What are STIs?
Sexualy transmitted infections (STIs), also referred to as Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), are infections that are passed from one person to another through unprotected sex or genital contact, including vaginal intercourse, anal sex and oral sex. STIs can affect both men and women and STIs during pregnancy can also affect a baby through mother-to-child transmission.
STIs are caused by more than 30 types of bacteria, parasites and viruses, including chlamydia, genital herpes, gonorrhea, HIV, HPV, syphilis, and trichomoniasis. Many of these diseases can have severe symptoms, but many people also experience these diseases without any symptoms.
People who are asymptomatic or have mild symptoms may have difficulty detecting the infection. Also, even if you have symptoms, you may be embarrassed and have difficulty seeing a doctor. For that reason, perople with an infection are difficult to diagnose or may experience delays in treatment. People who are untested because of these delays may also unknowingly spead the infection to others.
Everyone can be at risk of STIs. Correct knowledge and prevention, early detection and treatment are important.
Condoms are a protective barrier used to prevent infections that can be transmitted through sexual contact, or to prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Condoms are effective in preventing transmission of Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, HIV and other STIs. There are also STIs that may not be prevented by the use of condoms. Using a condom is not a 100% guarantee that you will be protected and does not completely eliminate the risk of catching or spreading STIs. Please have yourself and your partner tested for any risk of sexually transmitted infections, and through knowing your status, you can start to seek care and receive treatment as necessary.
There are other forms of birth control or contraception such as birth control pills, but condoms have the advantage of protecting you from STIs.
What kind of condoms are there?
Male condoms are widely available and commonly known but there are also female condoms that can be easily used and are commercially available.
There are condoms made of latex, polyurethane (plastic) or polyisoprene (synthetic rubber). Latex type condom are widely used but there are individuals that may experience allergic reactions, please test yourself for the type that matches your skin, and other properties, such as the cost, thickness, package design, and fit. If you do not use the proper size, there may be leaks that will reduce the effectiveness of the condom.
How do I use a condom?
Apply and use the condom before the sexual intercourse
Be careful not tear the condom while taking out off the package. Check which side is inside or outside, and pinch the air out of the tip of the condom. Place the condom on the head of the erect penis and pull all the way down the penis.
Please check the expiration date before using. The use of oil lubricants such as vaseline may damage the quality of the condom, so please refrain from using oil-based lubricants. You should always use a water-based lubricant though, to reduce the risk of breakage and improve the comfort of the condom for your partner. Using 2 layers of condom may also cause excessive friction that may tear and break the condom, and will not improve protection. An already used condom may contain sperm and pathogen, so please do not use the same condom twice.