Concerns about sexually transmitted infections in the Maritime provinces serve as a reminder to Nova Scotians of the importance of safer sex. “We know some people use the Internet and social media sites to arrange sexual encounters,” said Dr. Frank Atherton, Nova Scotia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Adopting safer sexual practices, including the consistent and correct use of condoms in these circumstances to prevent disease transmission, is an important way to stay healthy.” Recently, public health officials in New Brunswick notified residents about a case where a person contracted a sexually transmitted infection through unprotected sex. “This unfortunate news highlights the importance of practicing safer sex and getting tested regularly for STIs, including HIV, if you may be at risk,” said Dr. Atherton. Nova Scotians who are sexually active, or plan to become sexually active, are encouraged to talk to health care providers to make sure they have the information needed to help prevent the spread of infections. Sexually transmitted infections are transmitted by sexual contact (oral, anal or vaginal) particularly contact with blood, semen or vaginal fluids. It is also possible to contract and transmit some infections by sharing contaminated needles and syringes, or other equipment for drug use. For more information on sexually transmitted infections, and how people can protect themselves, visit http://novascotia.ca/hpp/cdpc/stis.asp.