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Decide which method of protection is best for you.

Currently there are two main methods for preventing STIs. These methods, addressed in this activity are:

  • not having sexual intercourse/genital contact (abstinence)
  • preventing the exchange of body fluids (vaginal, semen or blood) through the use of barriers such as dental dams or condoms every time you have sex.

You can also explain to the youth that there are ways to avoid getting HPV as well as ways to behave responsibly within a monogamous relationship. These methods include:

  • getting the HPV vaccine for young women
  • getting mutual testing and treatment for STI within a monogamous relationship

The first step in protecting yourself from an STI is to decide which of the first two methods is best for you and why. One way to do that is to write down the two methods and list all the reasons why each method might be the best one for you at this time.

This activity can be done individually with each person writing answers in two columns on a sheet of paper. To help youth think through what would be best for them, ask them to finish the following sentences with as many reasons as they can generate and record them on their paper:

  • "Not having sex is the best way for me to prevent getting an STI because......."

  • Some possible reasons for not having sex as a way to prevent getting an STI might include: 1) I'm not ready to have sex yet, 2) I've promised my family I would wait until I'm older, 3) I'm not serious about anyone right now, etc.
  • "Using condoms or dental dams is the best way for me to prevent an STI because......."

  • Some possible reasons for using a condom or a dental dam as a way to prevent STI might include: 1) I am having sex and don't want to get an STI, 2) condoms give good protection against STIs, HIV and pregnancy, 3) having sex in a responsible, safe way is being grown up.

After youth have listed as many reasons for each sentence as they can think of, have them review each list and decide which list has the most important reasons on it for them. (They can do this on their own or in partners.) State that their choice will be the best way to protect themselves. Encourage youth to make a decision to act on that choice. Knowing the reasons for one's choice will make it easier to stick with it

Content created and supplied by: Buhle16 (via Opera News )



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