Oral STDs: All That You Need To Know

Oral STDs: All That You Need To Know Image

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are common across the globe, but we usually associate them with uncomfortable signs and symptoms in the genital area. However, oral STDs are also common and it’s important to learn about them. So, scroll down to get informed about oral STDs and how to recognize them.

Who can get oral STD?

Generally speaking, every man or woman who engages in oral sex is at risk of developing oral STD. The reason is simple, most sexually transmitted diseases can be passed on to partner through oral sex. That being said, some factors contribute to a higher risk of developing oral STD and they include the number of sexual partners, the particular oral acts in which people engage, among others. The likelihood also increases with the lack of awareness of oral STD. The more people know about oral STDs the more likely they are to adopt safe practices and avoid them.

STDs passed on through oral sex

Various STDs can also pass on to a partner through oral sex and below we’re going to discuss them. 


The risk of developing this oral STD comes after giving oral sex to a partner with an infected penis or vagina and rectum. People who get oral sex on the penis from a partner with chlamydia in the throat can also develop this STD (but on their penis, not oral of course). Oral Chlamydia can be asymptomatic, but affected people may also experience a sore throat. The good thing is that it’s possible to treat Chlamydia with the right medicine.


Gonorrhea, like other STDs, is spread after giving oral sex to a partner with infected vagina, penis, or rectum. Although the STD doesn’t usually cause symptoms, it can induce a sore throat. That being said, oral gonorrhea can be more difficult to cure than genital or rectal infections, but treatment is still possible with antibiotics.


A person can get oral syphilis when giving oral sex to someone with syphilis sore or rash on their genitals or anus. Areas of initial infection may include lips, mouth, and throat. Even though oral syphilis doesn’t always have symptoms, they may include one or more painless ulcers or sores on the lips, mouth, and throat. The treatment is possible with the right medicine.


You may develop oral herpes if you give oral sex to a partner with herpes on the genital area, anus, buttocks, or in the rectum. The STD may then develop on lips, mouth, or throat. The STD may manifest itself through headache or fever and painful or itching sores at the site of infection. No cure for herpes exists, but antiviral medications decrease symptoms of outbreaks.

Human papillomavirus (HPV)

Giving oral sex to a partner with an HPV-infected penis, vagina, or anus can cause oral HPV in the mouth or throat. This oral STD may lead to the formation of warts in the throat that cause changes in voice, shortness of breath, and difficulty speaking. Treatment may reduce warts, but won’t eliminate the infection. Warts may also disappear on their own.


Sexually active men and women need to bear in mind it’s possible to develop oral STDs as well. Practice safe sex and get tested regularly. With home testing kits it has never been easier to determine whether you have an STD or not.




1 in 9 Men Has Oral HPV

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is the most common sexually transmitted infection in the US. In fact, most sexually active men and women will contract HPV at some point in their life. More than 100 types of HPV have been identified so far, and more than 40 subtypes of the virus can infect one’s throat and genital region. Oral HPV is transmitted through oral sex, and it is one of the most prevalent forms of the virus. The latest figures show that one in nine American men is infected with oral HPV, which is a major reason for concern.

Prevalence of oral HPV among American men

Even though the prevalence of HPV-positive OPSCC (oropharyngeal squamous cell carcinoma) is high among men, the evidence about the difference in the prevalence of oral HPV among men and women is limited. The lack of data prevents scientists and healthcare providers from proposing adequate measures to lower the prevalence rates.

What’s more, concordance of genital and oral HPV among African men is still unknown. To get more insight into the subject and gain knowledge about the prevalence of oral HPV, Ashish A. Deshmukh, and a team of scientists at the University of Florida carried out an important study. Deshmukh and his team used data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey to analyze the rates of oral HPV and compare how many women and men are infected with this virus. Participants who took part in this large study were between 18 and 69 years old.

The results of the study were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, and they showed that 11.5% of participants had HPV. Expectedly, the prevalence of both low- and high-risk HPV was higher in men than in women. For example, only 1.4% of women were infected with high-risk HPV, while 7.3% of men had this sexually transmitted infection. Both men and women from the 50-54 age group had a higher prevalence of the virus compared to their younger and older counterparts.

Findings also showed that 11 million men had oral HPV or one in nine men to be more precise. On the other hand, only 3.2 million women had this type of virus. It is still not clear why HPV is more frequent in men than in women.

Increasing rates of high-risk HPV

As mentioned above, men are more prone to high-risk HPV, and scientists just discovered how common this virus really is. They discovered that the most prevalent high-risk type of the virus, HPV 16, was six times higher in men than in women with a ratio of 1.8% vs. 0.3%.

The HPV 16 is a major contributor to cancers of the head and neck. These figures could also explain the rise incidence of oropharyngeal cancer. The rates of this cancer have increased by more than 300% during the last four decades, thus making it the most frequent HPV-related cancer in the country.

Other findings

Along with shocking findings of the prevalence of oral HPV and high-risk virus strains, scientists made other important discoveries too:

  • High-risk oral HPV was strongly linked with cigarette smoking and marijuana use
  • In 2016, 60% of teens ages 13-17 received at least one or more doses of HPV vaccine
  • Oral HPV is more prevalent in African-American men than in white men
  • The highest rates of oral HPV were found in men who reported having sexual intercourse with multiple partners, men with genital HPV, and men who had sex with other men


The latest study discovered that not only HPV is more prevalent in men, but oral HPV affects one in nine American men. At this point, scientists aren’t sure why the virus is more prevalent among men than in women, but risk factors include same-sex with other men, smoking (both cigarettes and marijuana), engaging in sexual intercourse with multiple partners.