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Many STDs can be passed through oral sex

Category: Sexually Transmitted Diseases

While some may assume that they are safe from sexually transmitted diseases if they only engage in oral sex, the opposite is actually true. Many STDs are commonly passed through oral sex, even at times when neither partner is showing symptoms. If both partners have regular STD tests, the risk for contracting these diseases can be greatly reduced. Having multiple sexual partners can also greatly increase the risk of spreading STDs.

A report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention noted that many American teenagers underestimate the risk for STDs associated with oral sex. According to the report, many teenagers have oral sex instead of vaginal sex to prevent pregnancy and reduce the chance of contracting sexually transmitted diseases and infections.

The researchers commented that, "Young people, particularly those who have oral sex before their first vaginal intercourse, may still be placing themselves at risk of STIs or HIV before they are ever at risk of pregnancy. Given the higher rates of STIs among some groups of young people, it is important to understand the prevalence and correlates of various types of sexual behaviors, coital and noncoital, in this age group."

The study found that approximately two-thirds of males and females between ages 15 and 24 had engaged in oral sex, which is lower than estimated, but many of the participants were not aware of the risks involved. Young people who are sexually active should seek STD testing to be sure of their status. A lab test online can provide answers to questions about STDs.

STDs commonly spread through oral sex
The three most common infections spread through oral sex are gonorrhea, syphilis and herpes. These infections are spread both from genital fluids as well as contact between the mouth and genitals. Herpes is a commonly spread infection through oral sex. It can pass from an existing or developing sore between the mouth and genitals, according to Brown University. Even those who show no symptoms may carry this infection.

Those with oral sores can also contract HIV and AIDS from oral sex. The virus is able to enter the bloodstream through sores. HIV can lead to AIDS and, while neither disease has a cure, treatments can prevent the evolution of the disease.

Gonorrhea can also spread through oral sex. This disease can lead to throat infections in cases where it is left untreated.

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