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Sandi Bhutella

For those of you who think that STD is an abbreviation for Studs, Tats and Dreads... you better keep reading.

STD stands for Sexually Transmitted Disease. STI is another common term used to refer to the same thing, and these three letters stand for, nope... not Safety Traffic Inspection, but rather Sexually Transmitted Infection. No matter how you spell it, they amount to the same thing - the spreading of a painful and possibly deadly infection through sexual contact.

Teens can get STD/STIs. I mean, I have to admit, until Oscar started reciting the facts on what can happen when you start having sex, I thought STD/STIs were something that only adults could get. I didn't know the shocking fact that one in four teenagers are infected with STD/STIs. So how do you avoid being a statistic? Get educated by learning the facts.

The best way to avoid an STD/STI is to abstain from any kind of sexual act, which means no skin on skin contact at all. If you do choose to have sexual relations with someone, you need to protect yourself. STD/STIs are transmitted through skin on skin contact or fluid exchange. That means they can be spread through vaginal sex, anal sex, oral sex and even by direct skin on skin touching if an area is infected. To avoid an STD/STI, you must use protection, and even that isn't guaranteed safe.

The place to start your education is by gathering information from respected health professionals. Once you're informed, the next step is to talk to your partner, develop mutual trust and have honest and open communication about any and all sexual experiences. It may feel uncomfortable to begin with, but talking upfront is better than regretting your actions later.

Be smart...be safe.

Want more info? Click here to go to Resources.


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