An intimate 10-second kiss can transfer over 80 million bacteria. Though this might help some long-term couples by diversifying their oral bacteria (and thus boosting their resistance to other microorganisms), exchanging saliva can often transfer illnesses. Unfortunately, no one is exempt from the disease-spreading dangers of kissing. Though people in long-term relationships may fare slightly better, anyone can get sick this way. Data from the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control shows nine diseases that are transmitted through saliva.
Can Genital Herpes Spread From Kissing
Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted disease caused by two types of viruses namely herpes simplex type 1 and herpes simplex type 2 which are both transmitted by having sexual contact (vaginal, anal, or oral sex) with an infected individual. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), about one in every six people aged 14 to 49 years have genital herpes in the United States, while the World Health Organization (WHO), estimates that about 140 million people primarily in the Americas, Europe, and Western Pacific aged between 15-49 years are infected with HSV-1 virus. Click Here to see: Genital Herpes symptoms
How the Disease Develops
As established earlier, herpes spreads through sexual relationships which could either be oral, vaginal, or anal sex with someone who has the disease. Primarily, the disease spreads as a result of coming in contact with body fluids of an infected person. Unfortunately, most infected individuals do not know they are carrying the virus until major symptoms start manifesting. Once entry into the body via the skin is perfected, the virus travels along nerve paths and could either become dormant (inactive) and remain within the nerves indefinitely or become active from time to time leading to the development of clinical symptoms.
Kissing on the other hand refers to the touching or pressing of your lips against the lips of another person or an object. Cultural connotations of kissing vary widely. Depending on the culture and context, a kiss often expresses sentiments of love, passion, romance, sexual attraction, sexual activity, sexual arousal, affection, respect, greeting, friendship, peace, and good luck, among many others. In some circumstances, a kiss is a ritual, formal or symbolic gesture indicating devotion, respect, or sacrament.
Can You Get Genital Herpes By Kissing Without Being Sexually Active?
Genital Herpes is among the Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that can be transmitted without sexual intercourse. Herpes can be passed through direct skin-to-skin contact with the infected area such as kissing, oral sex, genital-to-genital rubbing, vaginal sex, and anal sex. Herpes (both oral & genital) can be spread even when there are no symptoms or sores. This explains why you can get herpes from kissing someone without an outbreak. See: Can You Get Herpes From A Toilet Seat
What is the difference between cold sores and genital herpes?
Herpes is a very common infection caused by two different but closely related viruses (HSV-1 and HSV-2). The two viruses are very easy to contract, and both remain in your body for life and can produce symptoms that appear and disappear from time to time. A person who has oral herpes can infect a partner with genital herpes by giving them oral sex. See: How Long Does a Herpes outbreak last
How to Prevent Herpes
Genital herpes is spread from sexual skin-to-skin contact with someone who has it — including vaginal, anal, and oral sex. So the best way to avoid herpes and other STDs is to not have any contact with another person’s mouth or genitals. But most people have sex at some point in their lives, so knowing how to have safer sex is important. Using protection like condoms and dental dams when you have sex helps to lower your risk of getting an STD.
Herpes can live on areas of your body that aren’t protected by condoms (like the scrotum, butt cheeks, upper thighs, and labia), so condoms won’t always protect you from herpes. But they do lower your chances of getting herpes. Don’t have sex with anyone during a herpes outbreak, because that’s when it spreads most easily. But herpes is usually passed when there are no sores or symptoms, so it’s important to use condoms and dental dams, even if everything looks and feels ok.
How can I make sure I don’t give anyone herpes?
If you find out that you have herpes, try not to freak out. There are a few ways that you can stop it from spreading to your partners and other parts of your body.
- Always use condoms and dental dams during oral, anal, and vaginal sex.
- Talk with your doctor about taking herpes medication every day, which can lower your chances of spreading herpes.
- Don’t have sex during a herpes outbreak, even with a condom. There may be sores on places the condom doesn’t cover.
- Learn how to tell when an outbreak is coming, and stop having sex right when you notice these signs. You may feel a burning, itching, or tingling feeling that lets you know you’re about to get sores.
- Don’t have sex until your sores are totally gone, and the scabs heal and fall off.
- Don’t touch your herpes sores, because you can spread the infection to other parts of your body or other people. If you touch a sore, wash your hands with soap and water right after.
- Don’t wet contact lenses with spit — this might spread your oral herpes to your eye.
- If you have a cold sore on your mouth, don’t kiss anyone — especially babies, children, or pregnant women.
- Always tell your sexual partners that you have herpes before you have sex, so you can work together to prevent it from spreading. Telling someone you have an STD can be hard, but herpes is super common and doesn’t lead to serious health problems. So try not to be too embarrassed or stressed out about it.
People who have herpes are twice as likely to get HIV as people who don’t. And people who have herpes and HIV have a much bigger chance of passing HIV to their partners. So it’s really important to use condoms to help protect yourself and your partner. SEE: Blue Waffle Disease Pictures