For anyone, choosing to be sexually active means you are at risk for STDs. However, there are many things you can do to protect your health. You can learn about how STDs are spread and how you can reduce your risk of getting infected.
Get Vaccinated: Gay and bisexual men are at greater risk for hepatitis A and B, and human papillomavirus (HPV). For this reason, CDC recommends that you get vaccinated against hepatitis A and B. The HPV vaccine is also recommended for men up to age 26.
Be Safer: Getting tested regularly and getting vaccinated are both important. There are other things you can also do to reduce your risk for STDs:
- Get to know someone before having sex with them. Talk honestly about STDs and get tested—before you have sex.
- Use a condom correctly and use one every time you have sex.
- Think twice about mixing alcohol and/or recreational drugs with sex. For example, when you’re drunk or high, you’re more likely to make decisions that put you at risk for an STD, such as having sex without using a condom. Limit your number of sex partners. You can lower your risk for STDs if you only have sex with one person who only has sex with you.
Know Your Status: If you know your STD status, you can take steps to protect yourself and your partners.