Can two people without STDs get them by being exposed to body fluids, like blood or feces, during sex?
Q: Can two sexually engaged partners who doesn't have AIDS or STDs get it by having unprotected sex where blood or fluids have mixed? For example, a male and a female having unprotected sex during her menstrual period.
A: If two people don’t have any STDs, then they cannot infect each other. STDs or STIs (sexually transmitted infections) are viruses or bacteria, so if neither person is infected with these, they cannot pass them along to anyone else. Also, having sex while a woman is on her period is perfectly safe and healthy.
However, many people with STIs are unaware that they’re carrying them. For example, scientists estimate that 70 – 80% of people carry Herpes Simplex-I (oral herpes or herpes of the mouth) by the time they are in their mid-20s. This is an extremely common virus that tends to get passed on by kissing, sharing food, or simply having hand-to-mouth contact with the virus. For most people, this never causes any symptoms, so they don’t realize they have it. For others, they may get cold-sores or rashes around their mouth, but only once in a while (often when they’re sick with something else). And yet, for others, they can have persistent sores on their mouth. Since STIs affect everyone differently, it’s impossible to absolutely know if someone has an STI without getting checked out by a doctor.
One of the most common STIs that often goes unnoticed is HPV (human papillomavirus). This virus usually has no impact on men who carry it, but can cause cervical cancer in women who contract it. So, it’s best to always use a condom when having sex if there’s any uncertainty in what STIs your partner (or you) have. It’s always a good idea to get a virus screening (which you can get for free at Planned Parenthood in Merced (209-723-7751), especially when you get a new sex partner. It would be great if you could have your partner do the same.
Answers provided by Dr. Ross Avilla
Dr. Ross Avilla has been teaching Human Sexuality since 2013 and has a PhD in psychology from UC Davis. Dr. Avilla is not a clinician and all information and advice offered on this website is for educational purposes only.