You probably already know that STDs are transmitted through sexual contact. But did you know that some STDs can be transmitted through contact with blood?
Join ARCpoint Labs today as we share important information about bloodborne viruses (BBVs). We’ll also look at ways that you can protect yourself.
STDs That Can Spread Through Blood
STDs are transmitted during sexual acts, including oral, vaginal, or anal sex. Typically, women feel more severe effects from STD infection. Many STD have very mild or no symptoms at all, so it is impossible to tell if you or your partner are infected without STD screening.
There are some STDs that can be transferred through non-sexual activity involving contact with infected blood. This could happen if people share hypodermic needles. STDs can also be transferred from the blood of a mother to her unborn child. There are also some professions, like dentistry, that carry a risk of exposure to bloodborne infections. By making yourself aware of what STDs are easily transferred through blood, you can better protect yourself from infection.
HIV is a virus that attacks the immune system and can lead to AIDs. Though HIV is normally transmitted during sexual contact, it can also be transmitted during exposure to infected blood. For infection to occur, blood must come into contact with damaged skin tissue, like a cut or scrape, or mucous membrane tissue. Or HIV can enter the bloodstream by being directly injected into the body by a needle. An HIV positive mother can infect her unborn child.
Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver caused by a virus. Most people who have this virus have no symptoms at all, making it easier to pass among people. Hepatitis B is transmitted through sexual contact, but you can also get it by being exposed to even a small amount of infected blood. Health care workers and people living with an infected person are at particular risk for exposure. It is also possible for an infected mother to transmit Hepatitis B to her baby during the birthing process.
Hepatitis C is closely related to Hepatitis B in that it is a virus that causes liver inflammation, though it is a different type of virus. It can be either a short term or long term illness. Before 1992, Hepatitis C was routinely spread through blood transfusions, but more rigorous blood testing has greatly reduced this method of Hepatitis C infection. Now most cases of Hepatitis C are caused by needle sticks, either caused by casual drug use or an accidental stick in the medical profession. An infant can also be infected by his mother before or during birth.
Syphilis is a bacteria that attacks the organs and can lead to death. It is easily cured with antibiotics. While most people contract Syphilis through sexual contact, it is considered to be a blood-borne disease because it can be transmitted from mother to child both in the womb and during childbirth.
How Can You Prevent Blood Born STDs?
There are easy ways to reduce your risk of transmission for any of these STDs. Practicing abstinence or at least safe sex dramatically reduces your odds of catching one of these illnesses. You should also refrain from casual drug use, especially if it involves needles. Among health care workers, increased education about the risk of bloodborne infection along with adherence to safety procedures can keep the risk of infection lower.
Get STD Testing at ARCpoint Labs
Because many STDs are easily treatable if you know your status, it makes sense to get tested for STDs, even if you are not experiencing symptoms. You can take responsibility for your health by partnering with ARCpoint Labs for STD screening. Our nationwide walk-in facilities are comfortable and discreet. To get started with your STD test, find your nearest ARCpoint Labs!