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How are STDs prevented The most certain ways to avoid contacting an STD are abstaining from sexual relations including vaginal oral or anal sex or having sex with only one partner-someone who only has sex with you Also keep in mind that some STDs such as HIVAIDS can be spread through the sharing of intravenous drug needles In general your risk of acquiring an STD increases with the number of people with whom you have sex However even if you are having sex with only one person your risk increases if he or she has sex with other people something which you may or may not know Keep in mind too that some people who know they have an STD wont tell you If you or your partner are having sex with more than one person or if you are unsure of your partners sexual history the following steps can reduce your risk of getting STDs Use condoms correctly every time you have vaginal oral and anal sex Latex condoms offer the best protection against HIV which is a small enough virus to penetrate other condoms Spermicides used in birth control foam cream or jelly can kill certain STDs They can offer some extra protection if used along with condoms If you use a lubricant along with a latex condom make sure its water-based such as K-Y Jelly Oil-based lubricants such as Vaseline damage latex If you have more than one sexual partner make sure you are examined for STDs by your health care provider several times per year even if you have no symptoms Sexually transmitted diseases STDs once called venereal diseases are among the most common infectious diseases in the US today More than 20 STDs have now been identified and they affect more than 13 million men and women in the United States each year Facts about STDs 1STDs affect men and women of all backgrounds and economic levels They are
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