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 If you choose to be sexually active, be sure to practice safe sex.

 

Condoms

Use condoms every time you have oral, anal, or vaginal sex. Know where to get condoms and how to use them correctly. Aside from abstinence, condoms are the only contraceptive method that also protects you from sexually transmitted infections.

 

Contraception

Choose a birth control method that works for you and your partner(s).

 

 

Vaccination

Get the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine to protect you and your partner from genital warts and cancer.

 

 

Communication

Talk with your partner(s) about healthy sexuality, including pregnancy prevention, STI testing, and consent. Learn how to build and maintain a healthy relationship.

 

Testing

Get tested regularly for sexually transmitted infections. Many STIs do not cause symptoms, so getting tested is the only way to know for sure if you or your partner have an STI. Make an appointment at the Student Health Center for low-cost STI testing.

 

Sober

Avoid using alcohol or drugs before having sex. If you are impaired, you may be more likely to take risks, like not using a condom. Plus, you are less able to give and receive consent.

Resources:

  • Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: An overview of a various sexual health topics. Start here for data and general facts.  
  • The Center for Young Women’s Health–This page offers specialized information about the sexual health needs of women, including a review of contraception options, guidelines for lesbian sexual health, and details about sexually transmitted diseases and infections.
  • Sexuality and You – A Canadian website that takes a comprehensive look at sexuality.
  • Guttmacher Institute – A wealth of information about sex from one of the premier sexual and reproductive health research and policy institutions in the U.S.
  • Bedsider.org – Provides information on birth control methods, e-mail or text birth control reminders, testimonials and more.
  • Emergency Contraception – Besider.org webpage that provides general information about types of EC and various details 
  • CDC Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention  Frequently asked questions, up to date information, testing resources, hoaxes and rumors.  Exceptional site to get accurate information.
  • Go Ask Alice! – Ask a question or review the questions others have asked. The public health and health promotion professional team at Columbia University provides the most up-to-date information and research on various health topics.