Protect Yourself

Protect yourself and your partner(s) from HIV and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

You can have sex with little or no risk of passing on or getting HIV. This is called safer sex. Safer sex also helps protect you and your partner(s) from other STIs, such as gonorrhea and syphilis. People can have HIV or other STIs without knowing it because these infections often do not cause symptoms. Also, don’t assume that your partner(s) knows whether they have HIV or any other STI. The only way to know for sure is to be tested. To practice safer sex…

  • Use a latex or polyurethane condom correctly every time you have vaginal or anal sex.
  • Use only water-based or silicone-based lubricants. (Oil-based lubricants can make latex condoms break.)
  • Get tested for STIs regularly. Having an STI increases your risk of getting and passing on HIV.
  • Avoid sharing sex toys, and if you do, cover each one with a new condom before each use. It is also important to clean your toys between vaginal and anal use.
  • Use a condom or dental dam every time you have oral sex.
  • Choose forms of sexual stimulation that pose little or no risk for HIV, like masturbation or a sensual massage.

PARN provides condoms free of charge. You can pick them up at our office at 159 King Street, Suite 302. For more information, call us at 705-749-9110 or email us at getinformed@parn.ca

Protect yourself and the people you do drugs with.

If you use drugs, there are things you can do to protect yourself and use drugs in a safer way. This is called harm reduction. To practice safer drug use…

  • Use a new needle every time you use.
  • Use your own drug equipment (such as pipes, bills, straws, cookers, water, alcohol swabs) every time. Never share equipment, not even with your sex partner.
  • Get new needles and supplies from your local harm reduction program, needle exchange or community health centre.
  • Get tested for HIV and hepatitis C. If you know that you have HIV or hepatitis C, you can take steps to protect yourself and others.

PARN provides free needles and pipes, as well as related equipment, for people who use injection or inhalation drugs that put them at risk of HIV and other blood-borne infections. To find out more about PARN’s Harm Reduction services, please click here.