Yes, you can contract a sexually transmitted infection (STI) while receiving a hand job.

In rare cases, human papilloma virus (HPV) can be transmitted from your sexual partner’s hands to your genitals.

Overall risk

Having your penis or scrotum manually stimulated by your partner’s hand is considered a safer sex activity.

But if your partner has HPV and genital secretions (like semen or vaginal wetness) get on their hands before they touch your genitals, there is some risk of transmission.

This is the only circumstance in which an STI could be transmitted through receiving a hand job.

HIV and other STIs can’t be transmitted through getting a hand job.

Safety do’s and don’ts

If you’re concerned about HPV transmission through manual stimulation, ask your partner to wash their hands before beginning this type of sexual activity.

If your partner would like to touch themselves while giving you a hand job, ask them to use their other hand instead of alternating hands.

Yes, you can contract an STI while performing a hand job.

If you’re exposed to your partner’s genital secretions, sores from an active herpes outbreak, or genital warts, you can transmit an STI to yourself if you touch your own skin afterward.

Overall risk

When it comes to STIs, giving a hand job is slightly riskier than getting one, because you’ll likely be exposed to semen.

However, giving a hand job is still considered a lower risk sexual activity.

Most STIs require genital-to-genital contact or can’t be transmitted after exposure to open air.

To transmit an STI through giving a hand job, you would have to come into contact with semen or an open sore and touch your own skin afterward.

Safety do’s and don’ts

To avoid transmission, wash your hands before and after this sexual activity.

You may also ask your partner to wear a condom so that you don’t come into contact with any sexual fluids.

Yes, you can contract an STI while having your vagina or anus fingered.

“Digital sex” — stimulation with your partner’s fingers — can transmit HPV from their hands to your genitals or anus.

Overall risk

Researchers in one 2010 study found that while finger-to-genital HPV transmission is possible, the overall risk is low.

Safety do’s and don’ts

Ask your partner to wash their hands well with soap and water and trim their nails before they begin. This will reduce your risk of cuts or scrapes and minimize the overall spread of bacteria.

If your partner would like to touch themselves while fingering you, ask them to use their other hand instead of alternating hands.

Yes, you can contract an STI while fingering your partner’s vagina or anus.

Digital sex — in which you manually stimulate your partner’s vagina or anus — can transmit HPV from your partner’s genitals or anus to your body.

Overall risk

Fingering a partner is considered a lower risk sexual activity.

If your partner has HPV and you touch yourself after fingering them, HPV can be transmitted to you.

It’s also possible to contract HPV if you have an open sore on your hands and they have an open sore or blister in the genital area.

Safety do’s and don’ts

Before and after you finger a partner anally or vaginally, wash your hands well with soap and water.

You may also consider skipping this activity if your partner has open sores or cuts around their vagina or anus.

Using a barrier method can help prevent the spread of bodily fluids. For example, you can insert an inside condom into the vagina or anus.

Yes, you can contract a genital STI while receiving penile, vaginal, and anal oral sex.

The following STIs can be spread from your partner’s mouth to your genitals:

Overall risk

If your partner has an infection in their throat or mouth, they can deposit bacteria from that infection to your body through oral sex.

The transmission risk may be highest with receiving penile oral sex (fellatio).

Safety do’s and don’ts

You can reduce your risk of contracting an STI by using a barrier method.

This includes wearing an outside condom on your penis or placing a dental dam over your vagina or anus.

Yes, you can contract an oral STI while performing penile, vaginal, or oral sex.

The following STIs can be spread from your partner’s genitals to your mouth:

Overall risk

STIs affecting your partner’s genitalia can be spread to your mouth or throat.

The transmission risk may be highest from performing penile fellatio.

Safety do’s and don’ts

You can reduce your risk of contracting an STI by using a barrier method.

This includes wearing an outside condom on your penis or placing a dental dam over your vagina or anus.

Yes, you can contract an STI through penile-vaginal or penile-anal sex.

STIs transmitted through bodily fluid and through skin-to-skin contact can be transmitted through penetrative sexual intercourse to any involved party.

This includes:

Overall risk

Any kind of penetrative sex without a barrier method of protection is considered high risk.

Safety do’s and don’ts

To reduce your risk, always use a barrier method before having penetrative sex.

Sexually active individuals should get tested regularly for STIs.

A good rule of thumb is to get tested after each new sexual partner. You should also get tested at least once per year regardless of whether you’ve had a new partner.

Some STIs, like HPV, aren’t included in standard tests, so you may want to consider asking your provider for a “full panel.”

Your provider can help you decide which tests suit your individual needs.

In addition to regular testing, here are a few things you can do to help prevent transmitting or contracting an STI:

  • Use condoms or dental dams during oral sex and penetrative intercourse.
  • Sanitize any toys you use during sex before sharing with another person.
  • Encourage open conversations about how often you get tested and any symptoms you notice.

Symptoms of common STIs include:

  • change in the color or amount of your pelvic discharge
  • burning and itching when you urinate
  • frequent urge to urinate
  • pain during intercourse
  • sores, bumps, or blisters on your anus or genitals
  • flu-like symptoms, such as achy joints or a fever

See a doctor or other healthcare provider if you experience these or any other unusual symptoms.

There are all sorts of ways you can get tested for STIs.

For a full screening, you may be asked to:

  • provide a urine sample
  • allow a swab of your genital area
  • undergo a blood test

If you have a vagina, you may also need a pap smear or cervical scrape.

If you feel comfortable, you can ask your primary care physician for an STI test. These tests are often covered by health insurance, including Medicaid.

There are also low-cost and free clinics all over the United States. You can use online search tools like freestdcheck.org to search for a free STI testing clinic in your area.

Home tests for gonorrhea, chlamydia, and HIV are also available. You mail your sample to a laboratory, and your results are ready within two weeks.

Home kits are more likely to produce false positives, so you should see a doctor or other healthcare provider to confirm your results and discuss any next steps.

Nearly every sexual activity carries some risk of STI transmission. But by practicing safe sex and open communication, you can lower that risk considerably.

See a doctor or other provider if you:

  • experience condom failure
  • develop unusual symptoms, including foul odor or itching
  • have other reason to suspect potential exposure

Your provider can administer an STI screen and advise you on any next steps.