This may be silly but my boyfriend and i are both virgins and i was wondering that if we are both in apparent perfect health, is it possible to contract an STD? Both of us have only been with each other in regards to any other activities. I thought that you could only get one from a person who was sexually experienced
You can contract an STD more ways that just sexual contact. Some people are born with STDs. They are infected with them by their mother. People who share needles can pass STDs. Any blood to blood contact can allow a person to get an STD. Now, if neither of you has an STD, then there's no way that you could pass one back and forth.
Certain respiratory viruses and bacteria can become sexually transmitted infections. Case in point:
Adenoviruses most commonly cause respiratory illness; however, depending on the infecting serotype, they may also cause various other illnesses, such as gastroenteritis, nongonococcal urethritis, conjunctivitis, cystitis, and rash illness.
Nongonococcal urethritis (NGU) is an infection of the urethra caused by pathogens (germs) other than gonorrhea.
So you could be in sexual contact with someone who got this virus from nonsexual ways.
Most germs that cause NGU can be passed during sex (vaginal, anal or oral) that involves direct mucous membrane contact with an infected person. These germs can be passed even if the penis or tongue does not go all the way into the vagina, mouth or rectum, and even if body fluids are not exchanged.
So bottom line - use barrier protection such as condoms and dental dams and get tested regularly. Even if you have no prior partnered sexual experience.
What bettie said. Also, you can end up in a situation where one partner has something like thrush, a yeast infection, or bacterial vaginosis. They are not particularly "sexual" infections - nuns get them, every woman is suseptible to them. But a woman can pass them to her partner through sexual contact, which is another reason that safer sex is just better, for every sexually active person.
Yeast infections and BV are not thought to be passed to male partners under normal circumstances. BV in particular is best left out of the STI arena altogether as it is most commonly from an alteration in vaginal ecology, not passed to the female partner through heterosexual intercourse.
Adenovirus is extremely common, and in healthy people is normally cleared from the body just like a cold. I have never seen it suggested as a STI, although it can cause epidemic illness, usually pink eye and a bad sore throat.
NGU, to my knowledge is potentially any urethral irritation that results in discharge or discomfort NOT caused but GC. Historically it refers to that caused by Chlamydia. Ureaplasma and other bacterial sources are considered as well, but I have not seen it used in reference to viral infections other than herpes. Trichimonas is also a common cause of ureathritis, and is sexually transmitted.
Katie asked about risk. I am sorry to say that relying on "knowing" someone is without an STI because you trust them is the most unsafe thing a person can do.
Unless you have been with that person every second of every day YOU do not know where they have been, or what the risk behaviors they have participated in.
Trust yourself to care for yourself. No Glove, No Love is the safest thing. Period. Use a barrier method, insist on it.
I have heard this more than I care to remember; "but he/she said they were a virgin..." (said with tears in eyes when being informed of the HSV infection, or HPV result)
(However, Barbarosa, BV is actually one of two of the most common STI passed between female same sex partners, and is generally due to bacteria spread through sexual activity per anyone, so that's likely why it's classed as an STI.)
Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000
| IP: Logged |
I am going to hate myself for this, but… The current thinking is that while sexual activity is associated with an increased risk of developing the infection, it is not thought that the infection itself is spread buy sexual contact.
The organisms that are thought to play the starring role in this infection are usually present in small numbers in healthy vaginal tissue/fluid, but are kept in check by healthy bacteria living there. So, in a sense (if this theory is true) the organism is there all the time, just in small numbers, and not causing any problems.
It is also thought that multiple sex partners increases the risk of this infection, as does douching (yikes, I hope no one still does that).
There is some thought about a “cofactor” that can be transmitted during sex that may predispose to the development of this overgrowth, and in particular this is being looked at in the L/B community with great interest.
But I am perplexed: if it is NOT transmitted sexually, it makes no sense to me why plenty of studies have found it increased in lesbian couples. My best guess there (which is only partially a guess, since there's plenty of data beyond my experiences and the personal info people give me on our sex practices to back this up), is that sharing sex toys which are not covered or cannot be sanitized and loads of manual sex without clean hands or gloves are the primary reasons for those higher incidences.
Given both those things are sexual activities, BV resulting from them would be a result of sexual contact, and some of the missing link there we're seeing may actually be to the typical defintions and studies of all this being solely or only about or defined by heterosexual intercourse, oral sex, et al.
I said I would hate myself for bringing it up because it sounded so much like “splitting hairs”. (probably cause that’s what it is going to look like I was doing)
But you bring up an interesting point about this problem for sure.
It is at odds with common sense that we could say a risk factor for getting BV is “sexual activity”, but deny that BV is SPREAD sexually. There is no doubt that when you and I say sexual activity, most medical researchers have a rather narrow view on what that means, but clearly no matter how we define it in all its fascinating intricacies, it still turns out to be a risk factor!
I think the reason BV missed the STI train is that the microorganism is not necessarily being transferred to the participants, but some unknown host factor is perhaps altered that predisposes to overgrowth of this particular member of the vaginal flora family. Since the organism has resident status it does not get credit for the transmitted part of the definition of STI.
And what about that? If these microorgansims are there in say 60+ percent of females (and 90% of male partners - Oh I know what your thinking)what happens to make them go bad? Why turn on us like that?
Antibiotics also remain a risk factor, as does more sexual partners. What is not clear why it appears that in women that are not “sexually active” they tend to have a much lower likelihood of BV. What does “sexually active” mean in this case? I have no idea. I have a hunch it is defined from a strongly heterosexual view.
A case of BV is primarily defined by the pH of vaginal secretions, the presence of certain byproducts of bacterial metabolism, and by characteristic findings at the microscope, in addition to any symptoms present. Not by the culture and identification of an organism. In fact there are a host of organisms that could lead to BV occurring, and that can make designing a study confusing to say the least.
I am planning on emailing the folks at LesbianSTD to get an idea of their study question and design. I will keep you posted.
I just wanted to add that I mentioned the adenovirus because an aquaintance of mine recently tested positive for the virus and his symptoms were an eye infection and painful discharge from his penis. He was exposed to the virus by someone who he was intimate with - oral sex performed on him without a condom. He and his doctor did the trace back.
Yikes! If I was sitting across the exam table from that particular combination of symptoms there are 2 STIs that would be at the top of my list of usual suspects in that context, and adenovirus isn’t one of em! They did some good detective work there.
Adenovirus is rather famous for its communicability, and in the right epidemic circumstance a rather nasty sore throat, fever, and red goopy eye problem. The bad news is that normally you don’t have to be quite so close to someone as your friend was to catch it!
Of course it goes without saying that anything you can catch by a handshake, can easily be spread by more, shall we say “intimate” contact.
You mother was right !
Wash those hands! Cover your mouth! Use a tissue! Get enough rest!
Despite you both being virgins, you and your partner still may have contracted genital herpes,thrush and etc. through other activities so cast your mind back and find out your partners past sexual history. Even if you both had never done anything beforehand either of you could still have something that you maybe contracted in your mothers womb such as HIV for instance. Go to a clinic or your doctors and get checked out if either of you are worried though
Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998
Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.