|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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