Safe sex

From ArticleWorld

The term, safe sex, represents a diverse set of sexual practices that are designed to reduce the risk of spreading or contracting a sexually-transmitted disease (STD). The concept of safe sex has become prominent since the 1980s, when the epidemic of AIDS became an international crisis.


Safe sex has been taught to a greater degree in the last 20 years, not only in an attempt to decrease the risk of contracting AIDS, but because the incidence of STDs of all types has been showing an increase. The sexual transfer of conditions such as genital herpes, venereal warts, chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C are all minimized through the use of safe sex practices.


Safe sex involves more than just using a condom. Other safe sex practices include sexual abstinence, either completely avoiding sex or avoiding sex during times when there is a known infection in either partner. Limiting sex to just two individuals with barrier protection (as opposed to group activities) will reduce the risk of disease transmission. Practicing monogamy with a partner known to be free of STDs further reduces one’s risk.

Barrier protection includes penile condoms, female condoms that are inserted into the vagina and dental dams, which prevent oral to genital transmission of disease. All of these reduce but do not completely eliminate the risk of contracting an STD.

Other practices, such as the use of a spermicide, having the man “pull out” early, known as coitus interruptus, or using any other topically-applied agent are ineffective in preventing the transmission of sexually-transmitted diseases and should not be used as such.