Be sexually safe in the month of love

Velisha Thompson of the City of Joburg writes:

With love in the air during the month of February, it is also time to take extra care of unwanted baggage which comes with love.

Unwanted pregnancies are not the only thing that is common with unprotected sex. Sexually transmitted infections are also common and should be a major concern to those that practise unsafe sex.

What is an STI?

A sexually transmitted infection (STI) is passed from one person to another during a sexual encounter. A person should see a doctor or health professional immediately if there are any symptoms that present themselves. A doctor or health worker will be able to diagnose what infection a person may or may not have. If you are diagnosed with an STI, medication will be given to you. Your partner may have to take treatment as well.

People with STIs have a greater chance of being infected with HIV, so rather go for treatment to your nearest clinic.

Women who have contracted an STI are also at risk for contracting cervical cancer and Aids. Women who have had an STI are at an increased risk of infertility.

About 70 per cent of women with chlamydia and 50 per cent of women with gonorrhoea have no symptoms at all. This means you can be infected without knowing it. The highest incidence of STI infection occurs among women between the ages of 15 and 19 years of age.

Prevention is ultimately better than cure.

Abstinence and condoms are still the best form of protection against contracting STIs and unwanted pregnancies. Sexual intercourse is not the only practice that can put you at risk. STIs can be spread by other sexual practices too.

If you are in a sexual relationship, rather be mutually faithful and use a condom in every encounter. Condoms are available at your nearest clinic. Rather be safe than sorry.

Self-consciousness is the greatest obstacle people face when trying to protect themselves against STIs or to go for treatment. A person with an STI must get treatment because it will not go away on its own.

Many STIs can be cured with antibiotics. STIs that are caused by viruses cannot be cured, although their symptoms can be treated with medication. Symptoms may include pain on urination or discharge from private parts.

So instead of worsening your symptoms and spreading the infection, rather visit your nearest clinic for treatment.

Read: Wash hands thoroughly to avoid Typhoid fever

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