[Question #3843] I plan to be sexually active again, what are all the important precaution steps?

34 months ago
so i had experience with STDs before (chlamydia and gonorrhea), and then I got 'cured' by antibiotics. Ever since then, i have never had any sexual experience anymore except masturbation. Tomorrow I plan to be sexually active again but I am still paranoid about everything. I know people keep saying "just use condom and get regularly tested for STDs" but I want to know all the specifics from the real expert. not just general advice.

- chlamydia & gonorrhea - as far as I know, condom (including fellatio) should be very effective against chlamydia and gonorrhea. and assuming I got one, a normal dosage of doxycycline should be able to help (unless if the bactery is resistant), correct?
- HIV - same with chlamydia & gonorrhea. I assume proper use of condom should be super effective. again, i know it's not 100%, but should be super effective, right?
- HPV & herpes - both of them are viruses and I know condom doesnt protect them as good as condom does against chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV. but i have been vaccinated for HPV so I think (at least) i have 'ok' protection against hpv. not sure about herpes though. what should I do to prevent HSV infection?
- syphilis - this is probably my biggest concern because I know condom doesn't protect myself that well against syphillis. what is the best precaution advice you can give me? and assuming I have syphilis, can I/the doctor cure the disease with penicillin? what are the alternatives to penicillin?

I dont know what else should be my concern. I think some fungi infection? is it possible to get fungi infection from sexual activities with a woman? Thank you.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
34 months ago
Welcome to the Forum and thank you for your commitment to safe sex.  I'll be happy to provide some comments.  You are correct that condoms are the most effective means of preventing acquisition of STIs, including HIV.  they should be worn from the beginning of sexual activity throughout the sexual encounter.  Condoms rarely break (about 1% of the time) and when they do, it is obvious that they have broken- they break wide open.  there is no need to test them after sex by filling them with water.

The other important point to me to make for you however is that most people, even high risk partners do not have STIs   Even when persons have sex with an infected sex partner, even most exposures to infected partners do not lead to infection.  Thus between using a condom correctly and consistently and with the rarity of infections, your risk for acquisition of infection is low. 

Regarding syphilis, while condoms do not protect 100%, they are highly effective and greatly reduce risk for infection.  Further, compared to other STIs like gonorrhea of chlamydia, syphilis is rare.  I would not worry as long as you follow your plan to practice safe sex.

Finally, should you acquire an STI, they re no STIs that cannot be treated. 

I hope this information is reassuring.  If there are further specific questions, please feel free to use your up to two follow-up questions to ask.  Take care.  EWH
34 months ago
ok thanks a lot. can I cure syphillis with penicilin or it will require the same type of antibiotics with gonorrhea and chlamydia (which is doxycycline)?
34 months ago
sorry for another reply. i have two followup questions (instead of just one like in my previous reply):

1. can I cure syphillis with penicilin or it will require the same type of antibiotics with gonorrhea and chlamydia (which is doxycycline)?
2. you mentioned i need to use condom properly from start to finish but how about french kiss? what are the risks?