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Your website mentions that medical gloves can be worn when touching or penetrating the anus or the vagina with fingers. I am curious about the risk of STI transmission through manual sex. Have there been any known cases of STI transmission through manual sex? Or is this more of a theoretical risk? If there are no cuts or sores on the hands, is there even a theoretical risk?

Hi there

The reference to wearing gloves when touching or penetrating the anus or vagina is about the STIs that can be passed by skin to skin contact. These are Herpes, Syphilis, and HPV. If you wore gloves that covered your skin, you would be protected from those STIs. Keep in mind that while it is possible to pass STIs through this kind of contact, it not common for them to be passed this way.

Gonorrhea, HIV and Chlamydia are not passed through touching or penetrating the anus or vagina with fingers. Generally, it is always a good idea to cover broken skin when you have sexual contact. Covering broken skin protects you from other bacteria that can be present on the skin or in the body.

You might want to check out our chart called "Know Your Chances" to get more information about the chances of passing or getting STIs with different ways of having sex.

Please leave a comment to let us know if that answered your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment or let us know if this was helpful.


This answer was posted on October 10, 2013

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