Preventing STI re-infection

Preventing STI re-infection

A very common mistake that people make is thinking that if you were once infected with a Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI), then you can’t get it again. Some STIs are infections that are easy to treat with antibiotics. However, it’s highly possible to be re-infected with the same STI more than once. Infections like Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, Bacterial vaginosis and Trichomoniasis are the ones that are commonly known to be bacterial and parasitic, meaning that you can be infected with them again if they’re not properly treated. Here’s how to prevent this from happening.

Condoms during foreplay

Vaginal and anal sex usually put you at higher risk of catching a STI when compared to oral sex, but that doesn’t mean that you cannot get infected through oral sex. STIs that you can get from oral sex include Syphilis, Gonorrhoea, and Herpes. Condoms should be standard procedure whenever you have sex, so make sure that you check the expiry date and that the packaging is in good condition.

Read here for a more detailed guide to how to properly use a male condom and here for a female condom. 

STI testing and treatment

Did you know that you can get a free STI screening at your local government clinic? That’s right! You don’t have to pay anything to get tested. All you have to do is go to your nearest clinic and find out which day is reserved for such tests. If you aren’t comfortable with going to a government clinic and you are able to pay for the service, then you can go to your General Practitioner, a private clinic like Marie Stopes, or clinics at selected pharmacies such as Dis-Chem and Clicks.

Delaying treatment puts you at the risk of passing the infection to your partner and possibly causing long-term reproduction problems, such as infertility (not being able to have a baby).

You can read here for more of the effects of an untreated STI.

You can also read here to find out how STIs affect women differently to men.


The best way to prevent an STI (and STI reinfection) is to abstain from sex. Especially when you or your partner are still treating a STI. If you do have sex,  make sure that you use a condom every single time. Also, make sure you don’t have sex with someone who has a rash, sores or a potential STI symptom.

Choma, it’s very important that you take care of yourself and practice safe sex at all times. Should you suspect that you might be infected, it’s recommended that you and your partner get tested and treated at the same time to prevent re-infecting each other. Also, abstaining from sexual activities until the treatment is completed and the doctor has given you the “clear”.

Remember, it’s better to always be safe rather than sorry. Always practice safe sex and use condoms to prevent the possibility of getting infected with an STI.

Remember, if you or a friend need advice or help, you can contact me here on Ask Choma, send me a Facebook Message, a Twitter DM, or a WhatsApp Message (071 172 3657).