Can you catch an STI from anal sex?

The risk of catching an STI from anal sex is higher than for other types of sexual activity.

This is because the anal lining is thin and has no lubrication. This means it can get slightly damaged by friction during sex, making it more prone to infection.

STIs that can be passed on through anal activity include:

  • chlamydia

  • genital herpes

  • genital warts

  • gonorrhoea

  • hepatitis B

  • HIV

  • syphilis

Using condoms and lubrication will help you have anal sex safely.

Read our advice on safer anal sex

Reviewed by Dr Paula Baraitser. Medical Director, SH:24
Last updated at: 02 February 2024
Published on: 12 August 2022