The term sexually-transmitted disease is misleading because most STDs actually spread through a number of different means. Sexual intercourse is only one of several different ways in which these pathogens can spread. A few STDs actually spread faster and farther through other means.
The likelihood of catching this kind of infection is greater than many people think. Some estimates indicate that as many as 65 million Americans have an incurable STD. To make matters worse, around 15 million new cases are reported each year, and some of these diseases last for life.
Can You Get an STD from Kissing?
Despite what a lot of people think, it is possible to get a sexually-transmitted disease, or STD, from kissing. Some, but not all, STDs can spread from mouth-to-mouth contact but most such infections spread via bodily fluids. If the germs or virus that cause the STD are present in somebody’s mouth, he or she could spread the disease via kissing.
Not every STD spreads through kissing however; most doctors think that HIV—the virus that causes AIDS—almost never spreads that way. Other STDs, such as genital herpes, can spread quickly through the mouth. Such diseases are more likely to spread if there are open sores or cuts in the mouth.
How Is an STD Transmitted?
Bodily fluids such as blood, vaginal fluids or semen usually contain the bacteria or virus that cause the STD. That means there are actually a wide variety of ways these diseases can spread. A person can get the disease through the skin, but it is more likely to spread if it can get inside the body through direct contact.
Some STDs, like AIDs, can spread through the blood; a person can get HIV without having sex because it can be spread by sharing needles or syringes or through a blood transfusion.
Direct sexual contact, including oral sex, is the most common way that some of these diseases spread. Anal sex is very risky because it usually causes bleeding. Some of these diseases can also be spread by other kinds of contact, including touching and kissing.
Other notorious infection causes involve tattooing, piercing or the sharing of needles for drug use purposes. In Spain for example, during the 90s, smugglers became notorious for threatening people with contaminated needles instead of knifes.
How to Prevent STD Transmission
The best means of preventing STD transmission are abstinence and the careful selection of sexual partners. Simply not having sex with strangers or people who have had multiple sexual partners can help you avoid catching one.
If this is not possible, using a new latex condom every time you have anal or vaginal sex and a dental dam every time you have oral sex can prevent the spread of most STDs. Polyurethane condoms are manufactured for those who are allergic to latex.
Condoms prevent the spread of STDs by blocking the pathogens that spread them. Using a water-based lubricant can make condoms more effective. Oil-based lubricants and products that contain petroleum, like Vaseline or coconut oil, can break down condoms, enabling the germs to get through.
Some other means of avoiding STDs include understanding the symptoms of these diseases and not having sex with those who display them. Not using alcohol and drugs when you have sex can help you avoid risky behaviors. Most doctors recommend against douching because it can increase the risk of pelvic diseases.
A few STDs, including HPV and Hepatitis B, can be prevented by vaccination. There is no vaccine for most STDs, although researchers are working on vaccines for AIDs.
Don’t inject yourself drugs: This is first of all a very unhealthy practice that can lead to enormous problems later on. But on top of that, groups of people that inject drugs to themselves tend to share the same diseases and even have community sex. You don’t want to get involved in this if you want to avoid an STD infection.