Everyone wants to have sex that is pleasurable, enjoyable and healthy. You also want that, right? Nevertheless, it is important to remember that alongside the pleasure there also needs to be awareness of sexually transmitted diseases and HIV/AIDS. Why? Because there is a close connection between pleasure from sex and the feeling that you are protecting your health. In order to enjoy sex you need to feel comfortable, and in order for you to not be preoccupied with sexually transmitted diseases or HIV during or after sex, you should always use a condom for any sexual contact you may have. “Forever?”, you ask yourself in disappointment, well, no.
Using a condom is very important when you have a new sex partner and/or if you have several partners. It is important to remember that even if none of you have any symptoms of disease, there is still a chance you may infect or be infected with a sexually transmitted disease. Sexually transmitted diseases are very common in the community (like the common cold or flu), and it is easy to become infected. That is why even if you think someone looks “clean” (and we are certain that they shower every day), or nice (and we have no doubt that he is a great guy), or even if you have known him for quite some time – that does not mean that he does not have a sexually transmitted disease.
As great as your partner may be, do not rely on him to bring condoms – always make sure that you have at least one condom in your pocket that is not expired! You are responsible for your own health! It is also recommended that you have a lubricant available. Even though condoms have lubricants on them, it is not always enough and it can cause the condom to tear. For more about condoms and the right way to use them, go here.
You have a steady partner for quite some time and you want to stop using a condom? Great. However, before doing so, you need to first get tested for sexually transmitted diseases and HIV. This way you will be safe from infecting or getting infected. Remember that during the time that you are waiting for results you should continue to practice safe sex. You can be safe and stop using a condom after all the results come back negative (in other words, no sexually transmitted diseases or HIV).
Where can you get tested for sexually transmitted diseases? It can be done at any HMO or at the examination centers.
in addition, you can get tested without having to schedule an appointment in advance in one of the following two examination centers:
The Gay Local Community Center in Gan Meir:
22 Tzernichovsky St., Gan Meir, Tel Aviv
Wednesdays, between 7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Tests performed: gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HIV (including an expedited test for HIV).
All the services are provided free of charge except for the expedited test for HIV
43 Florentine St. (corner of Herzl), Tel Aviv
Sundays between 7:00 PM – 9:30 PM
Tests performed: HIV and expedited tests for HIV. (The expedited test for HIV requires a fee).
In the sex clinics of the Department of Health you can receive personal advice for any question in matters relating to sex, sexuality, having sex, sexually transmitted diseases and contraception, treatment and therapy for venereal diseases. The team and social workers at the Levinsky Center in Tel Aviv are available for you or for your partner on a regular basis or in situations of hardship due to sexual orientation or gender identity, sexual assault, prostitution and ongoing risks for contracting sexually transmitted diseases.
Do you have a steady partner? Do you have several partners? The answer does not matter, what is important is that you have all of the necessary information; it will be easier for you to relax and have fun. Wear a condom and have fun!