Are you celebrating World Pride in Madrid this summer? Will you hook up at Berghain? Or will you go camping in Norway? For many of us summer and vacation means getting laid. Below we have put together a list with tips on how to best protect yourself and your partners against transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections when you have sex – on your vacation and at home. Have a great summer!
Use a condom and lube when having anal and vaginal intercourse
Condoms are a good protection against transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections. If you have new partners and/or are insecure of your own or your partner’s status, it’s good to use a condom when having anal and vaginal intercourse with a penis.
At RFSL you can complete your vacation luggage by ordering free condoms and lube. Visit RFSL’s Sexperterna page on Facebook and send a PM with your name and address and mark it “Sommarsemester”, and you will get a package with condoms and lube in your mailbox within shortly.
Avoid sperm in the mouth
To avoid sperm in the mouth is a good way to reduce the risk of HIV transmission. If you get sperm in your mouth it’s better to spit it out than to swallow it.
Get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B
If you are a man who have sex with other men, getting vaccinated for hepatits A and B is recommended. After three shots of the vaccine with about seven months between the first and last shot the body has a full protection against hepatitis A and B. Already after two shots of the vaccine, with four weeks between each shot, the body has a one-year long protection against hepatitis A and B. You can also get a vaccine that protects only against hepatitis A or B, respectively. Thus, if you are already vaccinated for hepatitis B, you can get an additional vaccine for hepatitis A. For further information, contact your closest health centre or vaccination clinic.
Get tested regularly
Depending on how many sex partners you have, and what kind of sex you have, it’s good to get tested for sexually transmitted infections regularly – every third, sixth or twelfth month. If you’re unsure of your HIV status, it’s also good to get tested for HIV regularly. To get tested is the only way to find out if you’re living with HIV or another sexually transmitted infection. Sometimes you can have clear symptoms of a sexually transmitted infection, but not always. It’s therefore good to get tested, no matter if you feel any symptoms or not. Having an untreated sexually transmitted infection increases the susceptibility to HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Most sexually transmitted infections are easily treated with antibiotics, but to find out if you are carrying a sexually transmitted infection you need to get tested. To get tested and get treatment for those infections that are covered by the communicable diseases act is free of charge. This goes for HIV, syphilis, chlamydia, gonorrhea and hepatitis.
You find your closest testing facility at www.aidsmap.com/e-atlas.
Read more about testing for HIV and STIs.