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Safer sex is the best way to protect yourself and your partners against HIV or sexually transmitted infections:
1. Intercourse – only with a condom (or femidom).
2. No sperm or menstrual blood in the mouth.
3. In case of flu-like symptoms after unprotected sex, or in case of itchiness, stinging, discharge or other symptoms in the genital area, see a doctor immediately.
Condoms, preferably those with the OK quality seal, provide excellent protection against HIV during (vaginal or anal) intercourse. Safer sex also significantly reduces the risk of other sexually transmitted infections, which, unlike HIV, can also be transmitted through oral sex, skin contact or the sharing of sex toys. You should therefore see a doctor if you experience itchiness, stinging, discharge or other symptoms in the genital area. And sex toys that have previously been used by others should be carefully disinfected before use.
Safer sex in a relationship
The rule of thumb for protection against HIV in a new relationship: Adhere to the safer-sex rules for the first three months. If an HIV test subsequently rules out an infection in both partners, condom use may be dispensed with.
The rule of thumb for protection against other sexually transmitted infections in a relationship: In case of any symptoms in the genital area, see a doctor. If you are diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection, you should inform your partner. This is the only way for him or her to get treatment and to prevent repeated re-infection (ping-pong effect).
But a firm agreement is needed in case one of you is unfaithful. The agreement could look something like this: The safer-sex rules are applicable for all affairs. But in case of unprotected sex or a condom mishap, the partner must be informed. If you’re not sure whether you’ll be able to stick to such an agreement, safer sex is recommended within the relationship as well. After a high-risk sexual contact outside the relationship, it is important that you act promptly and appropriately by seeking counselling and getting tested.