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Can You Get HPV From Touching? And More

The information provided herein does not constitute an expert or medical advice, nor intended to replace such advice.

Sexual Health

STDs are typically transmitted during intercourse, whether it’s vaginal, anal, or oral sex. But is it possible to get an STD from touching and other types of intimate contact? Keep reading to find out.

Can you get HPV from touching?

Yes. Although a study published in The Lancet found that the risk of HPV transmission is low during direct hand-to-genital contact, there are other ways in which you can get HPV from touching. You can get HPV if your partner with HPV masturbates and then masturbates you without washing their hands, or if you touch yourself after masturbating them.

You can also get HPV through intimate skin-to-skin contact, even without penetration.

Can herpes be transmitted by hand contact?

Yes. According to Planned Parenthood, herpes is spread during skin-to-skin contact. Herpes can be transmitted even when there aren’t any active outbreaks, but in order to make handjobs safe, you should avoid any type of intimate contact when you or your partner have active lesions.

You should always use a condom if you have been diagnosed with herpes, even if you’re not having an outbreak.

Can I get an STD from a handjob?

Can you get syphilis from hand-to-genital contact?

Although very unlikely, it’s not impossible to get syphilis from giving a handjob. Transmission can occur if you touch an infected partner’s sores or genital fluids, and then touch your own genitals, mouth, or eyes. You could also get infected if you have skin wounds on the hand you’re using to masturbate an infected partner — even if the lesions are small and hard to notice.

Can you get chlamydia from hand contact?

Similarly to syphilis, you can get chlamydia if you touch your partner’s genitals and then touch your own genitals, eyes, or mouth; or if you have lesions on your skin.

Can fingering cause an STD?

Just like you can get an STD from a handjob under very specific circumstances, fingering or digital penetration can also lead to STD transmission.

You can get an STD from being fingered, particularly HPV and herpes, since these STDs are transmitted by skin contact. You can get other STDs such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or syphilis if your partner has their infected fluids on their fingers when they touch your genitals.

Additionally, you can get an STD from fingering your partner if you touch your own skin or mucous membranes afterwards.

You can’t get an STD from touching yourself, but you could spread the STD from your genitals to other parts of your body — such as your eyes — if you touch your face after masturbating without washing your hands thoroughly first.

Get Tested For HpV Today!

Can you get an STD from sperm on your skin?

It depends. In most cases, getting sperm or vaginal fluids on intact skin won’t result in STD transmission. But if infected fluids touch any open sores, wounds, cuts, or other lesions, it could lead to STD transmission. 

Can you get an STD from swallowing cum or sperm?

You can get STDs from oral sex even if you don’t swallow your partner’s sperm. According to the CDC, the STDs that can be transmitted through oral sex include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Syphilis
  • Herpes
  • HPV
  • Trichomoniasis

In addition to having safe sex, you should use condoms, dental dams, and/or finger cots to make handjobs safe. You and your partner should also get tested regularly for STDs to further reduce the risk of STD transmission. You can learn about at-home STD testing at STDWatch.com.

Buy myLAB BOX At-Home HPV Test Today!


Is there a role for hand-to-genital sexual transmission of human papillomaviruses? Results from the HITCH cohort study - ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Can I get genital herpes on my hands from fingering someone during an outbreak? - plannedparenthood.org

STD Risk and Oral Sex – CDC Fact Sheet - cdc.gov

Dr. Andrea Pinto Lopez

Dr. Andrea Pinto Lopez

Jul 06, 2022

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