Can You Have an STD Without Having Sex?

Many people assume that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can only be spread through unprotected sexual activity. But that’s not always true.

Many STIs can be spread through non-sexual contact, including kissing, conducting oral, sharing contaminated food or towels, and more. Here are the most common ways to get an STI without having sex: 1.

1. Indirect Contact

You may not be aware of this, but it’s possible to get an STD (such as chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, HIV, syphilis, HPV, or trichomoniasis) without ever having sexual intercourse. Instead, these diseases can be spread through indirect contact with bodily fluids that contain bacteria and viruses.

These bodily fluids include saliva, vaginal secretions, semen, and the lubricating fluids produced by females as well as pre-ejaculate or ejaculate from males. Those who engage in oral or anal sex can also come into direct contact with someone’s blood, which is sometimes present in their mouth as sores or cuts. Similarly, mothers can pass some STDs to their babies during pregnancy, labour, and breastfeeding.

It is also possible to pick up herpes by kissing someone who has the infection. This is why it’s important to be honest about your sex life and use condoms when you have any sexual activity, even with friends and family.

Many STIs don’t cause any symptoms and go untreated. That’s why it is so important to get tested regularly and share your results with any sexual partners you have. That way, if you have an STD, you can start treatment right away before it becomes more serious. Order tests today at a Rapid STD Testing clinic. Our team will support you through the process. We have locations nationwide.

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2. Skin-to-Skin Contact

Although the “S” in STD stands for sexually transmitted, it’s not the only way these infections can be spread. Many of them can also be passed on through skin-to-skin contact, including herpes, chlamydia, and HIV. These can be caused by things like kissing (herpes), oral sex, sharing contaminated food, or even touching the mouth of someone who has an active STD.

The risk of contracting an infection from indirect contact is less than the one from direct contact, but it’s still possible to catch STIs this way. Examples of indirect contact include sharing a towel that has infectious material on it or using a dirty razor or needle. You could also get a blood-borne infection such as hepatitis or HIV from eating contaminated food if the infected person’s blood gets into your cut while you bite your sandwich.

If you aren’t sure whether your behavior is safe, talk to your sexual partner or a health care provider. They can help you develop a safe sex plan and answer any questions you may have. Getting tested regularly is the best way to know your status and ensure you receive the right treatment. With 20 million new cases of sexually transmitted diseases spreading in the US each year, it’s important to keep yourself and others safe. Learn more about the signs and symptoms of an STI, how to prevent transmission, and how to test yourself for free.

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3. Sharing Towels

While the vast majority of STDs are spread through unprotected sexual intercourse, it’s still possible to get an STI without engaging in that activity. This is because some viruses and bacteria, like gonorrhea and chlamydia, can survive on contaminated surfaces for a short period of time. Others, such as herpes and HIV, cannot.

It’s also possible to contract a disease by sharing towels or bed sheets with someone who has an STD. This is because some pathogens, such as the trichomoniasis parasite and pubic lice, can survive on damp fabrics. Other parasites, such as herpes and hepatitis C, can remain on surfaces for a longer period of time, making them more likely to be transmitted when shared.

It’s also important to maintain good personal hygiene and regularly wash clothing and linens to prevent the transmission of STIs. This includes washing your hands before preparing food and using disposable paper towels in public restrooms to avoid contact with contaminated towels.

4. Sharing Clothes

It’s important to be aware that many STIs don’t require penetrative sex in order to spread. They can be spread by exposing others to the body fluids involved in sexual activity, such as saliva, vaginal fluids, semen and pre-ejaculate. STIs like herpes, chlamydia and HIV can also be transmitted by sharing clothing that has infectious material on it, as well as using dirty razors or needles for intimate activities.

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The good news is that most STIs cannot be spread by casual contact, such as shaking hands, kissing and hugging, or sharing food. However, the STIs gonorrhea and trichomoniasis can be spread this way. These two STIs are caused by single-celled parasites that thrive in damp environments. They can be spread by sharing clothing that has the parasite on it, as well as through sharing towels.

STIs like herpes and gonorrhea can also be spread by sharing hairbrushes, toothbrushes and combs. Using dirty cutting devices, such as needles or razors, can spread herpes and hepatitis C. Even a toilet seat can spread herpes or hepatitis B & C, if there’s a break in the skin that allows the infectious materials to enter.

The most common way people get STIs is through unprotected sex. But it’s also important to understand that many STIs can be spread in other ways, some of which don’t even involve physical contact. We hope this information empowers you to take steps to protect your health, including getting regularly tested for STIs, practicing safe sex and staying informed. To order tests today, visit a Rapid STD Testing location near you.

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