As we enter the season of love, many people will plan to be with their significant others. Some of these plans will include intimate relations. We want to ensure that you remain safe as you enjoy spending time with your partners this Valentine’s Day.
While Nigeria does not have a nationally confirmed statistic for STI prevalence, a study conducted among female students of a Nigerian university determined the prevalence of sexually transmitted infections to be 27.7%. From this and other studies, we can safely assume that many people get STIs. Some of them are curable or incurable, but all have the potential to be dangerous and life-threatening.
That said, you should be cautious about doing what is in your power to prevent STIs. Some of the ways you can prevent STIs include:
The only way to prevent STIs absolutely is not to have sex at all. This means no genital contact and includes oral, anal, and other forms of sexual contact.
Get Yourself And Your Partner Tested
If you have a new partner or have recently gotten back with an old partner after a break, it might be best to get yourselves screened for STIs to make sure you both test negative. Some STIs can remain hidden in your body without showing symptoms for years! This way, you are assured that you and your partner are clear and don’t have to worry about each other.
Don’t Sleep With Anyone Who Is Not Exclusively Sleeping With You
Please stick to one sexual partner. Then, ensure that your partner is also being exclusive to you. That is a better way to limit your risk and exposure to any STI.
Vaccinations are an easy way to protect your immune system in case you eventually come in contact with an STI-causing organism. Vaccinations cause your immune system to fight the organisms so that you don’t fall sick. Some vaccinations that protect against STIs include the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) and hepatitis B vaccines.
Using condoms to prevent STIs is not foolproof, but they are somewhat effective. A study has shown that using female and male condoms together is better than using the male variant alone. Unfortunately, female condoms are not as accessible as the male variants.
If you take all precautions and still end up with an STI, please do not feel ashamed. Go to the hospital.
Sometimes, people take precautions and still get infected because some STIs don’t require genital-to-genital contact before they can get infected with them.
We hope these precautions help you have a safe experience with your partner this season.