Living our life means taking risks. Everybody takes risk. We take risks when we cross the street. But we can manage this risk by looking both ways before crossing. It is important to have the right information to decide what level of risk we are comfortable with at any given moment. Comfort levels are not static, they can change over time and over circumstances.
If you are sexually active, the best way to make sure you don’t get an STBBI is to practice safer sex. Some sexual activities pose greater risk of STBBI infection than others. For most common STBBIs, vaginal and anal sex carry the highest risk. You can educate yourself about the risks associated with various sexual activities to make informed choices about what kind of sex you want to have, and how to protect yourself and your sexual partner(s).
Check out the chart below for more information on relative risk of transmission.
STI Risk Awareness Chart
This chart assesses the risk for the transmission of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when condoms or barriers are not used. Using condoms for anal and vaginal sex and condoms and dental dams for oral sex reduce but do not completely eliminate the risk of contracting an STI.
- High Risk = HR
- Some Risk = SR
- Theoretical Risk* = TR
- No Risk = NR
*Note: Theoretical risk means that in theory a person could contract a given STI through a particular activity but no one has been reported as contracting the STI through that activity. Theoretical risk activities are considered low risk.
|STI||ANAL SEX||VAGINAL SEX||GIVING ORAL SEX||GETTING ORAL SEX||DEEP (FRENCH) KISSING||MUTUAL MASTURBATION (without exchanging body fluids)||HUGGING, DRY KISSING, MASSAGE, SELF MASTURBATION|
|Genital Warts||HR||HR||SR (low)||SR (low)||SR||NR|
|Herpes||HR||HR||HR||HR||SR||SR||NR (except kissing in contact with infected area)|
|Vaginitis (yeast infection, bacterial vaginosis, trichomoniasis)||N/A||HR||N/A||NR||N/A||NR||NR|
|Mucopurulent Cervicitis (women)||N/A||HR||N/A||NR||N/A||NR||NR|
|Non-Gonococcal Urethritis (men)||HR||HR||N/A||NR||N/A||NR||NR|
|Lice and Scabies||HR||HR||SR||SR||NR||SR||NR (except massage)|
What is SRH Week?
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