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ENGLISH Sexual Health

ENGLISH Sexual Health TAKING CHARGE OF YOUR (SEXUAL) HEALTH The days are shorter and we find more time for cozy togetherness. There is enough time to think about your own well-being and how to get through the winter as healthy as possible. But what about taking care of your sexual health? Sexual health is not only understood as the absence of sexually transmitted infections, it includes holistic well-being in and with one‘s own sexuality as well. After all, good sex also strengthens the immune system. So, nobody should have to miss out on enjoying a healthy sex life, especially right now. Unfortunately, even the best sex can sometimes bring some less-than-desirable surprises. The good thing is: With just a few steps and suggestions, you can take good care of your sexual health. 1. QUESTION YOUR PREJUDICES AND NEEDS In order to appropriately manage sexual health, everyone must be able to feel comfortable and secure with their sexuality and sex life. Taking care of our body and health openly and proudly has become part of our everyday life: We take nutritional supplements, go to the gym and get medical check-ups, meditate for better concentration and mental health, or switch to an anti-inflammatory diet. As critically and devoted as we look to our physical well-being, we often neglect our sexual health with shame. Sometimes we lack awareness of this part of our lives and often our own preferences and attitudes get in the way of taking care of this matter. An active and healthy life also includes sex. How or with how many partners you shape your sex life does not say anything about your sexual health. 2. KNOW YOUR RISK Being and staying sexually healthy does not mean abstinence or monogamy, but rather taking responsibility for yourself and others. Not all sex is equally risky, but suitable protection can be found for every risk, for example with regular STD screenings. Confidential advice on sexually transmitted infections can be obtained from certain checkpoints or HIV-AIDS counseling services. They can provide individual risk assessments in a discreet and uncomplicated manner. Often there are misunderstandings about the ways of transmission and symptoms of the most common sexually transmitted diseases. So, we may live with pathogens inside us that we can pass on without even knowing it. For example, every year thousands of women in Germany are exposed to the risk of infertility due to undetected and untreated chlamydial infections - and men are often undetected carriers. 3. TAKE RESPONSIBILITY Being aware of your own sexual behavior and regular testing for sexually transmitted infections are ultimately comparable to the German AHA rules for coping with the corona pandemic. That is: Abstand, Hygiene, Alltagsmaske (Distance, Hygiene, Face mask). In both cases it is not just about your own health and lifestyle, but about staying healthy in a responsible manner and out of solidarity. Regular tests for the most common sexually transmitted infections (HIV, chlamydia, syphilis, gonorrhea) can be carried out discreetly and easily without visiting a doctor. With the s.a.m. health service, not only can the samples be taken easily and conveniently at home, the results are received via SMS after a few days. As soon as the next test is due, you’ll receive a reminder via SMS. 4. TAKE PRIDE IN YOUR SEXUAL HEALTH As in all matters of health and well-being, self-determination and discretion are paramount. The offer from s.a.m health was designed on this basis. A confident approach to one‘s own sexual health can not only improve your personal wellbeing, but also help your partner/s to become more secure. The people you enjoy your sex life with should care about both your health and their own. It may seem strange or a „mood killer“, but an open and non judgemental conversation on the topic ultimately makes for better sex. s.a.m health is a joint project between the Deutsche AIDS-Hilfe, AIDS-Hilfe Munich, Labor Lademannbogen and ViiV Healthcare. s.a.m health was developed with and for the community: The users love the simplicity, discretion and professionalism of the offer. Your first test kit will be sent to you in the mail in just a few steps. More information at www. samhealth.de With the kind support of ViiV Healthcare 96 CHECK | AUSGABE 3

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blu, hinnerk, gab, rik, Leo – die Magazine der blu Mediengruppe erscheinen monatlich in den Metropolen Deutschlands. Die nationale Reichweite der Magazine ermöglicht den reisefreudigen Lesern Zugriff auf alle Informationen immer und überall. Themenschwerpunkte sind neben der regionalen queeren Szene, Kultur, Wellness, Design, Mode und Reise. Unsere Titel sind mit der lokalen Community jahrzehntelang gewachsen und eng verbunden, was durch Medienpartnerschaften mit den CSD-Paraden in Hamburg, Berlin, München und Frankfurt sowie zahlreiche Kooperationen, wie der Christmas Avenue in Köln, seinen Ausdruck findet.