Birth Control: Do Condoms Prevent STDs?
Are you safe from all sexually transmitted diseases if the male wears a condom? Or do you still need to know his past sexual history before having intercourse?
No to the first question and yes to the second. Condoms make sex *safer* -- they do not make it absolutely safe. They cannot prevent infection 100 percent of the time; sometimes they break, and some infections -- such as genital warts -- can be transmitted if the condom does not completely cover a lesion. The only surefire way to avoid sexually transmitted diseases is to avoid sex. The second best way to decrease the chances of contracting an STD is to use not just a condom, but your brain as well.
Using your brain is the most important step. It is imperative to start with a conversation about past sexual experiences -- yours and his. Here's a list of questions to ask a potential partner before you get naked:
Have you ever had sex before? If yes, how many partners have you had before? In the past year? Right now?
Have you ever had sex without using a condom?
Have you ever had sex with another man? with a prostitute?
Have you ever had any STD? Have any of your other partners ever had an STD?
Have you ever shot up drugs? or had sex with someone who did?
Have you ever had a discharge from your penis? any sores or warts on your penis? a burning feeling when you urinate?
Have you ever had a blood transfusion?
Do you have a tattoo? If so, are you sure brand-new sterile needles were used?
Will you agree to always use a condom if we have sex?
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