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Diseases » Sexually Transmitted Diseases » Contagiousness

Is Sexually Transmitted Diseases Contagious?

Contagion summary:

STDs may be spread by various types of sexual behavior. Many are spread by secretions; some are spread simply by the close physical contact from sex. Many STDs are spread by other methods such as by blood and mother-to-fetus or mother-to-child.

Contagiousness properties for Sexually Transmitted Diseases:

  Contagious overall?: Yes, STDs spread by various means including sexual.

  Contagious by sex?: Yes

  Contagious by oral sex?: Yes

  Contagious by anal sex?: Yes

  Contagious by vaginal sex?: Yes

  Contagious even with safe sex?: Yes, in some cases.

  Contagious from blood?: Yes, some STDs

  Contagious from blood transfusion?: Yes, some STDs

  Contagious from intravenous needle usage?: Yes, some STDs

  Contagious from needlestick injury?: Yes, some STDs

  Contagious from organ transplant?: Yes, some STDs

  Contagious from mother to fetus (transplacental)?: Yes, some STDs

  Contagious mother to baby during childbirth?: Yes, some STDs

Discussion about Contagion of Sexually Transmitted Diseases:

STDs can be transmitted from a pregnant woman to the fetus, newborn, or infant before, during, or after birth.  Some STDs (like syphilis) cross the placenta and infect the fetus during its development. Other STDs (like gonorrhea, chlamydia, hepatitis B, and genital herpes) are transmitted from the mother to the infant as the infant passes through the birth canal.  HIV infection can cross the placenta during pregnancy, infect the newborn during the birth process, and, unlike other STDs, infect an infant as a result of breast-feeding. (Source: excerpt from STDs and Pregnancy: DSTD)

About contagion and contagiousness:

Contagion and contagiousness refers to how easily the spread of Sexually Transmitted Diseases is possible from one person to another. Other words for contagion include "infection", "infectiousness", "transmission" or "transmissability". Contagiousness has nothing to do with genetics or inheriting diseases from parents. For an overview of contagion, see Introduction to Contagion.


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