Safer Sex & STIs
On this episode, Kayla Potts educates us about STIs. She highlights that people often do not display symptoms when they have an STI and recommends testing as the only way to be certain of your status. From Kayla’s experience, she has found that it’s better to specify each individual test you require to your healthcare provider.
When Should You Test for STIs
If you are wondering how often to get tested, Kayla encourages us to test once a year if you have one partner. Multiple partners moves you up to 3 to 6 months. In a perfect scenario, she advocates testing before every partner as well. Bringing up testing can be uncomfortable but Kayla shares easy ways to broach the subject.
The Best Timing for STI Testing
In terms of timelines, some STIs may only reflect positive result weeks or months after infection. Kayla urges us to speak to our health providers to get help around the correct timing for best results. While all STIs are worth knowing about, Kayla mentions that there are very comprehensive tests for the serious types and explains the kinds of infections we can encounter.
HPV, Chlamydia and Gonorrhea come up as common STIs. Kayla urges us to be aware of these if you are sexually active and ensure that you are responsible. She discusses the two ways we can contract an STI, namely body fluids or skin to skin contact. She digs deeper into Herpes and how one can contract, identify and prevent it.
Kayla shares in-depth guidance on the use of condoms, dental dams and gloves clearing up a few grey areas including how these should fit. Because of sugars in condoms, she proposes not using flavoured condoms for genital to genital contact and advocates other types instead.
Prevention and Myths
In the conversation around STIs prevention, we learn about vaccines and that the best prevention is abstinence.
With many myths around HIV, Kayla informs that it is not specific to a gender, sexual orientation or a specific sexual act. In addition to this, she flattens any belief that STIs can be passed on via toilet surfaces or air among other common misconceptions.
Kayla Potts is a community outreach educator with Planned Parenthood in Washington state. As an educator, her role includes offering comprehensive, inclusive, and medically-accurate sexual health information to her local community and beyond. Most of her days are spent in the middle. and high school classrooms educating young folks about consent, relationships, birth control methods, STIs, gender, and more.
Kayla has been involved in sexual health education work since volunteering for Planned Parenthood as a high school student. She is particularly passionate about sexual health information that is free of shame and centres pleasure.
Resources and Links