Info For Teens
Ask the Experts
My best friend let me borrow some of her shorts. Now, a few days later she’s telling me that she thinks she might have an STD. Is it possible that I could have gotten and STD from wearing her shorts?
While most STDs can’t be transmitted from sharing clothing, there are a few that can: scabies, pubic lice (also known as crabs), and molluscum contagiosum. The thing to know about these exceptions is that they can all be spread through sexual activity, but don’t necessarily have to be. They can be spread through skin-to-skin contact of any kind, or sharing clothing or bedding. They also all cause very noticeable itchiness and rashes, so your friend would likely know if she had one.
The truth is that almost all STDs are transmitted through things like unprotected sex (oral, anal, or vagina) and in some cases, skin-to-skin contact — but most STDs can’t live on the surface of a pair of shorts and then infect another person. You can protect yourself from STDs when you have sex by using condoms.