Considering the fact that the ‘S’ in STD stands for sexually, it must be impossible to get STDs without having sex, right?

This is incorrect.

STDs can be spread without even having sex. Things like kissing a loved one or family member, talking orally, sharing contaminated food, borrowing dirty towels, and more can transmit STDs like chlamydia, herpes, and hepatitis.

20 million new cases of sexually transmitted infections spread in the US each year. Although sexual intercourse is a common way to get an STD, you may be wondering how you ended up getting it without having sex. That’s why we’ve put together a list of some of the most common ways people get an STD without having sex.

Common ways to get an STD without having sex:

When they give oral sex

Many people do not consider oral sex to be “real” sex because it does not involve contact or penetration from nether region to nether region. Regardless of how you classify it, oral sex can transmit disease if the penis, vagina, or anus involved is infected. The discharge, sores, and cracked skin that are common in genital herpes, most commonly caused by the herpes simplex 2 virus, make it very likely that you will catch the disease during oral sex.

Chlamydia, in rare cases, can infect the throat during oral sex. Diseases like herpes and HPV (human papillomavirus) cannot be prevented with condoms.

when you tan

One of the most unexpected places to get an STD without having sex can be at a local tanning salon. Molluscum contagiosum, a bumpy genital infection and definitely not a Harry Potter spell, can be spread by skin-to-skin contact or by shared contaminated surfaces like a tanning bed.

When you share a shave

Sharing razors, or just about anything that cuts or pierces the skin, is a possible way to get an STD without having sex. In the case of sharp objects, if one of the people is positive for HIV or hepatitis A, B or C, there is a risk of breaking the skin and mixing the blood, which will lead to the spread of the disease. . Sharing a razor is very unlikely to spread an STD, unlike sharing needles, which is a high-risk thing.

when you eat contaminated food

You can get hepatitis A (HAV) from contaminated food and drink. Hepatitis A is transmitted primarily through the ingestion of fecal matter. If someone uses the bathroom, doesn’t wash their hands, and starts preparing your food or making you a drink, you can end up getting an STD from your food, which you can then transmit this disease to sexually. Gross!

When you have a good passionate kiss

If you think kissing is sweet and innocent, think again. If you’re trying to avoid contracting one of the most serious sexually transmitted infections, running your tongue all over your partner’s body isn’t your best plan of action. However, some STDs can be transmitted when you exchange saliva. Mononucleosis (mono) is probably the first thing that comes to mind when you think of a kissing disease. But herpes, the virus that causes cold sores, is the one to watch out for!

When you share sheets, towels or clothes

You’re not likely to find viral infections present on your towels or sheets, but there could be other infections waiting in the fibers of these clothes. The single-celled protozoan parasite Trichomonas vaginalis causes trichomoniasis. This parasite loves wet fabrics and can stay for almost an hour outside the body waiting for you. Pubic lice are creatures that can also stay on your bedding or clothing.

When you come without clothes

Skin-to-skin contact may seem harmless, but it’s all it takes for herpes or HPV to become your viral traveling companion for life. The tendency to be uncovered makes transmission even more likely, because it is easier to cause breaks in the skin. Your risk of getting one or the other infection depends on many factors, such as the level of infection and the condition of your skin.

when you touch its parts

Like skin-to-skin contact mentioned above, indirect contact is a less likely, but still possible way to get an STD without having sex. Trichomoniasis can be spread by hand-to-genital contact or even asking to be taken home. Or in an unwashed sex toy.

When you have a blood transfusion

If you receive a blood transfusion that has HIV in it, your chances of getting HIV are also extremely high. However, significant improvements have been made to screening blood donors over the last several decades. For example, today’s blood banks test every unit of donated blood for antibodies to HIV-1 and HIV-2. This greatly reduces your chances of getting HIV from a blood transfusion.

Also, you can’t get HIV from donating blood. All safe clinics use sterile needles once and then dispose of them safely.

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