For those of you not sure what a STD is, an STD is known as a Sexually Transmitted Disease or an STI, Sexually Transmitted Infection. STDs carry different symptoms although at times an infected person can show no signs or symptoms of being infected.
Some of the signs include irritation, as well as pain when urinating, reoccurring or persistent diarrhoea, an unusual discharge from the penis, irritation or itchiness in the anal or genital area along with rashes, warts, ulcers, blisters, sores or lumps.
If you have any of these symptoms then you should see your doctor immediately. If you have no symptoms but are sexually active, especially with one-night stands, you should still seek testing to ensure that you are not passing any diseases on to others.
STDs can spread through infected blood as well as sharing needles, from mother to child via breast-feeding or during childbirth and anal, vaginal or oral sex.
Testing for STDs can be done using blood for syphilis, HIV, hepatitis B, Herpes 1 and 2 and hepatitis C, as well as urine samples for gonorrhoea and chlamydia.
If STDs are detected too late, serious complications can occur such as opportunistic infections, memory loss, loss of balance as well as walking difficulty also HIV-associated lymphoma, anal and rectal cancer, birth defects and pelvic inflammatory disease.
Avoiding STDs is not complicated, it is quite simple actually:
Abstinence is the best way to avoid STDs.
Condoms are next in line, but are only useful if used at all times during anal and vaginal sex. Never use oil based lubricants because that causes a risk of tearing or ripping.
Having a monogamous sexual relationship is another way, once both parties agree to be tested for STDs and the results come up negative.
Do not come into contact with the other person's bodily fluids.
Avoid having sex with new partners until they have been thoroughly tested.
Don't make decisions concerning sex under the influence of drug based substances or alcohol.
Be careful where you meet new sexual partners
Kissing, mutual masturbation or sensual touching are ways in which you can prevent yourself from getting major STDs.
Even though most STDs have treatments, it does not mean that all of them are curable so you could end up living with an STD such as HIV for the rest of your life if you choose not to take preventative measures.