The transfer of and exposure to bodily fluids, such as blood transfusions and other blood products, sharing injection needles, needle-stick injuries (when medical staff are inadvertently jabbed or pricked with needles during medical procedures), sharing tattoo needles, and childbirth are other avenues of transmission.These different means put certain groups, such as medical workers, and haemophiliacs and drug users, particularly at risk.
Healthcare professionals suggest safer sex, such as the use of condoms, as a reliable way of decreasing the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases during sexual activity, but safer sex cannot be considered to provide complete protection from an STI.
The most effective way to prevent sexual transmission of STIs is to avoid contact of body parts or fluids which can lead to transfer with an infected partner.
Not all sexual activities involve contact: cybersex, phonesex or masturbation from a distance are methods of avoiding contact. Although a condom is effective in limiting exposure, some disease transmission may occur even with a condom.
Some of these microbes are known to be sexually transmitted.
Many STIs are (more easily) transmitted through the mucous membranes of the penis, vulva, rectum, urinary tract and (less often—depending on type of infection) the mouth, throat, respiratory tract and eyes.