We are doing our best to reduce the number of STDs – such as chlamydia and gonorrhea – in the Netherlands. That is the main reason that SoaStudentArts was founded: by making accessible and anonymous SOA testing possible, we try to detect infections faster and reduce their spread. But what is of course at least as important to achieve that goal, is simply the prevention of STDs!
Why prevent STDs?
An STD can have unpleasant consequences. You can get complaints (such as itching, inflammation or blisters), but in some cases you can also become infertile or even get cancer (fortunately both of these are very rare). In addition, some STDs cannot be cured and you have to take medication for the rest of your life, as is the case with HIV. It is therefore important to have safe sex, so that you and your bed partner have less chance of contracting or spreading an STD.
STDs are transmitted through contact with mucous membranes, blood, semen and vaginal fluid. The most well-known and in principle the best way to prevent an STD is to use a condom during sex. Did you know that only 40% of young people in the Netherlands use a condom during a one-night stand? So, as far as we're concerned, there's room for improvement. We recommend that you always carry condoms with you and keep them close at home so that you are well prepared. You can also use condoms for blowjobs, eating pussy and anal licking (and with the latter two options, you can cut the condom open and place it between your mouth and the vagina or anus).
It is also possible to have safe sex without using a condom, if you and a regular sex partner (ie both without changing sex partners) do not have an STD. So leave you both testing for STDs before having sex without a condom. In that case, anal sex without a condom is also safe. Of course, keep in mind contraception if you decide to have sex without protection.
HPV, Hepatitis B and HIV
HPV and Hepatitis B are STDs for which you can get vaccinated (in some cases free of charge). For hepatitis B, this is possible free of charge at the GGD for sex workers and men who have sex with men, among others. Although the chances are small, hepatitis B can make you very ill, so we recommend a vaccination if you are eligible. HPV is a virus and usually not dangerous, but some types can cause cancer. Young people aged 9 to 26 can get a free vaccination at the GGD.
HIV is an STD that is treatable but not curable. You can prevent HIV by taking the HIV inhibitors PrEP and PEP, among other things. If you have HIV, it is important that you are treated with HIV inhibitors to prevent you from getting AIDS and so that the amount of virus in your blood is so low that it is no longer measurable and you cannot pass it on. to others.
With our tests we currently focus on the most common STDs: chlamydia and gonorrhea. For more information about HPV, hepatitis B, HIV and the prevention of STDs, we recommend that you: this page of Soa Aids Nederland, or contact your GP.