What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think STI? Yes, SEX. Considering the fact that that the ‘S’ in STI stands for “Sexually”, it is expected that infections under these category can only be contracted via sex.

Surprisingly, some of these infections, like chlamydia, herpes, can be transmitted through the exchange of bodily fluids like saliva.

Other ways one can contract an STI include;

1. Kissing
Herpes can be gotten through kissing. Syphilis may also be transmitted through kissing, aided by a possible outbreak of sores in the mouth by the infected person. Mononucleosis (Mono) is also a common disease transmitted through kissing.
2. Oral sex
It’s kind of funny that most people do not consider oral sex to not be normal sex because it doesn’t involve penetration.  STIs can be contacted through oral sex if the penis, vagina or anus are infected because the mucous membranes of the genitals are like a door which provides an entry point to the body and can accommodate bacteria and viruses. Chlamydia in rare cases can cause a throat infection during oral sex, Herpes simplex virus(HSV) 1 and 2, Human Papillomavirus (HPV) and syphilis can be gotten through unprotected oral sex.
3. Toilet seats
Trichomoniasis can be transmitted from a wet toilet seat. Although, studies have shown that people who use latrines instead of a WC have a higher risk of contracting this infection. It can be contracted through close proximity to the urine or feces of people infected with trichomoniasis. Trichomoniasis can also be contracted from public pools, bath tubs and hot tubs.
4. Sex toys
It is safe to remember to apply personal hygiene in the use of sex toys. If you had sex with a man who has refused to clean his penis till the next time you see, will you have the urge to have sex with that information in mind? Failing to clean your sex toys after sex can lead to the spread of STIs such as trichomomiasis, Hepatitis B and HPV. Sharing of your sex toy can lead to transmission or reinfection of an already treated infection. Why share a sex toy?
5. Food
Hepatitis A is the predominant infection shared in this manner. It is carried in feces, so when transmitted via food, it is as a result of the food produce not being washed properly or negligence from an infected person who has failed to wash their hands during food preparation. Hepatitis A can also be carried in untreated water.
6. Sharing of bed sheets and towels
Although bacterial vaginosis is not caused by shared bedding or towels but using wet towels can lead to the bacterial imbalances that trigger that infection and prolonged exposure to contaminated clothing can lead to the spread of HPV.
7. Sharing of Razors and Needles
This is perhaps the most common way of contracting an infection. Sharing blades or sharp objects with an infected person can put you at risk of getting an infection. STIs like HIV and hepatitis A, B and C can be transmitted this way. Sharing needles is a very risky way of getting blood borne diseases such as HIV or Hepatitis A, B or C
8. Any form of contact without clothing
When considering foreplay or masturbation or any kind of sexual activity that requires the coming together of genitals of two different persons, there is a risk pf spreading STIs. And such risk goes up if ejaculation or vaginal lubrication takes place. the most common STIs spread like this is Herpes and HPV because as they produce outbreaks on the skin, you may come in contact with each others genitals.

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