I really want to have sex with my partner. It’s both of our first times. Pregnancy protection aside, do we need to protect from STDs if we are both virgins? Could we get an STD from each other if neither of us have ever had the chance to get them?

Protecting against sexually transmitted infections (otherwise known as STDs or STIs) is very important when having sex, even if you are confident that it is your partner’s first time as well. STIs can be transmitted through vaginal, oral, or anal sex so it’s important to use condoms or another barrier method, such as a dental dam, to protect yourself and your partner every time you have any type of intercourse or oral sex. There are many different types of STIs and some types can be transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, such as herpes or genital warts. Even if you both have never had sex, some people can get infections such as HIV, hepatitis or herpes through ways other than sex and then spread these infections to you during sexual activity. This means that even if someone is a virgin, there is a chance they could still give you a STI. Finally, it is important for both you and your partner to talk about your sexual health with your respective healthcare providers and to get tested for STIs regularly.