There’s heaps of different STI’s and BBV’s and they can be transmitted through different bodily fluids: semen (cum), pre-seminal fluid (pre-cum), rectal fluids, vaginal fluids, breast milk, and for some through close physical contact. You can get these through any type of sexual contact: anal, oral or vaginal sex, and for some intimate contact e.g. kissing, fingering. For BBV’s you can also get them through things like sharing injecting equipment.
Naturally, lots of bodily fluids are going to be present during sex no matter what. No stopping that. The solution isn’t not having sex if you want to have sex. Heck have as much sex as you want – go get yours! The trick is making sure you are having sex while protecting yourself and your partner so you both having a good time whilst being as safe as possible.
How to protect yourself?
Barrier methods (condoms, dams and gloves) are great ways to protect you against STIs and BBVs – we call them barrier methods because they act as a barrier between you and another person/object. For more about barrier methods, click here.
To find out more about STIs and BBVs, check out our resources below! We also have specific resources on HIV and Syphilis, the latter of which has seen a huge resurgence in Australia over the past few years.
So you’ve done the deed and want to make sure you’re looking after yourself? Check out our resources on STI Testing and our Youth-Friendly Referral Resource on where to get tested! If you have casual partners you should get tested every 3 months otherwise you should get tested every 6-12 months (even if you’ve only been sleeping with a single partner). Of course if you’ve been with someone who just told you they tested positive or you’ve any symptoms (discharge from down there, pain, puss, rash, itch or lumps or bumps) you should get tested right away.