Avoiding STD’s – Tips for Travellers

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When you’re travelling you’re likely to meet new people, and for many people (particularly younger people on a party holiday) these new relationships can become physical. Though the large majority of the encounters you have with strangers while on the road don’t end up in the bedroom, it’s important to take precautions for those that do. With around 20% of travellers admitting they’ve had casual sex with a new partner while abroad, taking steps to avoid STD’s is extremely important.

Don’t Take Chances

STD’s are fairly common and statistics say the majority of sexually active adults would have been at risk of contracting an STD at some point in their lives. But many people aren’t upfront about the disease they may be carrying, while many are simply unaware they are infected. Some STD’s have no physical symptoms, so it’s easily done.

Mistakes are Unavoidable

It doesn’t matter how careful you are, there would be times when you would go against your own judgement. Condoms are still the most effective and reliable prevention against STD’s (other than abstinence), however they are not 100 percent fool proof. There is a chance of a condom breaking even when properly used. So bear in mind that this could happen to you, and always make sure it’s on and intact during and after intercourse.  If protection fails, get a test for STD, even if there are no apparent symptoms.

Get Educated

STD’s can spread via all unprotected sexual contact. Thanks to poor quality sex education in some parts of the world, people are generally scared of STD’s while not knowing what the condition actually is and how it really spreads.

STD’s spread through all bodily fluid contact (except through saliva). The fluids include sperm, pre-ejaculate fluids, and blood. To be entirely careful about avoiding and STD, you must refrain from almost all types of contact entailing bodily fluids. This includes anal sex, vaginal sex, oral sex, and every other sexual activity where you may be in contact with the aforementioned fluids.

Not All STD’s are Incurable

While many sexually active people would have been exposed to an STI/STD during their lifetime, many have never been tested.  The lack of physical symptoms can lead to the assumption that they are not infected. If you’re sexually active it’s worth being tested fairly regularly, as if caught early most conditions can be treated quickly and easily.

STD’s vary across geographies. In Latin America, chlamydia is the number one bacterial infection, followed by syphilis. In America and Europe, chlamydia is extremely common too. Genital herpes and gonorrhoea come next in line. HPV, HSV and HIV are the only incurable STD varieties.

Chlamydia diagnosis can be done using simple tests. The doctor would typically take the man’s urethra and woman’s cervix sample using a swab. The specimen would be then forwarded to the lab for analysis. Urine samples may also be taken. In case the chlamydia test is positive, the doctor would prescribe oral antibiotics. The physician would also ask your partner to get treatment to eliminate reinfection chances and a wider spread of the problem. This chlamydia treatment should help clear up the infection in a couple of weeks. The antibiotics dosage course should be completed even if a few days of dosage makes you feel better.

While vacations are ultimately a time to relax and let your hair down, certain precautions are important both at home and abroad. With a little planning you can avoid the majority of the risks involved with a little holiday romance.

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