This is a general overview on sexual health, we encourage consultations with professionals on the matter.
To date the internet is not a reliable tool for diagnosis.
P.S.This page is ideally viewed on a desktop.
Sensible Decisions: Most SAIs (Sexually Acquired infections) can be easily avoided by making sensible decisions such as having clear communication with sexual partner/s & choosing safer sex practices.
Aqusition vs Transmissions: One should primarily approach sexual infections as something that is acquired rather than transmitted. It is key that everyone protects himself and his partner/s. One should primarily protect Him/Her/oneself as this is the best form of protection for oneself and possibly others.
Test, Test & Test!: Early detection & treatment are key to stop further transmissions, health complications, acquisition of other infections and better health management. 9/10 new SAIs (Sexually Acquired infections) are acquired through people who are unaware that they are infected.
Life goes on... Medical advances have made it possible to live a healthy life with normal life expectancy. If you happen to test positive for any SAI know that SAIs can be easily treated or managed.... but first test to know your status.
Because there are no symptoms, it does not mean that all is well and good.
Some SAI symptoms take up to one year to materialise.
If you are being sexually active play safe and test regularly for free at the GU Clinic.
Although less risky than anal sex, SAIs (sexually acquired infections) can be transmitted through oral sex, even if no cum is ejaculated.
Eating/swallowing Cum is not a safe practice, both cum and pre-cum can transmit SAIs.
Many SAIs do not show any symptoms for a long time, nonetheless damage is being done.
A new strain of Gonorrhea called "Super Gonorrhea" is on the rise and and so far it is not curable.
HIV is easily managed with medication and nowadays is considered as a chronic condition like diabetes. One can lead a healthy life with normal life expectancy, However HIV medication still has it's side effects.
Everyone is prone to temptation so consider adhering to safer sex practices even when in a monogamous relationship.
Condoms are the safest choice (all rounder) to prevent acquiring SAIs.
Never floss or brush your teeth before or after oral sex. Flossing or brushing your teeth can irritate your gums or create small cuts that might increase your exposure to an infection. Contrary to popular belief, rushing to clean your mouth after oral sex will increase the chances for contracting an STD
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. The condition can be self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis (scarring), cirrhosis or liver cancer.
One can protect against Hepatitis type A & B by vaccination.
Vaccination can be obtained for FREE from the Floriana Health Centre Tel 21243314 or from your General Practitioner (GP, against payment).
There is no vaccine for Hepatitis C and It is easily transmitted via sharing of needles and contact with blood contaminated objects eg: razors, toothbrush etc.
Effective treatment is available in Malta for ALL types of Hepatitis.
Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PREP) is a way to decrease the possibility of HIV infection by taking anti HIV medication. if used correctly it can be up to 99% effective to prevent HIV transmission. It is very important that Prep is to be used in conjuction with condoms as it does not prevent other SAIs.
Use purposely designed sex toys. Ideally sex toys should not be shared, if shared they should be thoroughly cleaned. Consider using a condom on dildos, butt plugs etc (when possible)
The GU (Genito-Urinary) Clinic at Mater Dei Hospital offers free, confidential and anonymous testing and guidance on sexual health.
for an appointment.
Pubic Lice are a nuisance that one can easily acquire. The infestation is very easily treated by an off the counter body wash available in pharmacies.
Thorough cleaning of bed linen, towels etc is required to avoid re-infestation.
TIP: If suspecting a pubic lice infestation one can easily spot pubic lice by wearing white underwear.
9 out of 10 of new SAIs (Sexually Acquired infections) are acquired from people who are unaware that they are infected.
Its important to test regularly, know your status and make sensible decisions.
Put the condom on before starting intercourse. (Unbelievably surveys results show up to 51% of respondents put the condom on half way through intercourse)
Remove any air trapped at the tip of the condom and leave some space for sperm, failing to do so may break the condom.
Use appropriate condom (size and type). Not too small nor too large, if you are engaging in anal sex use extra safe condoms.
Flavoured condoms may be used for oral sex, Although its safer than anal sex, oral sex can still transmit SAIs.
Make sure that the condom is not worn inside out, if you realise you put it on inside out, take it off and replace it as it might have been contaminated by precum.
Carry spare condoms.
Put Condom on your penis tip and glide it down, gently unrolling it on your penis shaft.
Use water based sex Lubricants (LUBE), other LUBEs weaken condoms making them more likely to break.
Make sure that the condom is of good quality, a CE mark or BSI mark are good indications.
DO NOT use Expired condoms, (Yes, condoms have an Expiry Date & it is there for a reason)
DO NOT Put the condom on half way through intercourse, it can be too late.
DO NOT unroll or stretch the condom, prior to putting it on.
DO NOT tear open condom packet with sharp objects/handle condom with nails, this could damage the condom.
DO NOT Re-use the condom... It's not re-useable nor recyclable, there are other ways to save the planet.
DO NOT put in Wallets &/or Glove Compartments, they are not suitable to store condoms in. Wallets get beaten and the Glove Compartment gets too hot.
IF you had a condom break and believe that you have put yourself at risk, head immediately to the Hospital Emergency and ask for PEP* (Post Exposure Prophylaxis) treatment. There is no shame in being sexually active or asking for help.
*Currently there is a charge for this treatment
SEXUAL HEALTH RESOURCES
Mater Dei Hospital
Or contact your GP
National Gay Helpline (Malta)