Teens: Reduce Your Risk for STDs

The only sure way to prevent STDs (sexually transmitted diseases) is abstinence (not having any kind of sex). But if you do decide to have sex, take steps to protect yourself. Get to know your partner. Ask them if they’ve ever had an STD or been tested. And always use latex condoms during sex.

Is this the right time?

Having sex is a personal choice. It’s not about what your friends or partner think. It’s about what you feel is right. So it’s OK to say now’s not the time. Choosing abstinence gives you more time to learn about your partner. No matter what you decide, don’t let alcohol or drugs cloud the issue. They can lead you to make decisions about sex that you later regret.

Always use a latex condom

If you have sex, always use a latex condom. It’s the best way to prevent STDs. Males and females of any age can buy them. Most condoms are made for men. But there are also condoms for women. Be sure to get condoms that say they protect against STDs. And use a new condom each time you have sex.

The right way to use condoms for a male


Male putting condom on penis

Male putting condom on penis

Vaseline and lotion bottle with x across. Tube of lubricant

Male removing condom


Squeeze air from the condom tip as it goes over the head of the penis. This leaves room to catch semen.


Keep holding the tip with one hand. Use your other hand to roll the condom down over the penis.


If needed, use water-based lubricants like K-Y Jelly or Astroglide. Oily stuff like Vaseline can break condoms.


After sex, hold the condom at the base of the penis. Then carefully pull out of your partner.