Here comes summer, finally we can loosen up again. But we know we still have to take care of our health, right? By that, we don't just mean staying Covid-19-free, but also enjoying the summer as much as possible without sexually transmitted infections (STIs).
So why not have the clarifying conversation about STIs alongside a negative Covid 19 antigen test? The stigmatization of STIs, which makes open conversations difficult, ultimately leads to their spread and increases the risk of infection.
We know that sometimes it's easier to talk about sex than STIs. But just as it's important to talk about preferences and consent in bed, it's also important to talk about STIs. So be prepared, talk openly about your boundaries, your needs, and safer sex. Keep in mind the lifestyle and sex life of the person you are talking to. These conversations can also be practiced with trusted partners or friends to become more confident in communication.
A question like "You don't have an STD, do you?" doesn't make you feel relaxed or confident. It will be sexy, however, if you know about transmission routes and prevention options and can have a factual and relaxed conversation.
Most STIs are transmitted through unprotected anal, oral, or vaginal sex. It is also possible to become infected through shared sex toys. Many STIs are asymptomatic, and only regular testing provides clarity.
Especially on vacation, we often let the reins looser. A few well-prepared phrases can help to get through the summer healthy and sexually fulfilled:
"Syphilis, gonorrhea, and HIV were negative."
"Before things get really wild, let's talk briefly about how we protect ourselves from STIs."
"I am HIV positive, but on my current therapy, the virus is not transmissible."
At the end of the day, there's only one thing that will bring 100% clarity to your sexual health: testing. So it's best to get tested for the most common STIs before and after a wild summer.