Body and Soul | Sexual Health: What Do You Know About Sex and You

Body and Soul | Sexual Health: What Do You Know About Sex and You

Published January 8, 2008

Post Oct. 17, 2007 – It only takes a moment of mindless sex to change your life. That’s what Loretta Sweet-Jermott, a Ph.D., RN, and sexual health expert from the University of Pennsylvania, likes to remind young people she talks to in her line of work.

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“One moment of pleasure can affect your life forever,” she says the Philadelphia nursing professor. “So, it’s important to be careful and to be safe when you have sex. If you are going to have sex, don’t behave impulsively. Stop, think, and act responsibly.”

Besides repeating that three-word mantra – stop, think, then act –before considering any sexual act, teens need to consider whether they’re actually ready for sex emotionally as well as physically – have you taken the appropriate precautions to keep yourself safe from sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) such as chlamydia, herpes and AIDS. 

With that in mind, her fist bit of advice is to consider abstinence. After all, she says, “abstinence is the No. 1 way to prevent HIV and other STDs.”

Here other sexual health tips:

Know your sexual health status and the status of your partner – Don’t just take for granted that if a person looks good that he or she is safe. Ask whether he or she has gotten an HIV test, or have any other issues you should know about. Also, get tested yourself.

Don’t mix drugs or alcohol with sex – Substance abuse or intake can cloud your judgment and make you do things you’ll later regret. Also, consider whether your partner has been drinking or drugging in excess. That also can put you in a dangerously compromising position.

If you have questions about sex, ask someone know knows – Don’t go to your peers for sexual advice. Talk to your parents, and if you’re not comfortable with that, consult a medical expert, counselor or adult you trust.

Liking someone doesn’t mean you have to have sex with him or her.

Monogamy is best – Don’t sleep around. The best way to keep safe is to chose one partner and stick with him or her.

ALWAYS use a condom when you have sex. No matter if you use a diaphragm or are on the pill, use a condom EVERY time you have sex to protect yourself from the most deadly sexually transmitted disease, AIDS.

Written by BET-Staff

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