If you haven't had sexual contact with anyone and you haven't had non-sexual contact with anyone, then you can't get an STI on your own, according to the CDC. It doesn't matter how many people the person has had sex with. Even if someone has only had one sexual partner, that partner could have an illness. Of course, the chances of contracting sexually transmitted diseases (also called sexually transmitted infections or STIs) are even greater if a person has unprotected sex with many different partners.
Test results show that you have gonorrhea or chlamydia, or both. These are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can cause permanent harm to you and your sexual partners if not treated in time. People get STDs by having sex with someone who has an STD. Once you're infected, you can infect another person.
Both gonorrhea and chlamydia usually have no symptoms. Sometimes, only one partner will have symptoms, even if both have the condition. That's why it's important to notify your sexual partners of the test results. That's why we've put together a list of some of the most common ways people get sexually transmitted diseases without having sex.
But just because someone hasn't had any genital contact with another person doesn't necessarily mean they don't have an STI. Things like kissing a loved one or family member, driving by mouth, sharing contaminated food, borrowing dirty towels, and more can transmit sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia, herpes, and hepatitis. Condoms are the only way to protect you and your partner from STDs when you have vaginal or anal sex. Another way to check your STD status is to get tested regularly, such as at your local Planned Parenthood health center if you're sexually active.
While most STDs are usually transmitted through sexual intercourse or genital-to-genital contact, this is not always the case for all STDs. If someone goes to the bathroom, doesn't wash their hands and starts preparing your food or making you a drink, you could end up contracting a foodborne sexually transmitted disease, which you can then transmit sexually. One of the most unexpected places to get an STD without having sex may be to radiate light at your local tanning salon. Like the skin-to-skin contact mentioned above, indirect contact is a less likely, but still possible, way to get an STD without having sex.
It is also possible to contract some STDs in a non-sexual way, such as using intravenous medications or transmitting them from mother to baby during delivery. Some STDs (such as trichomoniasis) can be treated to go away, but other infections (such as herpes or HPV) can stay in a person's body, even if that person has been treated. It's very unlikely that an STI will be transmitted by sharing a razor, as opposed to sharing needles, which is a high-risk behavior. In short, 50% of sexually active people get an STD before age 25, and yet only about 12% of people ages 15 to 25 have been tested in the past year, according to the American Sexual Health Association.
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