Can you get an STI in a relationship even if no one’s cheated? – Better2Know Blog


Relationships are hard. For a romantic relationship to be sustained in the long term, you need trust, mutual respect, and understanding. And very few things can disrupt relationship harmony more than the spectrum of an STI.

However, contrary to what many people may think, someone can get an STI without cheating.

Find out more about how this is possible and what you can do if it happens.

Asymptomatic infections

The main thing you need to know about STIs is most of them present with no symptoms. Even when symptoms do appear, they can often be so minor that they can be ignored or mistaken for less serious illnesses like a cold or the flu.

But just because you don’t have any symptoms, it doesn’t mean you can’t pass on an infection. It’s estimated that up to 80% of people with a Chlamydia infection will be unaware that they have it, This makes transmission of the infection more likely.

Some infections that are most likely not to cause noticeable symptoms include:

In the case of an asymptomatic infection, it’s possible to have an infection, enter a new relationship, and infect your partner without either of you knowing about it.

Think you may have an asymptomatic infection? Have confidence in your sexual health with Better2Know’s Confidence Screen.

treatment failure

Treatments for STIs can sometimes fail. This is usually because the treatment was not fully completed and, as a result, the initial infection wasn’t cleared. Sometimes, the correct treatment can be implemented, but the infection doesn’t completely go away for a variety of reasons.

Treatment can also fail because of antibiotic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is increasingly common among bacterial STIs like Gonorrhoea, which have developed increasing resistance to the most common antibiotic treatments. Naturally, this makes it harder for the infection to be treated successfully.

Incomplete screening

Most STI screens on the market test for the most common infections, like Chlamydia, Gonorrhoea, hiv,and Syphilis,

However, there are many different types of STIs, and some screens may not test for all infections. Less common bacterial STIs that may not be included in some screens include:

Here are some other STIs that may not be included in an STI screen:

If you’re looking for a comprehensive STI screen that will test for lots of different infections, you may want to try Better2Know’s Platinum Screenwhich tests for 11 different infections,

Non-sexual contact

Most STIs are transmitted through sexual contact, such as through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, and by sharing sex toys. But there are some STIs you can get without having full sexual intercourse.

Hepatitis A

While Hepatitis A can be transmitted through sexual activity, it’s also transmitted through contact with infected faeces, contaminated food and water, sharing needles for intravenous drug use, and skin-to-skin contact.

Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B can be spread through sharing items like needles and razors.

Hepatitis C

Like Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C can be spread through sharing needles, razors, and getting a tattoo using unsterilised tattooing equipment.


HIV can also be transmitted through sharing infected needles, unsterilised tattooing equipment, and contaminated blood transfusions.


Oral Herpes (HSV 1) can be transmitted through oral contact with someone’s cold sore, On rare occasions, touching a sore during an outbreak and touching someone else can also transmit the virus.


While Gonorrhoea is usually only transmitted through vaginal, anal, and oral sex, and through sharing sex toys, there have been rare instances where deep kissing with an infected person can result in a throat infection.

How you can’t get STIs

While there are some ways you can get STIs outside of sexual intercourse, here are some transmission methods that some people think can pass on an infection, but don’t:

  • Toilet seats
  • hugging
  • Shaking hands
  • insect bites
  • sharing utensils

final thoughts

At the end of the day, it’s not possible to identify the exact mode of transmission for a certain infection. That’s why you should get tested if you or your partner notice any symptoms.

It’s always better to know your sexual health status so that you can protect your health and the health of those you care about.

Book an STI screen for you and your partner at a local sexual health clinic near you.


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