Can you get more than one STD at the same time?
Aug 15, 1999
Say you have unprotected sex with someone who has HIV and also something else like gonorrhea. Can you get both of them at the same time? What about if you use condoms?
Response from Mr. Sowadsky
Thank you for your question. If you have unprotected sex with someone, and that person has more than one STD, you can possibly become infected with one or more STDs at the same time. Let me give you an example.
Let's say you have unprotected sex with someone who has both HIV and gonorrhea. The following possiblities can occur:
1) you can become infected with both HIV and gonorrhea at the same time, OR
2) you can become infected with just HIV and not gonorrhea, OR
3) you can become infected with just gonorrhea and not HIV, OR
4) you may not get either of these infections (making you a very lucky person).
Let's now say you have protected sex (using a condom) with someone who has both HIV and gonorrhea. The following possiblities can occur:
1) If you use the condom correctly, and it does not break or fall off, you would be at low risk of infection for both of these STDs, and it would be highly unlikely that you would get either of these infections.
2) If you did not use the condom correctly, and/or the condom broke, leaked, or fell off, then you would be at risk of infection. The longer you have sex after the condom fails, the greater your risk would be. In a case such as this, the risks would be similar to the first example given above (the unprotected sex example).
Let me also point out that if your partner had another STD such as herpes or genital warts, and the infection is located in an area that is not covered by the condom, then the risk of infection still exists.
I have occasionally seen cases where a person simultaneously got infected with two, three, and even four different STDs all at the same time. It is for this reason that if a person is diagnosed with one STD, we normally test for other STDs as well.
If you have any further questions, please feel free to call the Centers for Disease Control at 1.800.232.4636 (Nationwide).
Get Email Notifications When This Forum Updates or Subscribe With RSS
- Burning Urethra After Oral Sex Worried I Have HIV
- Itchy Testicles After Touching A Bloody Scab Sign Of HIV AIDS
- Swollen Lymph Glands After Sucking Penis Worried I Have HIV
- Can You Get Genital Warts On The Labia Minor?
- Can You Get Warts With Gonorrhea?
- How Do I Get Rid Of Genital Warts In The Mouth?
This forum is designed for educational purposes only, and experts are not rendering medical, mental health, legal or other professional advice or services. If you have or suspect you may have a medical, mental health, legal or other problem that requires advice, consult your own caregiver, attorney or other qualified professional.
Experts appearing on this page are independent and are solely responsible for editing and fact-checking their material. Neither TheBody.com nor any advertiser is the publisher or speaker of posted visitors' questions or the experts' material.