Reducing Communicable Disease Risk

Sexually transmitted diseases

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Approximatly 50% of people with penises and 75% of people with vaginas don't show any STD symptoms. Testing is the only way to know for certain if there is a STD present. 

Condoms and dental dams prevent against STDs and pregnancy. Remember to use them for all forms of sex. STDs can be present wherever there is sexual contact.

Tell each other what you’re doing and who you’re doing it with. Talk about the forms of contraception and protection you'd like to use. Discuss when you were tested for STDs and what the results were.

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Vaccines currently exist for HPV and Hepatitis B. The best chance of protection is getting them before you have sex.

Mathematically, fewer partners = less potential exposure.

Kissing, hugging, massage, mutual masturbation etc are all less risky forms of sex.

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PrEP reduces the risk of getting HIV from sex by about 99% when taken as prescribed.

There’s plenty of good reasons to wait. Talk to someone you trust about what’s right for you!

Blood Borne Pathogens

Bloodborne pathogens, such as bacteria and viruses, are present in blood and bodily fluids and can cause disease in humans. The bloodborne pathogens of primary concern are hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV.

Follow standard precautions to help prevent the spread of bloodborne pathogens and other diseases whenever there is a risk of exposure to blood or other body fluids. These precautions require that all blood and other body fluids be treated as if they are infectious. Standard precautions include maintaining personal hygiene and using personal protective equipment (PPE), engineering controls, work practice controls, and proper equipment cleaning and spill cleanup procedures.

Guidelines for Preventing Infection

To prevent infection, follow these guidelines:

  • Avoid contact with blood and other bodily fluids, including using condoms or dental dams during sexual activity
  • If injecting drugs, do not share needles or works
  • Do not participate in at-home or unprofessional tattoos or piercings
  • Use CPR breathing barriers, such as resuscitation masks, when giving ventilation (rescue breaths)
  • Wear disposable gloves whenever providing care, particularly if you may come into contact with blood or bodily fluids. Also wear protective coverings, such as a mask, eye wear and a gown, if blood or other bodily fluids can splash. Cover any cuts, scrapes or sores and remove jewelry, including rings, before wearing disposable gloves.
  • Change gloves before providing care to each different person
  • Remove disposable gloves without contacting the soiled part of the gloves and dispose of them in a proper container

Thoroughly wash your hands and other areas immediately after providing care. Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer where hand-washing facilities are not available if your hands are not visibly soiled. When practical, wash your hands before providing care.

Steps to Reduce the Risk of Exposure

To reduce the risk of exposure, follow these engineering and work practice controls:

  • Use biohazard bags to dispose of contaminated materials, such as used gloves and bandages. Place all soiled clothing in marked plastic bags for disposal or cleaning. Biohazard warning labels are required on any container holding contaminated materials.
  • Use sharps disposal containers to place sharps items, such as needles.

For more information contact us at 307-733-6401 or by e-mail.