Safe sex practices reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs). STIs are infectious conditions transmitted through sexual activity. Some of the STIs can be easily treated but unfortunately there is no cure for many of them, and these incurable STIs tend to be the most common and longest lasting. Some, for example HIV and Hepatitis B, can have serious health consequences.
The risk of catching the more serious STIs can be minimised by:
- Avoid having sexual intercourse or genital contact
- Use condoms and water-based lubricant or dental dams every time you have sexual intercourse or oral sex
- Minimise the number of different partners you have sex with, and practice safe sex every time
- If using intravenous drugs, ensure you do not share injecting equipment
- Have Hepatitis A and B vaccination
Condoms, used properly, are the most effective means of reducing the transmission of semen or vaginal fluids from one person to another, but will only protect you against infection if you use them every time you have sex. Condoms are available from supermarkets, chemists, condom vending machines, health services and family planning clinics. For information about how to use condom refer to the website.
For information about the most common sexually transmissible infections (STIs) in Australia, refer to the following website Sexually Transmitted Infections.
You can protect yourself or your partner from falling pregnant unintentionally by taking precautions and using contraception that suits your lifestyle and situations. In Australia there are many Contraception choices that you can consider, and discuss your options with your local doctor.
Discovering you are pregnant can present many feelings; it may be unexpected, exciting or daunting. Find information about your Pregnancy Options and Pregnancy support at the websites provided.
Family Planning Australia has organisations all over Australia that provide a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services that focus on prevention, early intervention, diagnosis, treatment, and community education. For more information about services in your state, visit Family Planning Australia.