LGBTQ* individuals may be at increased risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) but this can be prevented. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend the following ways you can prevent getting an STI and staying safe.
- Talk honestly with your medical provider about your sexual partners and sexual activities so they know which screening tests may be right for you
- Talk honestly with your partner about STIs and getting tested - before you have sex
- Use condoms correctly every time you have sex
- Think twice about mixing alcohol and/or drugs with sex. They can lower your ability to make good decisions and can lead to risky behavior - like having sex without a condom.
- Limit your number of sexual partners. You can lower your chances of getting STIs if you only have sex with one person who only has sex with you.
- Know your STI and HIV status, you can take steps to protect yourself and your partners
- Know that many STIs have no signs or symptoms, so you or your partner could be infected and not know it. The only way to know your STI status is to get tested.
- Talk to your medical provider about vaccines against Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV) to see if they would be right for you.
- Anyone who is HIV-negative but could be at risk for HIV exposure should consider taking HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP). A prescription pill taken once daily can lower the chance of HIV infection by 92 to 99 percent.