If my boyfriend and I have only had sex with each other, is it possible for either of us to have STIs?

It’s highly unlikely.  In order to get an infection, a person has to have sexual contact with someone who is already infected.  If you haven’t come into contact with someone who has a sexually transmitted infection, you probably don’t have one!

There are a few exceptions to this rule. Some infections that we consider STIs can be spread non-sexually. Bloodborne diseases like HIV, Hepatitis B & C, and Syphilis are often transmitted through IV drug use. If someone has used needle drugs, it’s possible they have an STI, even if they haven’t been sexually active.

Pubic lice, also known as crabs, can also be transmitted non-sexually. Pubic lice can live for up to twenty-four hours outside the body in warm, dark, moist places like bathtowels, bed sheets, loofahs, or wet bathing suits. If a person shares these items with someone else, lice transmission is possible.

Does that mean it’s a good idea to have sex without a condom? No way. The only 100% effective method of preventing pregnancy is abstinence. Although hormonal methods can be more than 99% effective when used perfectly, it’s still a good idea to use a condom as a backup.  Besides—although we always want to trust our partners, occasionally people do not share the truth about their sexual health history. Staying in the habit of using a condom is a great way to keep yourself safe every time.