“Can You Get An STI If Both People Have Never Had Sex???” —a question box answer by Dr. Joanna Palmieri

So the short answer has to start with, ”How do you define having sex?” Sex encompasses the physical activity between people that involves touching each other’s genitals. That touching can happen in many different ways including genital to genital, anus or mouth, as well as fingers and even objects. All of these can lead to the transmission of an STI or sexually transmitted infection, so let’s define that while we are at it. An STI results from the exchange of infected bodily fluids or skin cells. Bodily fluids including semen as well as pre-ejaculate, vaginal fluids and blood. Other STIs can be passed to partners via skin to skin contact with an infected body area.  

Another important fact is that some people can have an STI without any signs or symptoms or are unaware that symptoms such as itching, mild discomfort or odor can actually be an STI.  It is always best to be evaluated by a medical professional for any signs or symptoms that appear different or persist for possible treatment. Fortunately there are cures for many STIs, and for others there are vaccinations and treatment options.

STIs that can infect the genitals include chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis and trichomoniasis, HPV (human papillomavirus), genital warts, HSV (herpes simplex virus), HIV and Hepatitis B.

Oral sex can lead to infections that involve the throat, mouth and lips including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, HPV and HSV.

Lastly, the STIs that can spread without the exchange of bodily fluids, therefore by skin to skin contact include genital warts, HPV, HSV, syphilis and molluscum contagiosum.

Prior to initiating any intimate personal contact, it is always best to talk about it first.  Sharing about any and all types of sexual encounters can help the people involved to make a safer and more informed decision about what to do with their own bodies. If those involved are not ready to talk about it, then maybe it is not yet the time for sexual encounters. Using condoms or barrier protection can also help prevent the transmission of STIs, and if the people involved are not willing to do so, then maybe that is not the person to have the encounter with. Oh yeah, and leave the lights on, look before you leap.

Published at Wed, 08 May 2024 21:48:17 +0000