Medical professionals always recommend taking steps to reduce your risk of getting an STD. For instance, using protection every time you take part in sexual activity, including oral sex, can reduce the risk. Another step you may be able to take toward prevention is to get a vaccine. We currently have vaccines for specific STDs and more are being studied that could change the way we handle STDs in the future. One of these is skin vaccinations that could potentially help in the prevention of an infection. Keep reading if you’re interested in learning more about this potential scientific advancement.

Which STDs Can Currently Be Vaccinated Against?

At the moment, the medical industry can provide vaccines for hepatitis A and B as well as human papillomavirus (HPV), so these can provide protection to help reduce the risk of getting an STD infection. The hepatitis A vaccine is administered in the form of two shots six months apart, which is a course of action that offers long-term protection. For hepatitis B, you are given three to four shots over a period of six months, at which point you have at least 90 percent protection against the infection. There is also a combination hepatitis A and B vaccine available, which includes three doses over a period of six months. The HPV vaccine is given by shot, and the dosage schedule depends on your age when getting it.

Research on New Vaccines

The world of STD vaccinations is expanding as more research is done on the subject. For example, scientists are working on developing vaccines for herpes simplex virus and HIV. Also, one new study, which was published in Nature Communications, found that skin vaccinations could provide vaccination against STDs.

An overview of the study explained that researchers have found it challenging to come up with STD vaccinations in the past because they weren’t sure how to get certain immune cells known as CD8 T-cells to be in position in the right part of the body to prevent an infection from taking place upon exposure. This new research found a way to achieve this goal through a skin vaccination technique that uses a dissolvable patch instead of a needle injection. This method encouraged the CD8 T-cells to go to genital tissues at the right time to potentially prevent an infection from starting. The researchers need to perform more research to confirm the results, but they found these initial results promising. It’s possible that this patch technique could prove effective at vaccinating against a variety of STD types.

This new research is promising as a way to help us better handle STDs in the future. At the moment, you can reduce your risk by practicing safe sex practices at all times. You also have a lower risk by following certain lifestyle practices such as having fewer sexual partners and not sharing needles. Also, STD testing can help you know whether you were exposed to an STD and developed an infection. If so, treatment is available that can help.