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STD stands for “sexually transmitted disease”. This indicates that a majority of STDs are contracted via sexual contact. And yet, interestingly, one of the top searches on Google about sexually transmitted diseases indicate that people are worried about contracting an STD from swimming pool or hot tub.
While hot tubs are not known carriers for STDs, there are a number of other “non-sexual” activities that can spread an STD. That being said, today we will debunk the myth of whether or not you can contract an STD in a hot tub and introduce a number of other “non-sexual” ways you can contract an STD that you should be mindful of.
Can You Get an STD from an Outdoor Hot Tub?
First and foremost, do not panic because you cannot contract an STD from being an outdoor hot tub or pool. This is due to a number of reasons.
In pools and hot tubs, chlorine and other chemicals work to kill bacteria and viruses. That includes bacteria and viruses related to STDs.
Moreover, the spread of STD viruses is far different that cold and flu germs. Flu and cold bacteria and viruses tend to live on surfaces, whereas STD viruses do not.
STDs are passed via person-to-person contact. STD viruses die when they leave the human body. Unless you are having sex in the hot tub, your chances of contracting an STD outside the bedroom or outside sexual activity is extremely low.
One thing to be cautious of if you are going to use a hot tub or pool is to avoid sharing towels. Sharing towels is an easy way to spread and contract crabs or public lice since it can infect linens, clothing, and towels.
However, there are a number of other ways you can contract an STD. Let’s talk about a few of them.
Can You Get an STD from Oral Sex?
Yes, you can. Oral sex is still sex, and you can contract herpes, syphilis, gonorrhea and other STDS through oral sex.
While it is not the traditional penetrative sex, it is still direct person-to-person contact and involves the exchange of fluids. As such, whether you are giving or receiving during oral sex, there is a chance you can contract an STD. Before engaging in oral sex, consider using condoms or dental dams to protect yourself.
Can You Get an STD from Kissing?
Kissing can also lead to STDs. Granted, herpes simplex 1 or oral herpes is not technically considered an STD, it can still be passed through the swapping of fluids and person-to-person contact.
That being said, be mindful of open cuts and sores around your mouth and around your partner’s mouth. These could easily put you at risk for contracting STDs.
Can You Get an STD from Tattoo Parlors?
A large majority of tattoo parlors are required to follow appropriate health regulations. If you get a tattoo from a regulated tattoo parlor, there is little chance you will contract an STD.
However, at unregulated parlors, there is the chance the needles are reused and not properly cleaned. In this instance, you could contract diseases like HIV and hepatitis C.
Can You Get an STD from Sharing Razors and Needles?
Viruses that lead to AIDS or hepatitis C stem from STD pathogens that are bred in your blood. That being said, there is a chance that STDs can be spread if you share razors. Granted, it is a very rare instance, but it is something to keep in mind.
Anyone who shares their needles and intravenous drug users are at high risk of contracting STDs. A study done by the University of Florida discovered that injection drug users have a higher chance of contracting an STD than non-drug users.
Moreover, people who tend to share needles also tend to be more sexually adventurous. In that sense, they have a greater risk of having sex with another infected individual. This can increase their overall risk for lifelong infections like HIV.
STD Prevention Tips
With the wide range of ways, you can contract and STD, it is important to take precautions where you can.
In general, you want to try and avoid unprotected sex with anyone who has rashes, discharge or genital sores. Unprotected sex is safe only when you and your partner have gone to a public or private clinic and been tested negatively for STDs.
Here are some other tips you can keep in mind to lessen your risk for STDs:
- Use condoms and water-based lubricant. However, remember, condoms are not an ultimate solution. They can be faulty.
- Wash yourself before and after having sex.
- Get regularly tested for HIV.
- Avoid sharing your underclothes and towels.
- Get vaccinated for hepatitis B.
- Get your HPV vaccinations. It is safe and effective and can protect against genital warts and even some cancers.
- Get help for drug and alcohol abuse. Both substances can lead to unsafe sex.
- Practice abstinence: the most certain way to completely avoid STDs is to not have sex.
- Have a conversation with your sex partner(s) about taking safety measures and get tested together.
Here are some tips to avoid spreading STDs to other people:
- Stop having sexual intercourse with people and immediately visit a physician for treatment.
- Do not start having sex until your doctor tells you that you can.
- Always use condoms.
- Always got back to your doctor to get rechecked for STDs.
- Also encourage your partners to be tested and treated on a regular basis.
In short, the only STDs you can contract while in a hot tub are passed through actual sexual contact with someone who has an STD. Otherwise, you are safe to hang out in the hot tub.
There are other methods of contracting STDs, but practicing good hygiene, using proper protection, staying up to date on vaccines, and regularly visiting your doctor to get tested can keep you safe. We hope this article was helpful to you!