I gave oral sex about three weeks ago. My partner says he hasn’t engaged in any other sexual activities besides that…

…I now have a sore throat, runny nose, and the side of my neck hurts when I press on it. I’m getting tested tomorrow. Are these symptoms of HIV/AIDS or any other STDs? How common is it to get an STD from oral sex and swallowing semen?

Although a couple of these can be symptoms of an STI (or sexually transmitted infection), these can also be symptoms of something totally different, like a common cold. Before we jump to a conclusion about either one, let’s talk about oral sex and it’s relationship to STIs.

Many people believe that because oral sex isn’t vaginal penetration, there is little to no risk. But the fact is, you can get all STIs, (except for pubic lice and Trichomoniasis) when engaging in oral sex with someone who has the infection. There are four ways in which someone can contract an STI. They are…

  • Blood
  • Skin to skin contact
  • Sexual fluids (vaginal fluids and semen)
  • Mother to child

When someone is engaging in oral sex, they can come into contact with someone’s blood, sexual fluids, and/or skin. But the good news is that there are ways to prevent STI transmission from happening! Using a condom for oral sex on a penis will help drastically reduce your risk of transmitting an STI.  If oral sex is being performed on the vagina or anus, a dental dam can be used to help reduce your risk also! You can pick up free condoms and dental dams at Teen Clinic!

It’s great that you are getting tested. Most STIs are asymptomatic, meaning that there are no symptoms but that the STI is still causing harm to the body. Because of this, getting tested on a regular basis is a great way to ensure that you’re healthy.

Teen Clinic provides free or low-cost and confidential STI testing, including a throat culture that will detect if Chlamydia or Gonorrhea is present. Remember that flavored condoms and dental dams are effective methods for reducing the transmission of STIs during oral sex! Until you are tested and treated, abstain for sexual activity or use condoms and dental dams.

Give us a call to get more information and/or to make an appointment! 303-442-5160.