Blood-Borne Viruses Risks with Sexual Activity

Blood-borne viruses (BBVs) are passed on when one person’s blood comes into contact with another person’s blood.  This can occur during sexual activity when someone comes in contact with contaminated blood and body fluids that contain blood.

Prevention and protection

Get tested – If you or your partner engage in sexual activity that put you at risk for BBVs, get tested regularly. If you have another STD you are more likely to get a BBV. Getting tested and treated for other STDs can lower your chances of getting BBVs.

Reduce the risk – Choose sex that is less risky than anal or vaginal sex. There is little to no risk of getting HIV through oral sex. You can’t get BBVs from sexual activities that don’t involve contact with body fluids (semen, vaginal fluid, or blood).

Use Condoms – Use condoms the right way every time you have sex. Condoms are highly effective in preventing BBVs and other sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), like gonorrhea and chlamydia. Use water-based or silicone-based lubricants to help prevent condoms from breaking or slipping during sex.

Did you know?

  • You can get BBVs from genital-to-genital contact if bodily fluids are present.
  • Younger females are biologically more susceptible to BBVs.
  • An infected mother can pass BBVs to her baby during vaginal birth.
  • BBVs are contagious and any sexually active person can get them.
  • People can be re-infected if they have sex before their treatment is complete, or if their partners are untreated.
  • Just because you have had a BBV before doesn’t mean you won’t get one again.

Contact the BBVAware Program