Can You Get an STD From Saliva

STDs are dangerous, unpleasant, common and also tricky. There are several means of STD transmission, and it is not possible to determine by looking if someone has an STD. While some transmission methods pose less of a risk than others, if the risk is there at all you can become infected. It is best to remain cautious and learn all you can about STDs before engaging in any sexual activity whatsoever. Find out if you can get an STD from saliva; empower yourself and protect your health.

What is an STD?

An STD is a sexually transmitted disease. These are diseases that are passed between people during sexual activity. Bacteria and viruses can thrive in warm, moist places of the body, including the mouth and genital area. STDs can be serious and painful but are not always easy to detect on visual inspection. STDs can present without signs or symptoms. Left untreated, STDs can lead to very serious complications and permanent damage. If treated, some STDs can be cured with antibiotics and viral infections can be well managed according to the McKinley Health Center at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Can you get an STD from saliva?

STDs can be spread a few different ways. It is important to be very familiar with the various means of transmission. You can get STDs during vaginal, oral or anal sexual contact with someone who is infected with an STD. Skin to skin contact with the mouth and genitals can pass an STD to another person, even without sexual penetration. What this means is, yes, you can get STDs from saliva. Even simple kissing can spread infection.

Protecting yourself from STDs

Any sexual activity can transmit STDs, so reducing your risk is very important. Abstaining from sexual activity is the best way to prevent getting STDs, but that is not always practical. If you cannot abstain, reduce your risk with preventative measures. Some ways to reduce risk include:

  • Condoms. Use of a condom is the best protection against STDs, even for oral sex. Latex squares are also available for protection but they only protect the area covered from transmitting infection.
  • Immunization. There are vaccines for Hepatitis B and HPV available. Having these inoculations can help you reduce your risk of contracting these diseases.
  • No sharing. If you use sexual aids like vibrators or other sex toys, never share them with another person.
  • Communication. STDs are common. Speak with your partner and open the lines of communication. Avoiding a judgmental attitude and maintaining openness can provide you with information that can protect you from contracting an STD.
  • Screening. It is a good idea to have STD testing done when beginning a new sexual relationship.
  • Caution. Alcohol and drugs can lower inhibitions, and research suggests that unprotected sex increases with their use.
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