Sexuality is one of the most important aspects of human beings, as it is related to the well-being and happiness of people.
However, it is essential to know how to do this responsibly and safely, so as to avoid consequences that affect physical and emotional health.
Access to quality information about sexuality and reproduction, including preventive measures and knowledge about the risks of abstaining from sexual activity condom (such as STIs or unwanted pregnancies), are a fundamental factor in making good decisions, living a healthy sex life, and enjoying sexuality in the best possible way.
There are currently about 30 viruses and bacteria that are spread through sexual contact, including syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes, HIV, and human papillomavirus (HPV).
It is estimated that, every day, more than one million people contract a sexually transmitted infection, most of which are asymptomatic.
Under this scenario, within the framework of World Sexual Health Month, GSK shares some data on preventive measures to lead a responsible sex life and avoid sexually transmitted infections.
What measures exist for responsible and safe sexual health?
Condoms are the main way to protect yourself from STIs, as they are one of the most effective methods as long as they are used correctly and consistently, especially in cases of occasional sex.
Both male and female condoms are 98% effective and prevent transmission of not only HIV but other STIs as well.
Additionally, in case of any suspicion of having been infected with an STI or engaging in risky sex, it is important to implement early diagnosis strategies and timely visit a doctor and get all relevant tests done.
If the tests show a positive result for any STI, the person should start their treatment in time to stay in control and take care of their own well-being and that of their partner or other people with whom they have had sex. bonding and thus reduce the risk of infection transmission.
Last but not least, any sexual relationship should be about consent, freedom of choice, and respect for one’s own and the other person’s dignity.
What is Combination Prevention?
With respect to HIV, combined prevention is the path outlined by UNAIDS to reduce new cases of the disease, through a range of actions and prevention programmes.
For this program to work, there must be a balance between diagnostic methods such as HIV testing, condom delivery, antiretrovirals as pre- or post-exposure prophylaxis.
Likewise, rights must be guaranteed to avoid discrimination and/or violence against the use of sexuality.
Access to sexuality education and risk counseling is also essential. The combination of these factors promotes the healthy practice of sexuality.
In addition to this, there are other preventive measures under this scheme that must be kept in mind:
PrEP – Pre-exposure prophylaxis
These are drugs (injections or pills) that reduce the chance of transmitting the HIV virus through sexual intercourse.
When taken as directed, PrEP medications are highly effective at preventing HIV infection.
PEP – Post Exposure Prophylaxis
With this measure, after possible exposure to HIV it is possible to take medicine to prevent it.
It is important to seek treatment within 72 hours of potentially risky sex.
voluntary male circumcision
Male circumcision is a surgery that reduces the risk of sexual transmission of HIV by about 60%.
However, according to WHO, it is only one element of a comprehensive HIV prevention package.
“This Sexual Health Month, we want people to be more aware of the risks of becoming infected with STIs and the importance of having a healthy sex life. Prevention will always be the best strategy”, assures Luis Mendoza, HIV Medical Manager, GSK Colombia.
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