Facts /
Condoms

Using a condom is an effective way of reducing the risk of HIV transmission and of many other types of STIs. Condoms give you the freedom to have great sex with anyone you fancy, regardless of whether or not you live with HIV. Some may choose not to use a condom in a relationship, while others might feel it’s an interruption in a steamy situation. However, a condom is a good way of showing that you take care of yourself and  that you respect the people you have sex with. What do you personally think is good about using a condom? GENERALLY Condoms come in different sizes, fits, flavors and materials. Try different brands, sizes and materials and see what feels best for you.  Lubrication makes anal sex much more comfortable. Remember only to use a water or silicone-based lubricant with a condom. Condoms aren’t only for penises, they also fit a wide variety of toys for safer sex there as well. Remember to change condoms if more than one person is being fucked by the same penis or dildo. Always bring your own condoms in a variety of sizes when you meet a buyer. Do not reply on the buyer in this case. Then you know that the condoms are “fresh” (look at the back for expiry date) and undamaged. If you keep condoms in your wallet, replace them every month or if the protective wrapping is damaged. Also, if you are the bottom, make sure that the buyer keeps the condom on the […]

 

Facts /
Lubrication

  No matter if you have anal or vaginal sex, lubrication usually makes the sex more comfortable. It’s reducing the risk of minor wounds and injuries on the mucous membranes inside the ass or vagina. Lube can, of course be used for other types of sex as well. Silicon-based lube also makes an excellent massage oil. Cremes that contain fat (such as ointments, skin lotions, massage oils and other oils), weaken latex condoms and can make them break easily. Instead, it’s better to use either a water or silicon-based lubricant if you’re using a condom. Water-based lubricants are thick and may dry out after a while, so you’ll need to apply more as needed. Silicon-based lubes are thinner, don’t dry out and last a long time, even if you don’t use a lot. Both can be washed off with soap and water, even though silicon lubes are slightly harder to rinse off. If you prefer to use oil based cremes you can always use plastic condoms, they are not usually avaliable in regular stores so you might have to order them online. You can buy lube at the pharmacy, online and at some supermarkets. Sex shops and condom shops generally have a bigger selection. Feel your way and try out different kinds of lube, and see what’s best for you.

 

Facts /
The Femidom

  Femidom is a trademarked brand, but is used as a general term for the female condom, or receiver’s condom. The partner on the receiving end inserts it, rather than the person doing the penetration. Femidoms are either made of latex or plastic. In some ways they look quite similar to regular condoms. The femidom has an outer ring that prevents it from slipping into the the vagina or rectum. Some also have a softer inner ring that holds it in place inside the body. Inserting a femidom takes a bit of practice, whether you’re inserting it by hand or threading it over the penis or dildo and carefully “penetrate” it into place. If you’re using a femidom with an inner ring, you may need to assist with your hands. A femidom can be used in either the anally or in the vagina. It is an effective way of reducing the risk of HIV or STI transmission. The femidom is an excellent alternative to a regular condom, and gives the receiver a chance to take control of their body and the degree of safe sex. A femidom can be inserted in advance, which is great if you’re cruising, for example. Never have sex with both a condom and a femidom as they can chafe each other and break. Use plenty of lube, both when inserting it and inside the femidom itself. This will increase both your comfort and your safety!

 

Facts /
Syphilis

  Syphilis is an infection caused by a bacterium called Trepomena pallidum. Syphilis used to be a very common STI, but it became increasingly rare during the 20th century. The infection has, however, increased in recent years among men who have sex with men. Syphilis is still widespread in other parts of the world. SYMPTOMS Syphilis does not have any symptoms to begin with, so you could have the infection without realizing. Visible symptoms arise in the form of small painless sores on or near the genitals, anus or mouth and/or a rash, fever, nausea and tiredness. The sores heal in four to eight weeks. The sores could, however, be so small that they can’t be seen. When the sores heal, the bacteria remain in the body, which means there is a risk of passing the infection on to others. You may also experience a skin rash at a later stage. Seven to 10 weeks after the first sores you may get new symptoms; fever and swollen lymphatic glands are common symptoms. However, there are not always symptoms, or they are so mild that they go unnoticed. These first two phases are called early-stage syphilis, and during this time there is a high risk of passing the infection on to others during sexual contact. If syphilis goes untreated it gradually enters a phase called late-stage syphilis, and this is when the infection can cause damage to the heart and brain, for example. Treatment may prevent further damage, but any damage that’s already been done is permanent. […]

 

Facts /
Herpes

There are two different kinds of herpes: Oral herpes and genital herpes. Herpes is a viral infection and both variants are very common in Sweden. It’s estimated that between 70 and 80 % of the Swedish population has or has had oral herpes. 30-40 % have antibodies against genital herpes. HOW IS HERPES PASSED ON? If you have the virus in your body, there is a risk of passing it on. This risk increases, however, if you have visible symptoms. Oral herpes is easily transferred by kissing and oral sex between lips, the anus and the genitals, for example. Genital herpes is also easily spread between the genitals. So it is possible to have oral herpes in the mouth, around the genitals and in and around the anus. The genital herpes variant can only occur in the genitals. SYMPTOMS Most people don’t have any symptoms of either genital or oral herpes when they catch it. The symptoms of genital herpes appear later and first show as redness on the penis, scrotum, in and around the vagina, and on the butt cheeks and rectum. Blisters appear with the redness, and they can be painful or itchy. When the blisters burst they create sores that can feel tender or hurt. Headache and high fever are other symptoms. Oral herpes usually appears first around the mouth, but it can be passed on to the genitals and create similar symptoms there. Since herpes is caused by a virus it cannot be cured, instead the person has to live with […]

 

Facts /
Hepatitis

  Hepatitis is caused by a virus that attacks the liver and causes inflammation. There are various viruses that cause different types of hepatitis (Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E and G). The most common forms are Hepatitis A, B and C. Hepatitis often, but not always, leads to symptoms such as headaches and flu-like symptoms, tiredness and aching in the body. Loss of appetite and vomiting are other possible symptoms. The skin and eye whites become jaundiced (yellow). Hepatitis C, however, is an exception, see below. But not everyone has symptoms, which means that people can live with hepatitis without realizing it. It is therefore a good idea to get tested regularly, particularly if you’ve exposed yourself to potential infection. It also shows consideration for others as you can avoid passing the virus on to someone else. Most forms of hepatitis clear up by themselves, but sometimes a chronic variant of the infection can develop. People with a chronic hepatitis infection can still live a more or less normal life. The risk of infection should, however be taken into account. Also, alcohol should be avoided since it damages the liver. Hepatitis is classified as a danger to public health in Sweden’s Communicable Diseases Act, which means that if tests show you have hepatitis you must carry out an infection trace, also known as a partner trace. In order to find others who may have hepatitis, you’ll be asked who you’ve had sex with recently. It may feel a bit strange, but it’s a good […]

 

Facts /
Gonorrhea

  Gonorrhea is an infection caused by bacteria, and it can be found in the penis, vagina, anus and throat. Not everyone who has gonorrhea has visible or perceptible symptoms, but if there are symptoms they often appear within a few days of infection. Left untreated gonorrhea can lead to infections in the epididymis and Fallopian tubes, which in turn can lead to infertility. The infection can also result in difficulties in childbirth, and the bacterium can cause severe arthritis. Gonorrhea is far more commonplace abroad than in Sweden, and some areas have problems with resistant bacteria that are more difficult to treat. If you have had sexual contact abroad, it may therefore be a good idea to get tested when you return to Sweden. HOW DO YOU GET GONORRHEA? Gonorrhea is transmitted through various forms of sexual contact. The bacterium is transmitted through mucus membrane contact, for example during oral, vaginal and anal sex, but can also be spread via fingers or by sharing sex toys. Condoms are the most effective protection against transmitting gonorrhea during sexual contact, but the bacteria spreads very easily. The infection can also be transmitted to children during pregnancy and childbirth. SYMPTOMS In cases where there are symptoms, they come in the form of inflammation in the urethra, throat, vagina and/or rectum. It may be painful to pee, and there may also be discharge from the urethra. Gonorrhea does not, however, always have symptoms which means people could be carrying the infection without realizing. If the throat is infected […]

 

Facts /
Condyloma

  Condyloma, also known as genital warts, is an infection caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV). Generally, the incubation period for condyloma is 2-3 months from transmission, but it can be much longer. So you could be living with condyloma without realizing it. SYMPTOMS The virus causes warts which may appear on the penis, foreskin and edge of the glans (the helmet), on the labia and around the vagina, on the cervix, and in and around the anus. The warts may also occur in the urethra. Condyloma can be hard to detect, partly because the warts are skin colored and partly because they can be small and flat. Condyloma has no other symptoms than warts. Not everyone, however, gets warts from condyloma, which means people can have it without being aware of it. Therefore, it’s a good idea to get checked for condyloma regularly at a clinic. There are HPV viruses that don’t produce visible warts but can lead to changes in the cervix and eventually to cervical cancer. The links between HPV and oral and rectal cancer are currently being studied. HOW IS CONDYLOMA PASSED ON? Condyloma is transmitted via anal and vaginal sex. There is really no foolproof way of protecting yourself against condyloma,as the warts can be in places not covered by a condom, for example. TREATMENT There are several different ways of treating condyloma. The most common is an acid solution which you brush on for three days and which chemically removes the warts. This can be repeated if necessary. […]

 

Facts /
Chlamydia

Chlamydia is the most common sexually transmitted infection in Sweden, and it’s caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The infection can spread quite rapidly through unprotected sex. Since 1997 the number of cases of chlamydia has increased steadily. Looking at the population as a whole, the largest increase is in the age group 15-29 years. HOW IS CHLAMYDIA PASSED ON? Chlamydia is passed on through most types of sexual contact including oral sex, vaginal sex and anal sex. The infection can also be transmitted by fingers and sex toys. The incubation time for the infection is short – from around 24 hours to a couple of weeks. The incubation time is the period between your exposure to the bacteria or virus and when the infections break out. SYMPTOMS People often don’t realize they have chlamydia because the infection doesn’t always have symptoms. When chlamydia does produce symptoms it’s in the form of burning in the urethra when peeing, and discharge from the urethra, vagina or anus and a general feeling of being unwell. If you have these symptoms, they generally appear a couple of weeks after catching the infection. Since people often don’t realize they have chlamydia, it’s important to get tested regularly to monitor your health. Whether or not you get symptoms, untreated chlamydia can cause joint pains, as well as epididymis and prostate inflammation. Untreated chlamydia can lead to salpingitis (inflammation of the Fallopian tubes) and epididymitis which in turn can lead to infertility and problems in connection with pregnancy. Therefore, it’s a good […]

 

Facts /
HIV/AIDS

  HIV is an infection that can be, among other ways, transmitted during sex, and also by a variety of sexual practices. It is classified as a chronic infection because there is currently no cure. There are medications that reduce the amount of virus in the body and the course of the infection, and which prevent the person living with HIV from developing what we call AIDS. The treatment is usually called antiretroviral drugs, ARVs, antiretroviral treatment, or HAART which stands for Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy. The HIV virus attacks cells in the body’s immune system by weakening or shutting down the functions that regulate the body’s defense against different infections, and against tumor cells. The virus enters the cells and fuses with the existing gene pool. The HIV infection develops slowly, and even if you have caught HIV you can still feel well for a long time before the virus’s effects on the immune system start to show. Even if the infection has not been detected, the virus can still be transmitted to others. The amount of HIV virus in the blood varies from person to person and over time. The immune system may initially restrain the HIV virus, and the amount of virus is therefore kept at a relatively constant level. Since the virus attacks cells in the immune system, however, the system grows weaker over time. This leads to the person living with HIV becoming more sensitive to other infections. An untreated HIV infection means that the within around 5-12 years the […]

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