What are STIs and STBBIs?

What are STBBIs?

STBBIs are sexually transmitted and blood borne infections that can pass from one person to another through the blood and other body fluids during sexual contact. Test your knowledge on Sexually Transmitted Infections with this quiz!

What are Bacterial Infections

Bacterial sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBIs) are caused by bacteria passed from person-to-person during sexual activity. Bacterial infections can be cured using medications. If they are not treated and cured, they may lead to long term complications. Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, and Syphilis are all bacterial infections.

What are Viral Infections

Viral sexually transmitted and blood borne infections (STBBIs) are caused by viruses being passed from person to person during sexual activity. Viruses can be treated and managed but not cured. Herpes, Hepatitis A, B, C, HPV and HIV are all viral infections. Vaccinations against viruses are available and can prevent some viral infections including Hepatitis A, B, and HPV.

How can I get an STBBI?

You cannot get an STBBI if you are not sexually active. This means not having vaginal, anal, or oral sex. Genital warts or genital herpes can pass from one person to another through direct skin-to-skin contact when the genitals of both people touch. If you become sexually active, you and your partner should get tested to make sure neither of you have a STBBI.

Can I get a STBBI from a toilet seat?

Nope! You cannot get a STBBI from a toilet seat. The only objects that can spread STBBIs are shared sex toys. Always wash your sex toys before and after each use.

Can I get a STBBI from kissing?

Most STBBIs are not spread through kissing. Avoid kissing people with visible sores. Cold sores are a type of the Herpes virus that is often spread through kissing someone who is infected.

How do I protect myself from getting an STBBI?

The best form of protection against an STBBI is using a condom. Another way you can protect yourself is by practicing "Mutual Monogamy," which means that you and your partner both agree to only have sexual contact with each other. This can help protect against STBBIs, as long as you've both been tested and know you're clean.

You can also talk with your partner about sex, pregnancy, and STBBIs to ensure you both are on the same page. Don’t forget to ask your doctor about getting a vaccination for Hepatitis A, B, and HPV

Remember, the use of drugs and alcohol can lead you to making poor and risky decisions in sex, like not using a condom or having sex with a person you wouldn’t normally have sex with.

Should I get tested?

Any form of sexual contact puts you at risk for contracting a STBBI. You should consider getting tested every time you have sex with a new partner, prior to sexual contact, at your regular check ups, and if you have symptoms such as pain during sex, sores, bleeding after sex, abnormal discharge, and/or mid-cycle bleeding. It is important to remember that many infections do not have any symptoms.

My partners say they are "clean," should I still get get tested?

Yes! If you or your partner is sexually active, then you should always get tested. Many STBBIs do not produce visible symptoms, and your partner may not be aware they have an STBBI. Make a date and get tested together!

Why use a condom?

Safe sex is the best type of sex you can have. Whether you’re having oral, vaginal, or anal sex, use of a condom means you avoid contracting an STI or STBBI. Remember, someone can have an STBBI and have no symptoms. Visit our Condoms/Dental Dams page to learn more!

Did you know?

  • You can get STBBIs from genitals touching each other.
  • Young women are biologically more susceptible to STBBIs.
  • An infected mother can pass STBBIs to her baby during a vaginal birth.
  • STBBIs are extremely contagious and any sexually active person can get them.
  • People are often re-infected if they have sex before their treatment is over, or if their partners are not treated.
  • Just because you have had an STBBI before doesn't mean you‘re immune. All it takes is another exposure to the bacteria or virus.

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