Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Chlamydia is affecting our community greatly especially in 15-24 year olds. It is at a 50% infection rate with approx. 75% no symptom rate. Testing for STD’s is easy and quick. Most can be tested for with a simple urine sample and many can be cleared by a simple dose of medication. It is important to remember that most people do not have symptoms of STD’s but approximately 1 in 4 people have one. If STD’s are left untreated they can cause more serious problems such as infertility and pelvic inflammitory disease. The best way to know if you have an STD is to GET TESTED. Partcipating in risk reduction such as condoms, lube, testing, monogamy, and more can greatly reduce your risk. Remember that condoms only protect some parts. Some STD’s such as genital warts (HPV), and herpes (HSV) can be passed from skin to skin contact.

Sex & Safety


  • When you HAVE to do it & there is NO protection… ORAL sex is best!
  • Oral Sex poses a very reduced level of risk for transmitting HIV & Hepatitis.
  • Barebacking & being the “bottom” poses the greatest risk!
  • Remember: Other STD’s are of equal risk no matter what you do when sharing skin time & fluids.
  • It is the micro tears that happen in the rectum so easily that cause the increase in the spread of viruses & bacteria. You can greatly reduce your risk by using lots of lube. But remember lube alone does NOT prevent the spread of infections.
  • Know your partner, Negotiate safety, Know your limits & have a “way out”, Communicate!
  • When there is no protection… there is… mutual masturbation!
  • Cleanliness is key! When feces and friction mix, tears are more likely to happen. And whether you are top or bottom, cleaning afterwards is a reduction in risk.
  • If you are on the DL… you can get confidential, non-judgemental information from the staff at HRS anytime!


  • Think Outside “The Box”
  • Lube it up! The Wetter the Better!
  • Remember that lube does NOT protect from infections by itself BUT if it is all you have it can protect you from the tears that matter.
  • Know your status & your partners status.
  • Foreplay CAN include talking.
  • Mutual masturbation poses almost no risk at all.
  • Think about where you ejatulate… you can prevent a lot of infections by cumming outside the body.
  • Remember that PRE-cum can also pass infections.
  • If there is NO protection, ORAL sex can save your life.
  • Anal is the most risky, Vaginal is 2nd, and Oral sex is a GREAT option.


  • Vaginal fluids can pass HIV and other STD’s.
  • Moving one persons fluids to the next person can pass viruses & bacteria, even yeast infections & bacterial vaginosis.
  • Any toy that is anatomically the same as a penis can be used with a condom.
  • Use your own toys.
  • Clean toys thoroughly. Warm, soapy water works for some toys. Silicone can be boiled.
  • Clean toys or apply new condom in between each partner.
  • Also clean or apply new condom when switching from one body part to another.
  • ORAL sex is a safer option when no protection is available.
  • Open cuts on fingers, hands, or feet should not be exposed to vaginal fluids or anus.
  • It is very easy to get a bacterial infection in the vagina from the butt.
  • When fisting use LOTS of LUBE and TAKE YOUR TIME! Also latex gloves are an option for safety.

Injection Drugs

  • Use a NEW syringe EVVERYTIME.

  • One syringe, One use.

  • Cap your used syringe and place it in a biohazard container.

  • Use syringe exchange programs.

  • If you have to share, be the FIRST to use.

  • GET TESTED for HIV and Hepatitis C.

  • GET VACCINATED for Hepatitis A & B.

  • Clean the spot you are going to fix before your shoot.

  • Get abscess care right away when one appears.

  • Do not pick your abscess.

  • Use your own injection materials such as cotton, cookers, ties, and surface. All materials including
    the surface you use can be a way for infections to be spread.

  • Get a phonebook, open it to a random page and use it as your surface.

  • Wash your hands before and after fixing.

  • Know your community and have someone in it trained to deal with overdoses.

  • To avoid infection from dirty dope, decontaminate your black tar.

  • Remember that Hepatitis C can live and be spread in blood for up to 4 days.

Hepatitis C (HCV)

Hepatitis C is hugely prevailent in injection drug users. It is passed through blood to blood
contact. Hep C can live and be transmitted through blood for up to 4 days even if the blood has
dried up. Getting tested for Hep C is the only way to know your status. There are treatments for
Hep C that have cleared some people of the disease. The best way to stay clear of Hep C is to NOT
share injecting materials including syringes, cotton, cookers, ties, & surface. Also posing a risk
for Hep C is unsafe cutting, branding, piercing, tattoos, and BDSM.

Body Modification & Self Injury

  • 3 Biggest Concerns: HIV, Hepatitis, & Staph

  • HIV can be passed if needles are used on more than one person.

  • Hepatitis C & Staph can be passed through needles, INK, jewelry, & surfaces.

  • Cover your new tattoo & follow after care instructions.

  • Make it your job to check your artist for use of new needles and gloves!

  • Your artist should keep their area of work disinfected and use new protective coverings on surfaces.

  • If you cut or puncture too deep, call 911.

  • Additional risks specific to Blood Fetishes/Play:

    • the transfer of blood from person to person poses a very high risk of transmission of
      viruses & bacteria

    • choosing monogamous blood donors & sex partners can greatly reduce your risk

    • human bites pose a great risk for infection due to the bacteria in our mouths (consider using
      sterilized tools such as lancets, syringes, or razors instead)

    • the Jugular Vein on the side of the throat is very dangerous due to the amount of blood carried
      directly to the heart from the brain

    • use NEW tools & KNOW your partner

  • if self-injury is something you want to stop or you feel you need help with, then speak to your doctor or counselor right away or call HRS to find out where you can get help.

Bondage, Discipline, Dominance & Submission (BDSM)

BDSM is derived from the terms bondage & discipline, dominance & submission, and sadism & masochism. BDSM
describes a variety of activities and relationships. While not always sexual in nature, BDSM almost always
eroticized by the participants in some fashion.

  • Know ahead how far you want to go

  • Negotiate safety, including risks related to HIV, Hepatitis C, and other STD’s

  • Know your SAFE WORD

  • BDSM toys present different levels of risk. Know what you are playing with and know the right way
    to disinfect them.

  • Condoms are a great way to preserve your toys and your body!

  • General cleanliness is a factor.

  • Moving objects from the anus into the vagina can cause bacterial infections.

  • Needles are only safe when used on ONE person. They pose the greatest risk if shared.

  • One toy, One person!

  • Plugs, gags, cutting blades, etc. should be disinfected between each person. These pose a great
    risk if shared without cleaning.

  • Ropes, cuffs, floggers, paddles present a lower risk but it is still possible that small traces
    of body fluids may be left behind.

  • Get vaccinated for Hepatitis A & B

  • Find out what the proper cleaning method is for your toys. Different materials respond
    differently to disinfectants. When using disinfectants rinse toy thoroughly before inserting
    into any part of the body. Disinfecting is NOT 100% and nothing is as valuable as knowing your
    partner and their history.