Sexually Transmitted Infections (STI’s) HIV/AIDS
STIs and HIV/AIDS are nothing to take lightly or laugh about. Many STIs are passed along through body fluids such as pre-cum, semen, vaginal fluids, breast milk, and blood. Some STIs are found on the skin and surfaces of the vagina, penis, rectum, and mouth. Direct contact with these surfaces may spread the infection. Any activity which can cause someone else’s body fluids to get into your body may put you at risk for getting a STI, including needle sharing.
Some symptoms of common STIs include:
-Unusual discharge or odour from your penis or vagina
-A painful burning feeling while urinating
-Sores or blisters on or around your mouth or sex organs
-Itching, swelling, or bumps in the groin area
Often there are no symptoms at all! If you choose to have sex, use a condom every time to reduce the risk of contracting STIs. Carrying a condom doesn’t mean you’re pushy, easy, or overly sure of yourself, it just means that you’re being smart.
HIV is spreading rapidly in teens because many people ignore the facts or believe false ideas about AIDS and other STIs. For example, you can’t be exposed by:
-Casual contact (hugging, shaking hands, etc.)
-Contact with doorknobs and/or toilet seats
Here’s how to limit exposure to HIV/AIDS and STIs:
-Not having sex (abstinence)
-If you have sex, properly using a latex condom makes contact much safer, although it doesn’t guarantee protection
-If you use drugs, don’t share needles
-Don’t share items that may be contaminated with blood
It is true that choosing to be sexually active or to use drugs can cause serious consequences in your life, no matter what precautions you might be taking. If that’s the choice you’ve made, then take responsibility to be protected as possible.