How to stay disease free on first sexual contact

As a family nurse practitioner, I see a lot of men and women who are concerned about their sexual health after unprotected sexual exposure.

Dating experience can be fun with those safety tips that will protect you and your partner from common sexually transmitted infections (STDs). As a general rule, unprotected sex should be avoided until both of you get a full STD screen, which includes Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, HIV and Hepatitis B.For the first two, the incubation period is about 2 weeks, meaning that you might start experiencing symptoms 2 weeks after possible exposure.

For HIV and Hep B it could be up to 2 months. People are usually embarrassed to ask about partner’s sexual history. This is a very important step in protecting yourself from common STDs. You need to ask, when was the last time your partner had unprotected sex, and does he/she knows if their partner was tested and was STD free.

Surprisingly, people do not withhold this information and will usually answer this question honestly. This information can help you determine the risks, which is low for Gonorrhea and Chlamydia, if the last sexual contact was over 2 months ago. It’s rate to contract HIV from a regular heterosexual contact. If your partner is US born, Hep B is also uncommon, because of wide spread vaccination requirements. To summarize, always use protection and do not be afraid to ask question. You are protecting you health. It’s important!

 

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