Doctor's Search

Sexual Health

August 5, 2015

Safer sex

Safer sex includes hugging, kissing, and massaging. It also includes using condoms properly and any activity which avoids contact with semen or vaginal fluids.

Safer sex lowers the risk of getting HIV (the virus that leads to AIDS) and other sexually transmitted infections. It also lowers the risk of pregnancy.

Condoms are the best protection against sexually transmitted infections including HIV and unintended pregnancy.

Make sure you use condoms of a high standard. If you’re travelling abroad take quality condoms with you – you won’t necessarily be able to get at your destination.

Remember that it can be easy to forget about safer sex once the drink starts flowing. Also, being drunk makes it more difficult to use condoms properly.

HIV

The 3 most common ways of catching HIV are:
* By having penetrative vaginal or anal sex with an infected partner without using a condom.
* Infected blood getting into one’s body by sharing drug injecting equipment.
* From an infected mother to her baby.

HIV cannot be transmitted by everyday social contact such as kissing, hugging, shaking hands, coughing or sneezing.

Everyone is at risk if they don’t take measures to avoid the virus.

Issues

People choose to express their sexuality in different ways and should be free to do so without fear of discrimination or prejudice.

Consider the rights and responsibilities of you and your partner(s) and how these might affect your sexual health.

Young people and safer sex

Our role is not to tell young people what they can and can’t do. But it is our role to provide information and advice, and to encourage responsible behaviour based on informed opinions. Our aim is to ensure young people are aware of the facts and where they chose to have sex, to help ensure they practice safer sex.

Remember, Belize Medical Associates does testing for HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases.