April is STI Awareness Month, a chance to spread awareness about STIs and how to prevent them. This STI Awareness month, make an STI game plan to own your health! Preparing before you are in the moment can help make the moment easier. Check out these ways to make an STI Game Plan!
Know Your Risk:
Learn the STI basics. STIs are spread through sexual contact or contact with someone’s body fluid that can transmit STIs. Some STIs can also be spread through skin-to-skin contact. Using condoms helps prevent STIs but condoms are not 100% effective. If someone has sex, they can be at risk for an STI. Take this short quiz to understand your STI risk.
Visit the Clinic:
Find a clinic near you to get tested for STIs, ask questions about your risk, get condoms, and find a birth control method for you. Prepare before you are there by writing down any questions you might have so you don’t forget to ask them. Also remember that it is important to be honest with the clinician or health care provider. They may ask some personal questions to help understand your STI risk but remember, they have heard it all before and they are asking the questions so they can make the best choices about your health. If you cannot get to a clinic, find out if telehealth, or virtual care, is available. You might also choose a home STI test kit to get tested for STIs in your own space.
Plan to Use a Condom:
Using a condom every time you have sex can prevent STIs. It is a good idea to have a condom on hand so you have them when you need them. Find free condoms near you to have ahead of time. Make sure you understand how to use a condom correctly.
Talk to Your Partner:
Before having sex, talk with your partner about their STI risk and ways to prevent STIs. You can also make a plan to get tested together. Be honest with your partner about your STI risk including when you were last tested and if you have any STIs. Talk to your partner about your intention to use condoms. While this conversation may feel uncomfortable at first, it is important to be open and honest.
Celebrate STI Awareness Month by following these steps to make an STI game plan and follow along as we celebrate all month long! Check out our Instagram (@teensourceorg) to ask any questions you have about STIs and we will be responding to those questions in our blogs throughout the month.