You can take steps to avoid getting gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis. These safeguards also help protect against other STDs:

  • Use a condom. Both male and female condoms are sold over-the-counter in drug stores. They help protect against STDs.
  • Limit your sexual partners. The more sexual partners you have over a lifetime, the higher your risk of getting STDs.
  • Know your partner. Ask about your partner’s sexual history. Ask whether he or she has had STDs. Even if your partner has no symptoms, he or she still may be infected.
  • Avoid contact with any sores on the genitals.