Safe Sex

There are a lot of things to think about when you spend the night with someone and have sex. In particular, you need to be careful about sexually transmitted diseases or STDs There are all sorts of STDs Things like chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and hepatitis. You might know them by other names like pox, crabs or the clap. STDs can make you sick and can be passed on when you have sex. You can carry the virus that causes some STDs for a long time. Even when you don’t feel sick you might still pass on a virus to someone else when you have sex with them. That’s why it’s important to be careful all the time.

It is easy to make sure that you don’t get STDs You should use condoms every time you have sex with someone. It doesn’t matter who you are sleeping with, you should be careful to make sure you don’t get sick. It is important to talk about sex and STDs so that we can all stay healthy. Sometimes it is hard to talk about these things, especially after a party or when you have had a drink. But by talking to one another and being careful, we all have a better chance of keeping strong.

Some diseases can also be passed on from just a few drops of blood on the end of a needle, so you should NEVER share needles when injecting drugs. You should always use clean needles straight from the packet. Getting an STD can also increase your chance of getting AIDS. AIDS is short for Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome. It is caused by a virus called HIV (Human Immune Deficiency Virus) which attacks the body’s immune system. AIDS stops your body from fighting off other infections. A person who has HIV in their body is known as HIV positive. Eventually people who are HIV positive may develop other infections. These infections can kill people. You won’t get HIV from mosquitoes, toilet seats or blood transfusions. You won’t get HIV from sharing food or plates or from a HIV-positive person who sneezes or coughs near you.
You can make sure that you don’t get HIV just like other STDs You should always use condoms and never share needles. That way you will stay well and strong. You can’t tell who might have HIV just by looking at them. When people are infected with HIV, we shouldn’t force them away. They need to be cared for in their communities and looked after.

If you think you might have an STD or HIV there are tests that your doctor can run. Remember everything between you and your doctor is private business. It is often better to know whether you are sick so you can get help. Medicines are available that can help your body fight STDs and HIV.

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