Shared Sex Toys
Jan 6, 2002
How long can std's live on a shared sex toy? I know HIV most likely won't live very long at all, but what about the others?
Response from Mr. Kull
Not all STD's are the same, so it would be hard to generalize, even if I did have specific information about how long each STD-related microorganisms survived when exposed to the environment. HIV does not survive in the environment long (see http://www.thebody.com/Forums/AIDS/SafeSex/Archive/TransmissionSexual/Q23312.qna). HIV is a virus and is pretty fragile; other sexually transmitted infections are more durable, and consequently, more infectious.
To prevent transmission of STD's when using a sex toy, you basically want to minimize contact with your partner's fluids. This might mean not sharing sex toys (each of you has your own), putting a new condom on the sex toy before each use, or soaking/washing the toy with warm water and soap between use. If you follow these guidelines, then the amount of time STD-causing organisms survive in the environment will be irrelevant.
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