STIs are usually spread through sex—vaginal, oral or anal.
STIs can be spread through any type of sex: from a male to a female, a female to a male, a male to another male or a female to another female.
Some STIs can be spread through any contact between the penis, vagina, mouth or anus—even if there is no penetration. For example, genital herpes is transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact, and can be transmitted even if there is no penetration.
Some STIs can be spread in other ways also. For example, HIVand Hepatitis B are spread through sharing needles for injecting drugs or medicines.
The medical information in JUST THE FACTS is based on the STIEF and NZ Sexual Health Society Guidelines for the management of STIs. The New Zealand Ministry of Health supports the use of these clinical guidelines, developed by clinical experts and professional associations to guide clinical care in New Zealand.