Skip to Content
Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Safer Sex
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are spread by
sexual contact involving the genitals, mouth, or rectum, and can also be spread
from a pregnant woman to her fetus before or during delivery. STIs, which
affect both men and women, are a worldwide public health concern.
Although most STIs can be cured, some cannot, including
HIV (which causes
genital herpes, and
human papillomavirus (HPV), which can cause
STIs can be spread by
people who don't know they are infected. Always use protection every time you
have sex, including oral sex, until you are sure you and your partner are not
infected with an STI.
If you are in a relationship, delay having
sex until you are physically and emotionally prepared, have agreed to only have
sex with each other, and have both been tested for STIs.
sexual contact (abstinence), including intercourse and oral sex, is the only
certain way to prevent an infection.
before you have sex with someone. Even though a sex partner doesn't have
symptoms of an STI, he or she may still be infected.
ask someone before having sex include:
Some STIs, such as HIV, can
take up to 6 months before they can be detected in the blood. Genital herpes
and the human papillomavirus (HPV) can be spread when symptoms are not present.
Even if you and your partner have been tested, use condoms for all sex until
you and your partner haven't had sex with another person for 6 months. Then get
For more information see: Sexually Transmitted Infections.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerPeter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
Current as ofMay 27, 2016
Current as of:
May 27, 2016
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine & Peter Shalit, MD, PhD - Internal Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.
Send Us Your Feedback
North Kansas City Hospital