STIs such as genital warts, pubic lice and herpes can be passed on through non-penetrative body contact.
- If you are sexually active get a full STI screen regularly.
- Get tested before having sex with someone new and ask them to do the same
- Use a condom with new sexual partners for all vaginal, anal and oral sex. Have an STI screen before having sex without a condom.
- Never feel pressured into having sex. If it doesn’t feel right or you feel uncomfortable about the situation, it’s ok to say ‘No’
Condoms are the best way of protecting against getting an STI.
Make sure any condoms you use have either a BSI Kite Mark or CE Mark. This means they have been tested and meet the British or EU Quality Standard. Check the expiry date and that the condom packet isn’t damaged.
- have condoms (and lubricant if required) nearby before sexual arousal
- open sealed packet carefully avoiding use of nails and teeth
- remove from packet and check for direction of unrolling
- pinch teat and place on tip of erect penis
- still holding teat, roll down full length of penis
- use water based lubricant when needed
- withdraw after ejaculation and before loss of erection, holding the base of the condom to prevent it slipping off
- remove used condom away from partner to avoid spills
- tie condom in knot, wrap in tissue and put in bin – not down toilet
- never reuse condoms. Use a new one if erection is lost then regained
- never use more than one condom at a time
- condoms should always be stored in a cool dry place
Always make sure you use a water-based lubricant, anything that’s oil based including Vaseline, baby oil or creams can damage the condom making it more likely to split
Do not share sex toys. If you do share them ensure that vibrators / dildos are covered with a condom before use and the condom is changed before use with another person. They should be washed with warm soapy water, rinsed and dried thoroughly between uses.
Drugs and alcohol
Alcohol, drugs or meeting someone you find attractive can affect your judgement, remember to keep yourself safer by using condoms.
Never accept a drink from a stranger and don’t leave your drink unattended. Consider this risk in advance of a situation where alcohol or drugs might be involved. You may then be able to make plans to reduce your risk.