want to have sex. Do not let anyone pressure you to have sex with them. If you do not want to have sex with someone, tell them so. If they really care about you, they will respect your decision. Just because other people (your friends, classmates, co-workers, etc.) may be having sex, does not mean that you have to have sex too.

2) Before having sex, learn about the responsibilities associated with sex. Although having sex can be enjoyable, and can sometimes strengthen a relationship, there are also negative consequences to having sex. These negative consequences can include getting HIV, getting other STDs, and having an unwanted pregnancy. Sometimes having sex can actually hurt a relationship (for example, having sex outside of a committed relationship, or having sex before you and your partner are emotionally ready to have sex with each other).

3) Stay sober and drug-free. Alcohol and drugs like marijuana, cocaine, speed, etc., can significantly affect your judgement. While under the influence of these drugs, you are more likely to have sex with other people, and are less likely to use condoms (or use them correctly). Very often, people will have sex with someone while under the influence of alcohol and other drugs, and then they will later regret it.

4) Engage in lower risk activities (such as kissing, petting, mutual masturbation, etc.). There are many sexual activities other than intercourse and oral sex.

5) When using condoms, make sure that you use them correctly. Condoms will only work if you use them every time, and use them correctly.

6) Respect yourself. Your body is worth protecting. Take good care of it.

For more information on this topic go to the posting how to ask someone about having safe sex.

If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).



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