So you thought she was beautiful! He was the most handsome man that you’d ever seen. You fall head over heels into a whirlwind romantic relationship. The relationship becomes increasingly intense, your hormones are raging and the two of you decide to have sex. And because you’re “in love” you do not even think about using a condom; a decision that has now put you both at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infection (STIs).
When you enter into a sexual relationship, it is extremely important that you take the time to get to know your sexual partner. Failure to do so may result in dire consequences, like becoming infected with HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.
Before taking your relationship to the sexual level, consider taking the following precautions first to help reduce your likelihood of becoming infected with HIV and/or other STIs.
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Get tested for HIV together. If you and your beloved are serious about taking your relationship to a sexual level, then consider going to get tested for HIV together. More importantly, go back and get your results together. When getting tested for HIV, you may also want to consider getting tested for other STIs. Some STIs, such as chlamydia and gonorrhea are asymptomatic and may go undetected. Additionally, if a person has an STI, he or she is five times more likely to get HIV. While getting tested is great, it should not be your method of prevention. Changing behaviors that put you at risk for HIV, open and honest communication and mutual monogamy should be your goal.