What is Safe Sex?

Safe sex means doing things that will reduce your risk of getting a sexually transmitted infection, or an unplanned pregnancy and where you and your sexual partner feel safe and comfortable.

Safe sex means using condoms and water based lubricants as well as a range of other things you can do during sex to help reduce the risk of catching or passing on STIs or HIV.

Why have safe sex?

Safe sex is the best way of protecting you and your sexual partners from STIs, including HIV.

Remember that you can have an STI and not show any symptoms, but still pass them on to
other people.

There are very good reasons why sexually active people need to practise safe sex including the following:

  • You can’t tell whether someone has an STI based on how they look, dress, behave or who they have slept with.

  • Practising safe sex provides you with peace of mind.

  • Thinking ‘it won’t happen to me’ provides no protection.

  • Some STIs are quite common and using condoms will
    reduce the risk of infection.

  • People with HIV or STIs often don’t know they are infected.

  • STIs and HIV exist in all countries and cultures and can affect anyone.

  • Condom and water-based lubricants prevent HIV transmission.

  • Safe sex protects you from unintended pregnancies.

Female condoms

The female condom is an alternative to the male condom as an effective barrier to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) during vaginal and anal sex.

Female condoms:

  • are designed to fit all women and is suitable for women of all ages.

  • can be used during menstruation.

  • are made of polyurethane, not latex, and is pre-lubricated with a silicone based lubricant. People who are allergic to the latex used in male condoms or to the ingredients in water-based lubricants can use it. Oil based lubricant also can be used with the female condom.

  • can be inserted well in advance of sexual penetration if preferred.

  • conduct heat, so sex can feel more sensitive.

  • can’t be used with the male condom because this can cause the female condom to move out of place or the male condom to slip off.

This information has been taken from www.couldihaveit.com.au


Safe oral sex

Oral sex is less risky when it comes to getting or transmitting an infection, but some STIs can still be passed on through oral sex. To be as safe as possible:

  • use condoms (try flavoured ones) for oral sex involving the penis.

  • use dental dams for oral-vaginal and oral-anal sex.

  • don’t get semen or blood in your mouth.

  • avoid oral sex when you have mouth ulcers, bleeding gums or cold sores.

  • don’t brush your teeth immediately before oral sex.


Using dental dams

A dental dam (or oral dam) is a very thin, rectangular, "satin-like" piece of latex. It gets its name from the protective shield dentists use during oral surgery.

Dental dams will reduce the risk of transmission of many sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, but are not 100% effective.

While the thought of using a sheet of latex during oral sex may seem strange, dental dams are easy to use and don't decrease sensation during oral sex.

Other ways to prevent STIs and HIV are:

  • To not have sex.

  • To have sex with only one partner (and for your partner to only have sex with you) and;

  • Both undertake a sexual health check-up including a HIV test early in the relationship to ensure neither of you has HIV or any STIs.










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Why practise safe sex?

There are really good reasons why sexually active people should practise safe sex:

  • You can’t tell whether someone has an STI based on how they look

  • STIs are common

  • Just because you don’t have symptoms doesn’t mean that you don’t have an STI

Want to know more about condoms, STIs or
safe sex
? Check out the links page for more information.

Why use condoms?

Condoms are the best way to protect yourself and your partner from HIV, chlamydia and many other STIs. Find out more.

What does testing involve?

The type of test or tests you have will depend on the type of sexual activity you have been involved in and what symptoms you have. It's important to remember that you can have and STI and not have any symptoms at all. Find out more.