Sexually transmitted infections (STI’s) are diseases that you can get from having sex. You might also be familiar with the older term ‘sexually transmitted diseases’ (STD). Chlamydia and HIV are examples of infections that can be transmitted through sex. Most STI’s can be cured. Getting treated with medications will help you get rid of them. HIV is one STI that cannot be cured, although it can be treated. By suppressing the virus with medications, you can remain healthy with HIV. Men who have sex with men run a higher risk of contracting HIV /STI, therefore this information focuses on them. Of course women can get tested as well. The website below gives information in English to men who have sex with men: mantotman.nl
Prevention of STI’s
Condoms are the best protection against STIs and HIV. Condoms come in a variety of types and sizes. You can buy them in many different stores. You can also get vaccinated against a number of STIs. Did you run the risk of getting HIV, for example because the condom broke or because you didn’t use one? In that case, a treatment can protect you from becoming infected with HIV, as long as you start it on time (preferably within two hours and definitely no more than 72 hours after having run the risk of getting HIV). Please contact GZA for any questions about (sexual) health.
If you are HIV negative and you have sex without a condom (“bare”), you run a risk of getting HIV. Some men who do not use condoms, apply strategies by which they try to reduce their risk of infection with HIV. Some strategies do not reduce the risk but may even increase it (e.g. having “bare” sex with others who are HIV negative). Some other strategies may reduce the risk somewhat (e.g. viral load sorting). None of the strategies are watertight: you still run a risk of getting HIV. They also involve a major risk in terms of other STIs.
If you think you might have been infected with HIV, or an STI you can get tested at a testing centre. It is extremely important to get tested as soon as possible. Keep your sex life healthy by getting tested regularly. If you are staying at a COA reception location and want to be tested, please contact GZA. If you are not staying at a COA reception location, this website shows where men can get tested. Women are advised to contact their general practitioner.