You can absolutely get an STI from oral sex

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Numerous STIs can be transmitted through oral sex, so symptoms, when present, vary depending on the specific infection.


(Rozalynn S. Frasier/ SELF) — Despite some outdated misconceptions, sex doesn’t need to include penetration. And if you are having any kind of sex, then you should be thinking about sexually transmitted infections (STIs), because yes, you can get an STI from oral sex. (Quick note: Many people use STIs and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) interchangeably, but the two are different. Diseases are advanced infections that exhibit symptoms, according to the Mayo Clinic.)

STIs are extremely common, with roughly 1 in 5 people in the U.S. having a sexually transmitted infection at some point during the year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

And having oral sex, which involves using the mouth to stimulate the genitals, doesn’t somehow reduce your risk of contracting an STI, Peter Leone, MD, a professor of medicine for the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina, tells SELF. “It’s a really common mode of transmission,” he says. (…)

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