eg. What are ways to avoid getting all types of STD?

Is there any possible way to have contracted an STD without contracting it sexually?

Asked by on September 29, 2013

I know some of you will consider this a stupid question, but im just curious. A doctor did tell me that you can contract herpes and crabs through touching a towel or even a toilet seat that has been touched by someones infected area. Is it possible, since most STD’s are a form of bacteria, to catch things like chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis from unsanitary bathrooms?





September 29, 2013 at 2:24 pm

I test STD's for a living, the general consensus is that it is VERY difficult to get an STD from a dirty bathroom. Gonorrhea, chlamydia, and syphilis are all bacterial, herpes is a virus, crabs is a lot like head lice. I'd say the easiest to catch from a bathroom would be crabs (towel), maybe herpes, but unless you are rubbing your junk (guy) all over the seat, floors, or walls if would be VERY difficult to contract anything. Chlamydia is an obligate intracellular parasitic bacteria, meaning it has to be inside of a living cell to grow, and gonorrhea is anaerobic, so it dies very quickly after reaching the outside air (outside your urethra if you are a guy, or you vagina/cervix if you are a girl). Generally viruses don't last long exposed to the outside environment, but if i recall correctly herpes can withstand it for a while. If you think you have it, get tested so there is no chance of giving it to a partner. Good new though, all these STD but herpes can be cured, and even that can be treated effectively.



September 30, 2013 at 2:20 pm

Yes. Blood transfusions can make you get AIDS or hepatitis.

Dirty toilet seats can indeed make you catch crabs or an UTI, but not chlamydia or AIDS because they are short lived outside a human cell.

Herpes lives longer and that is why it can infect mouth or genitalia. It can be transmitted by towels or dirty toilet seats.



September 30, 2013 at 4:00 pm

Yes, it’s possible.



July 5, 2014 at 4:26 pm

Crabs maybe…..not herpes.



April 16, 2016 at 5:46 pm

I know the most about herpes. (Which is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Not from towels or toilet seats.) The virus is extremely short-lived away from the skin, and thus is almost never transferred except for skin-to-skin contact.

And there are other STDs, like HIV or hepatitis c, that are transmitted through blood and thus through sharing needles.

Crabs is an infection of lice – and since lice can indeed live on clothing or towels or blankets – it can be transmitted without sexual contact. But since it really isn’t a disease, it is an interesting question about whether it is an STD or not.

Good luck.


tori maxwell  

April 14, 2018 at 10:53 am

I know several types of STD that may infect without having sexual contact. HIV for example, it can infect you through getting blood transfusions when the one who donates the blood is infected with HIV.Sharing un-hygiene needle is also possible to make you infected. Chlamydia is also possible to make baby getting chlamydia especially if the mother has chlamydia during pregnancy. mother with genital herpes is also possible to transfer the herpes virus to a newborn baby through the delivery process. That is why it is commonly suggested to take cesarean section process.

Please signup or login to answer this question.