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The best ways to reduce your chances of getting an STI

The best way to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) is not to have sex. That may be an acceptable lifestyle choice for some people, but for youngsters who become sexually active, there are steps you can take to reduce your chances of infection.

The best ways to reduce your chances of getting an STI

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Be open with your partners and discuss your sexual health before you enter into an intimate sexual relationship. Ask questions of sexual health professionals and be aware of the tests you can take to learn your status and that of your partner. Information can be found on the NHNHS website.

Limited partners

The fewer partners you have, the less chance there is of catching an STI. However, this is a game of risk, and it may take only one sexual interaction for you to become infected.


If you have had a prior sexual relationship, there is the possibility that you may have an STI. You might be infected without being aware of it as some diseases have no symptoms in the early phase. The best step is to get yourself and your partner tested. See websites such as https://www.checkurself.org.uk for more information. Chlamydia testing kits in London are available from services like https://www.bexleysexualhealth.org/. Kits to test for HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, and hepatitis B and C are also available from the same source.


Condoms are an effective barrier against most STIs if they are used properly every time you have sex. STIs are transmitted through bodily fluids, so the movement of any body fluid onto a mucosal membrane is a potential risk.

Information on vaccines

Vaccines are currently available to protect against some STIs. These include HPV, hepatitis A and hepatitis B. Healthcare professionals should be able to advise you on a vaccination program as a preventative measure.

Minimise alcohol and drug usage

Alcohol and drugs interfere with anyone’s decision-making process, so until you are in a stable relationship, it is best not to mix alcohol with sexual relations. Enjoy yourself, but make a pact with your immediate friends that if you are drinking, you have to stay together and stay safe. It may be difficult to stick to this rule, so if you are single, go easy on the alcohol and stay away from drugs.


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