- Before having sex, ask your partner(s) “Have you ever been tested for STDs?” It is an important question.
- Talk to your partner about infection prevention, whether it’s using condoms, more frequent testing, reducing your number of partners, mutual monogamy (one partner only), type of sex (oral, anal and/or vaginal), etc.
- Talk openly and honestly with your healthcare provider about your sexual health, type of sex (oral, anal and/or vaginal), and any concerns you may have.
- Remember, you can have an STD and not have any symptoms. The only way to know for sure is to GET YOURSELF TESTED!
- If you’re having sex (vaginal, anal, or oral), getting tested is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health. Undetected STDs can lead to serious, long term health consequences.
- Schedule an appointment with your primary provider and ask to be tested. If you don’t have a primary provider or health insurance, other low- or no-cost resources are available.
- STDs will not go away on their own. All STDs can be treated, and some can be cured. Get treated quickly to prevent complications.
- Do not have sex until you and your partner(s) have completed treatment (vaginal, anal, and oral -- even with a condom). If you do not tolerate or cannot complete treatment, contact your health provider.
- Your doctor and/or the public health nurses can help get your partner(s) treated. Be open with the doctor or nurse about your partner(s) that may be unwilling or unable to access treatment.
Sexual Health is a state of physical, emotional, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality; it is not merely the absence of disease, dysfunction or infirmity. Sexual health requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. For sexual health to be attained and maintained, the sexual rights of all persons must be respected, protected and fulfilled.” (WHO, 2006a)
This web resource was created by Santa Cruz County Public Health to improve the sexual health among the sexually active individuals of Santa Cruz County by encouraging people to TALK, TEST, and TREAT sexually transmitted diseases / infections (STDs / STIs).