How many of us actually pay attention to our sexual health, when traveling on holiday, or traveling long term? And if you are the sort who travels frequently due to work, doesn’t the occasional indulgence kick in? Whether it is the unattached professional, or the traveler seeking adventure and new kicks, or the backpacker looking for a cool story to tell his/her friends, it is part and parcel of the experience of being abroad.
But while it may be fun to be a wild adventurer, it would be prudent to pay attention to your health especially if you are on long term travels, because the last thing you want to do, is end up in a pickle, so many miles from home, and far from a health care system that you are familiar with. Some South East Asia clinics or hospitals lack the level of healthcare that more affluent countries are blessed with.
For example, every year an estimated three hundred million over episodes of curable sexually transmitted infections occur throughout the world. These are a major cause of infertility, illness and death, and a significant proportion result from international travel. HIV and hepatitis B are more prevalent in some parts of the world than others, but the risk is always there, especially if you are having sex with someone who has multiple partners. The thing is, who actually knows? You could be having sex with the 10,000 though you are only just sleeping with one handsome dude or that one hot chick you met at the bar.
To safe you some tears at a later stage, here are 10 tips for safe sex when on your travels:
If you are unsure, or undecided, flee from the situation. Whether you’re a chick or a dude, get out of there ASAP and don’t look back. Don’t do anything you don’t want to do. Trust me, you will have the last laugh in the morning.
2. The Mighty Condom
A condom is the best protection you can provide yourself. It not only protects you from unwanted pregnancies, but also from STDs , some of which like HIV/AIDS can be deadly. Also, use only one condom at a time, which will more than suffice, and oh, wearing two condoms together is actually totally bollocks .. a myth, so don’t do it.
3. Don’t Do it Wasted
Drug use or alcohol abuse interferes with decision-making, which can lead to date rape, forgetting to use contraceptives or contracting an STDs. The lowering of inhibitions that often accompanies alcohol use might make you think you’ll enjoy sex more, but in fact, for a variety of biochemical reasons, too much alcohol actually makes sex less enjoyable for both men and women.
4. Get Vaccinated
Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that you can get from having sex with someone who has the infection. The causes of STDs are bacteria, parasites and viruses. There are more than 20 types of STDs, including:
Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)
HIV/AIDS & STDs
Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
If you know you’re the sort who just cannot stay away from the action, then get vaccinated for Hepatitis A and B as well as the human papilloma virus (HPV) which causes genital warts and cancer.
5. Use the buddy system
If you go to a party or a bar, go with friends and keep an eye out for each other. Agree that you won’t leave with another person without telling someone. Sometimes a friend’s second opinion, or slap in the face, as I like to call it, could help prevent you from making decisions that you might regret later.
6. Put a condom where your mouth is
Oral sex can lead to HIV infections – especially for the person giving oral sex. The best way to protect yourself is by using a condom. If the idea of all that lubrication on the condom turns you off, a good option for oral sex is a non-lubricated, flavoured one!
7. Carry extra condoms
This is just common sense – in case one breaks or tears while it’s being put on, it’s best to have an extra one around.
8. Super up with Supplements
Traveling long term, and frequent weekends of lust and debauchery will eventually take its toll. Taking supplements can help to boost the immune system and keep you from being susceptible to bacteria and viruses, which could otherwise make you fall ill, easily.
9. Make sexual health a priority
Whether you are having sex or not, both men and women need to have regular check-ups to make sure they are sexually healthy.