Learn ways to protect yourself and your family from Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs).
Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) are some of the most common infections in the world. There are at least 20 different types of STIs, including the human papillomavirus (HPV), chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes and HIV/AIDS.
You can be exposed to an STI any time you have sexual contact that involves the genitals, mouth (oral), or rectum (anal). It’s always easier to prevent an STI than to treat or cure an existing infection.
Safe sex practices may include:
• teenagers delaying sexual activity until they are physically and emotionally mature;
• keeping up to date with your immunizations;
• using a new condom every time you have vaginal, anal or oral sex; and
• watching for symptoms that you may have contracted an STI.
In addition, there is specific information for STI prevention at different ages or stages of life.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) may be spread from a pregnant woman to her baby before or during delivery, or during breastfeeding. Certain STIs may cause serious long-term problems or disabilities, or even threaten the life of your baby.
It's especially important that you practice safer sex during pregnancy. You should also be tested for STIs; an STI test can find an infection so you don't spread the infection to your newborn.
Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be spread to your baby during pregnancy, delivery, or breastfeeding. Certain STIs may cause serious long-term problems or disabilities, or even threaten the life of your baby.
It's especially important that you practice safer sex during pregnancy and be tested for STIs. If a test shows an infection, you can take steps to prevent passing it to your baby.
The best time to begin the discussion about sex and sexual health is when your child is in elementary school. The more you can give guidance, the better prepared your child will be to make responsible decisions in the future.
BC has a school-based immunization program for human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually-transmitted virus that can cause cancer. Currently, the program provides HPV vaccination to girls from grade 6. It's also available to boys who are at greater risk of contracting HPV.
Starting September 2017, all grade 6 students in BC – both female and male – will be offered HPV vaccination for free as part of the regular school-based immunization program.
Almost half of all STIs occur in people younger than 25. Sexually active teenagers and young adults are often more likely to have unprotected sex and have multiple partners. This increases the risk. Biological changes during the teen years also increase their risk of contracting an STI.
The best way for parents to protect their children is to talk to them about sex and sexual health before they become sexually active. Teens and young adults can take responsibility for their own sexual health by learning more about STI prevention, including practising safer sex.
Getting the appropriate immunizations is part of practising safer sex. BC has a school-based immunization program for human papillomavirus (HPV), a sexually-transmitted virus that can cause cancer. However, some teens and young adults may not have received the vaccine. If you haven't received the vaccine (or you can't remember), it's a good idea to find out if you are eligible to receive it.
Routine sexual health screening is recommended for all sexually active adults. How frequently you should get screened depends on your sexual activity, including the number of partners you have. Speak with a sexual health clinician to determine how often you should be tested, and how you can reduce the changes of getting an STI.
It's best to get immunized against HPV (human papillomavirus) before becoming sexually active; however, people who are sexually active may still benefit from vaccination.
If you haven't received the vaccine (or you can't remember), it's a good idea to find out if you are eligible to receive it.