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STI - SEKSUEEL OORDRAAGBARE INFEKSIES
STI - SEKSUEEL OORDRAAGBARE INFEKSIES
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STI - SEKSUEEL OORDRAAGBARE INFEKSIES

Youth

Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are more common than most people think and are spread through sexual behaviors with someone who already has an STI through semen, vaginal fluid and some front skin-to-skin contact during sexual activity.

To avoid STIs it’s important to use barrier methods like condoms and dental dams to prevent the spread of infections.

Getting tested regularly is super important if a person is having oral, anal or vaginal sex or engaging in genital-to-genital rubbing with a partner. Lots of STIs do not have symptoms but can cause serious health problems if they aren’t treated. Testing involves a simple blood test, urine test, swab or pap smear and be done at most doctors offices and clinics.

Parents

STIs are infections that can be spread from one person to another through sexual contact—from sexual touching (genital-to-genital contact) to any kind of sexual intercourse (oral, anal or penile-vaginal).

There are many different STIs.  Many people also believe that they will know when they have an STD, when in reality most people who have an STI do not experience any symptoms.

It is common for young people to hear many myths about STIs, so educating them about this topic is very important. There is also a lot of stigma around having an STI, even though it is quite common to have one at some point in one’s life.

Talking to your children about STI transmission and prevention should start hopefully before young people begin engaging in sexual behaviors with a partner. While it is good to help young people understand that STIs are relatively common, it is also important to be clear with young people about how STIs can affect them and why it is important to practice safe sex and to be tested regularly.

Before young people begin engaging in sexual behaviors, they should know how they can reduce the risk of contracting an STI by decreasing their number of sexual partners, getting tested before sexual activity, and properly and consistently using latex barriers, like condoms, female (internal) condoms and dental dams.

It’s also very helpful for young people to know how to get tested, if they think they might have an STI. STI testing and treatment is offered by most GPs and at many clinics and community health centres. STI testing can involve either a urine test, a simple blood test or a swab taken vis a pap smear. Young people should also understand that many STIs can be treated with medicines provided by a doctor, but there are some STIs that cannot be cured.

Talking about STIs with the young people in your life lets them know that they are not alone and that they can come to their parents or guardians when they have questions or need support.

CONVERSATION STARTERS

If you start essential conversations about topics like STIs with your children, then they will know they can come to you with questions. The easiest way to start these conversations is to talk about issues as they arise in everyday life while you are doing things like watching TV together. Symptoms, testing and condoms may not just come up in conversation, but it is important to talk about these issues. Below are some ways to start these conversations:

Educators

The initials HIV and the acronym AIDS are often used together leading people to believe they are the same thing when in reality they are different. HIV is the virus that can cause AIDS, and AIDS is the illness that can occur later when the immune system is no longer able to fight off infections like it is supposed to. HIV can be transmitted from one infected person to another through certain sexual behaviors. Despite many myths that exist, the truth is that not all bodily fluids transmit HIV. The bodily fluids that can transmit HIV are semen, vaginal fluid, blood and breast milk.

When someone first gets infected with HIV they usually do not show any symptoms. This is why getting tested regularly is important. If someone is tested and they do have HIV there are many medications that can help treat the symptoms of HIV and allow someone to live a healthy, symptom-free life for many years.

It is common for young people to hear many myths about HIV, so having a trusted adult in their lives that they can talk to about this topic is important. There is also a lot of stigma around having HIV, so it is essential to provide young people with medically accurate and age-appropriate information on this topic.

It important for caring adults to talk with young people about HIV transmission and prevention, before they begin engaging in sexual behaviors with a partner. While it is good to normalize HIV and STIs, it is also important to be clear with young people about how HIV and STIs can affect them and why it is important to practice safer sex.

Before young people begin engaging in sexual behaviors, they should know how they can reduce the risk of contracting HIV by decreasing their number of sexual partners, getting tested before sexual activity and properly and consistently using latex barriers, like condoms, female (internal) condoms and dental dams. Research shows that young people whose parents talked to them about condoms before they began having sex are more likely to use condoms at first intercourse and thereafter.

It’s also very helpful for young people to know how to get tested once they begin having sex. HIV and other STD testing and treatment is offered through your family doctor or at most family planning clinics and community health centers. Home testing kits are now available in most major pharmacies as well. HIV testing involves a simple blood test. Young people should understand that HIV can be treated with medicines provided by a doctor, but there is no cure for HIV.

Educating young people about HIV lets them know that they are not alone and they can ask questions or seek help when they need it.