Sexual health is an essential aspect of our lives, and maintaining it means being informed and responsible. One concern that often arises is the risk of contracting sexually transmitted infections (STIs) when engaging in sexual activities with someone who may be infected.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss how likely it is to get an STI from an infected person, offering you the information and reassurance you need to make informed decisions about your sexual health.

Understanding STIs

STIs are infections that typically spread through sexual contact, including vaginal, anal, or oral sex. They can also be spread through skin-to-skin contact, sharing sex toys, and sharing needles when injecting intravenous drugs. Some of the most common STIs include:

Not all sexual contact leads to the transmission of STIs, and not all STIs are easily transmitted. The likelihood of contracting an STI depends on various factors, including the type of infection, the sexual practices involved, and the precautions taken.

Factors that affect STI transmission

There are many factors that can affect the likelihood of getting an STI from an infected person.

The type of STI

Different STIs have different transmission rates. Some are more contagious than others.

For example, Herpes and Syphilis can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, while HIV requires the exchange of specific bodily fluids like blood, semen, vaginal secretions, or breast milk.

Certain types of sex acts can also make transmission more or less likely. Anal sex, for example, puts the receiving party at a higher likelihood of contracting an infection. This is because the rectum and anus can more easily tear during intercourse, making transmission more likely.

Safe sex practices

Using barrier methods such as condoms and dental dams significantly reduces the risk of STI transmission. Condoms are effective at preventing the spread of many STIs, but they may not be as effective against infections that can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact like Herpes or HPV. Still, they provide a level of protection.

It’s important to note that condoms, while effective in lowering the risk of getting an STI, don’t guarantee that transmission doesn’t take place. You can wear a condom while having sex with an infected person and still get an STI.

Partner’s status

Knowing your partner’s STI status can help you make informed decisions. If both you and your partner have been tested and are free of STIs, your risk is considerably lower. Open and honest communication is key.

Frequency of sexual contact

Engaging in sexual activities with multiple partners or having frequent unprotected sex can increase your risk. Reducing the number of sexual partners and practising safe sex can lower your chances of contracting an STI.


Some STIs, like HPV, can be prevented through vaccination. Speak with your healthcare provider to determine if vaccines are recommended for you.

Reassurance and responsibility

Anyone can contract an STI, and it’s not a reflection of a person’s character or choices. It’s about biology and risk factors. If you find out that you or your partner has an STI, it’s crucial not to place blame but rather to seek medical advice and consider how to manage the situation together.

If you’re concerned about your sexual health, here are some steps you can take:

Get tested

Regular STI testing, even when you don’t have symptoms, can help you know your status and make informed decisions.

Use protection

Consistently use barrier methods such as condoms or dental dams to reduce the risk of STI transmission.


Open and honest communication with your sexual partner(s) is essential. Discuss your sexual health, get tested together, and make decisions about your sexual activities based on that information.

Seek professional guidance

If you’re unsure about anything related to STIs, don’t hesitate to call the number above to speak to one of Better2Know’s Sexual Health Advisors. They can provide guidance so you can access the best testing options available.

Final thoughts

Understanding the likelihood of contracting an STI from an infected person involves a combination of factors, and the risk can vary widely.

However, practising safe sex, getting tested, and engaging in open communication with your partner(s) can significantly reduce the risk and ensure a healthier, more responsible approach to sexual health. Your sexual health is an important aspect of your overall well-being, so approach it with care.

If you think you might have an STI, get tested with Better2Know. Call the number above to speak with one of our Sexual Health Advisors. They will help you determine what test, screen, and STI clinic may be right for you.

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