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Would you have sex with your partner without using condoms?
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How ready are you?
Written by Meklit G.Michael   

A lot of adolescents know very little about sex and the negative consequences it may have if one is not prepared for it. So many get into it because of peer pressure and others out of curiosity, very little, however, make a conscious effort to be prepared before becoming sexually active. Although many have heard about HIV/AIDS, not many consider to make the appropriate preparations in order to avoid undesirable outcomes. There are certain things adolescents and young adults should consider before starting to have physical intimacies and sex.

The points listed below, although by no means comprehensive, should serve as a starting point for adolescents and young adults to have some level of awareness regarding reproductive health issues:

  1. You need to be tested for STIs as some STIs could be transmitted through the smallest physical intimacy. Of course, couples should also be tested for HIV/AIDS. It’s highly recommended that youngsters visit reproductive health centers or an ObGyn for counseling before becoming sexually active. If this proves impossible then youngsters should do their own research about STIs and other reproductive health issues.
  2. Take preventive measures such as vaccines against STIs. The importance of this should not be diminished as some STIs could be more contagious than HIV/AIDS while being easily preventable through vaccines.
  3. You should ask yourself if you are ready to have sex. Some youngsters may not be ready to go further than kissing and cuddling; if this is your case, then have a conversation with your partner about this. But remember, this may expose you to unwanted sex as things get heated up. This may also make you susceptible to rape by your own partner.
  4. ALWAYS have CONDOMS with you on hand, check for expiration date. This holds for both sexes. Even though you may not consider yourself to be sexually active, it’s enough reason  if you have friends with whom you are intimate or have feelings for. Although abstinence is the best policy, it’s better to be ready, just in case you fall into temptation.
  5. However you may think you have known your partner for a long time, never ever have unprotected sex unless you’re married, even if you both had  been tested some time ago. Who knows, while you may have been faithful, your partner may not have. Remember, one-time unfaithfulness is sufficient for someone to contract HIV.
  6. You should also consider if you can remain faithful to your partner for a long time, especially if you’re young. If this is not possible then you should seriously think about the negative consequences of having multiple sexual partners and the sexual network this may expose you to. Thus, it may be favorable for youngsters to wait a few more years until they are strong enough to bear the responsibilities that come with being sexually active and the emotional repercussions of it.