How do STBBIs are transmitted?

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An STBBI is a sexually transmissible and blood-borne infection that can be transmitted and contracted in different ways. Here you will find all the information you need to make sense of it all.

There are many different ways you can contract an STBBI (sexually transmitted and blood-borne infection). Do you know them?


Differents ways of transmitting and contracting an STI


Sexual contact


While engaging in:


  • oral sex (fellatio, cunnilingus, anilingus)
  • vaginal sex (penis penetrating the vagina)
  • anal sex (penis penetrating the anus)
  • sharing sex toys
  • masturbating an infected person


Remember, condoms and dental dams protect you against the vast majority of STBBIs.




  • If you share drug injection or inhalation paraphernalia (such as syringes, straws, or pipes)
  • If you pick up a used syringe in an unsafe way


Tattoos and piercings

If you get a tattoo or piercing with unsterilized equipment.


Sharing objects

For some STBBIs, there is also a risk of getting them if you share personal hygiene items (i.e. razors, toothbrushes, towels, etc.) that may have been in contact with someone with an STBBI.


Risk of transmission of an STBBI

The risk of transmission of an STBBI depends on the type of infection and the type of high-risk behaviour you are engaging in. Most STIs can be prevented by the use of protection, like by wearing a condom or using dental dams, and by getting tested regularly. But STBBIs can also sometimes be contracted through non-sexual activities, like sharing drug inhalation or injection paraphernalia, getting a piercing or tattoo with unsterilized equipment, or sharing personal hygiene items.


Can I get an STBBI from oral sex?

Yes! 😛 You can get an STBBI from fellatio, cunnilingus, the combination of the two (69ing) or anilingus (stimulating the anal area with the tongue). When engaging in cunnilingus or anilingus, using a dental dam is recommended. This is a latex sheet that is applied to your partner’s vagina or anus to protect you from STBBIs. You can get one at a pharmacy or make your own with a condom. For fellatio, you can use a condom (in fact, there are flavoured condoms designed specifically for oral sex).


However, condoms and dental dams won’t fully protect you against genital herpes, human papillomavirus (HPV), pubic lice, or scabies, because these infections may be contracted from areas outside the covered area.


What is a dental dams?

A dental dam is a protective device for STIs contracted through oral sex. This latex rectangle is placed over your partner’s vulva or anus during oral sex. It prevents you from contracting certain STIs through the mouth. As with condoms, you must throw it away after use, since it cannot be reused. You can get a dental dam at the pharmacy without a prescription, or you can easily make one by cutting off both ends of a condom and cutting it lengthwise.

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