We all know the obvious means by which venereal disease is transmitted, but there are also 4 ways to get an STD you never thought about. Sure, if you don’t wrap it before you tap it or you take a ride on the town bicycle, you might end up with a rotten taint. But there are other ways to get an STD besides vaginal sex, believe it or not (and no, sitting on a public toilet seat that hasn’t been layered with six inches of TP is not one of them).
Oral sex. It seems to be a common misconception that if you aren’t having good old hot sweaty vaginal sex, you won’t end up positive for something. News flash, guys: oral sex is still sex, and giving or receiving it is one of the ways to get an STD. Most men‘ class=’linkify’ target=’_blank’>women (or men if that’s your preference) either don’t know they have an STD or they know and don’t give a crap who they infect, so you might end up with a mouthful of viral cells that are ready to make your life a living hell. And you’re going to be mortified explaining to your doctor why you’ve got gonorrhea in your throat or trying to hide a big fat cold sore from your date.
Blood. STDs do not limit themselves to genital emissions – they are present in all bodily fluids in the infected person. Prior to the early 1990s, donated blood was not screened for hepatitis and many people who received a few pints of crimson wound up with a strain of this incurable liver condition (which is also spread via sexual contact). Hepatitis C in particular is also often rampant among long-term junkies from sharing needles. Another STD that travels ever so smoothly through blood is HIV, and like hepatitis, before screening became mandatory, a lot of people ended up positive for HIV or AIDS from infected donated blood. Routine donation monitoring has made the risk of infection via blood transfusion smaller than MC Hammer’s fan base, but other precautions should be taken elsewhere. Try not to shoot your H with someone else’s syringe or get a tattoo in a seedy little parlor where the artist has used the same needle for 15 years.
Breast milk. This may not apply to many guys unless they have a lactation fetish. It’s more of a concern for infants; if a woman has an untreated STD, sometimes the disease can be transmitted to the kid during breast-feeding (or during labor and birth, even). You’ll definitely turn a few heads in high school or in a bar if you tell people, “Yeah, I got gonorrhea from my mom!” It’s one of a few bizarre ways to get an STD, but it’s also why some people are positive for sexually transmitted infections when they’re virgins.
Skin-to-skin contact. That’s right, guys – you can even get an STD by simple skin-on-skin touching. Even if she’s the sweet, innocent-looking girl next door type. There are three venereal diseases that can spread this way: HPV, scabies and crabs. The human papillomavirus (HPV) – the strains that do not cause genital warts or cervical cancer – can actually be spread by mere external contact. This is why it’s been estimated that 70 percent of the U.S. population is HPV positive. But no worries: HPV is the quadriplegic ninja of the STD world in that it often shows no signs of its presence, but also poses no danger to you. Scabies and crabs (also known as pubic lice and not the same thing as scabies) are actually parasitic infections that can cheerfully jump from one person to another, much like head lice. Also similar to their scalp-dwelling cousins, both of these bugs are harmless. Very annoying and embarrassing, but ultimately harmless to your health nevertheless.