It is great that you used a condom! When having sex with someone you just met, or when you are not sure about their STD status, it is always safest to use a condom. Unfortunately, yes, you can still get an STD when using a condom, but it does drastically decrease your odds of getting many of them.
When used correctly, condoms do a good job at preventing fluids from being swapped from one partner to another which decreases the likelihood you would spread STDs like HIV, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, or Trichomoniasis. Unfortunately, many STDs are spread from skin to skin contact, not just from the transmission of bodily fluids.
STDs that are most likely to be contracted even when using a condom include:
HPV (human papillomavirus)
HPV is the most common STI; there are over 100 strains of the virus. Some strains of HPV go unnoticed and seem to cause no symptoms at all, while others can cause genital warts or various cancers. Because genital warts can be on parts of the genitals that are not covered by a condom, HPV can be spread via skin-to-skin contact.
Genital herpes is a viral STD that typically results in sores or lesions on the genitals, anus or upper thighs. Since herpes lesions or sores can occur on parts of the genital region that is exposed when using a condom, it can be spread from partner to partner.
Syphilis is a highly contagious bacterial infection that spreads through sexual contact, including oral, vaginal, and anal sex. Syphilis sores occur at the infection site, and can be contracted by a partner via skin-to-skin contact regardless of condom use.
Pubic lice, also known as crabs, infect the genitals. These lice are most common among teens and are typically spread during sexual, skin-to-skin contact. Pubic lice can live among public hair and can be spread whether or not a condom is used.
Molluscum contagiosum causes small red or pink raised bumps to form on the body. These firm bumps sometimes have a concave appearance and are painless. These bumps are often not in areas covered by a condom, and can even be places other than your genitals.
It is important to also remember that other STDs such as HIV, Chlamydia, and Gonorrhea can still be transmitted when using a condom, especially if the condom is not used correctly. If a condom breaks, slips off, is only used part of the time, or is applied inside out and then applied the correct way, STDs are more likely to be spread from one partner to another.
We recommend STD testing every 6 months if you are sexually active, and definitely if you have had a new sexual partner. Call (877) 883.7264 or go online to make an appointment to get STD tested – set your mind at ease and make sure you are healthy.