The more you understand about sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) the less your risks will be of getting an STD, whether you are a casual dater or even in a monogamous relationship. Here is basic information about STDs that you want to know in order to best protect yourself.
Abstinence until testing is important
There are many types of STDs and there are different ways in which they can be spread. Learning the different ways in which the different STDs are spread will arm you with the knowledge you need to best protect yourself. You do want to keep in mind that you don't know whether or not a partner has an STD unless they have been tested and proven to be negative recently. Therefore, you are going to want to be sure to protect yourself from all types of STDs, which can best be done by not having intercourse until your partner is tested.
How STDs are spread
STDs, such as HIV, gonorrhea, syphilis, and trichomoniasis, are spread through sexual intercourse. The exchange of bodily fluids is what causes the STD to be transmitted from one person to another. There are other STDs that can be spread by way of skin-to-skin contact. A couple of examples of this type of STD is genital warts and crabs. Also, understand that you often won't be able to tell that a person has genital warts by looking at their genitals. Therefore, you can end up catching genital warts from someone who does not currently have visible warts on their genitalia or near that area.
How you will know if you have an STD
The scary part of STDs is you can often have one and you will not even know. In fact, with some STDs you can have it and spread it to your partner while you never have any signs or symptoms. Then, there are other STDs that will become quite obvious that you have them, such as crabs.
With STDs such as HIV, you can go a long time without symptoms and this means you can spread the illness to a lot of people between the time you are infected and the time you learn you have it. This is why it is so important for you to be sure that you are getting regular STD testing when you have multiple partners. Even if you only have one partner, you should still have an annual exam since many people are shocked to learn their partners have been unfaithful which can lead to them giving you an STD.
If you suspect you have been exposed, you need to seek testing and STD treatment immediately.