Can You Get an STD from Kissing?

Sexually transmitted diseases have their means of spreading mentioned in their name. However, some of them can be contracted even without a sexual intercourse, through kissing. Read on to find out what can be spread by making out and what implications there may be.

Not all sexually transmitted diseases can be contracted through kissing: many of them require sexual contact. However, there are some STDs which are not that picky, and they will be satisfied with an occasional kiss. Such infections as gonorrhea and chlamydia are not contracted without a sexual intercourse. Unlike them, syphilis, herpes, HPV and even HIV are among those that can result from kissing. While the chances of spreading this way remain relatively low, it is a thing one should be aware of.

Here is the list of four diseases you can contract while kissing.

STD #1. Herpes.

The underlying cause of this STD is the herpes simplex virus, which is often abbreviated at HSV. There are two types of it, namely type 1 and type 2. The former denotes oral herpes – so familiar an issue for many – while the latter is used to term genital herpes. However, the situation is complicated by the increasing flexibility of both types: nowadays, either type can lead to both oral and genital herpes. That is why it can be transmitted while kissing: you can contract herpes type 1 only to see it develop into genital herpes. As of this moment, there is no medication or procedure that would eliminate the virus from the body. Those with herpes have to wait till the outbreak abates. If you have cold sores, you can use some over-the-counter acyclovir-based medication to alleviate the symptoms.

STD #2. Syphilis.

Although kissing is not the primary way of transmitting syphilis – as sexual intercourse is more dangerous – it is quite easy to contract it, because one of the symptoms of this highly contagious disease is round and open sores that develop in the mouth. They are usually painless and stay there for as long as six weeks. Then other symptoms develop, including rash, fever and other flu-like symptoms. The highly contagious sores, which are found on the genitals and in and around the mouth, explain why it is easy to transmit the disease by kissing: the sores are a source of the bacteria causing the infection. If left untreated, syphilis can be very dangerous, leading to heart conditions, paralysis, and other grave consequences. The STD is usually treated with the help of antibiotics.

STD #3. Human papillomavirus.

Most strains of HPV are rather harmless, with many of them causing warts in the genital area. However, there are around thirty virus types that can increase the risk for cancer. The virus is spread through skin-to-skin contact, which includes kissing. It remains unclear how it is transmitted through open-mouthed kissing, but oral HPV can be caused by the HPV that affects the genitals, so any contact can potentially be dangerous. HPV is a common virus that is found in almost every adult. Pap test is aimed at detecting precancerous processes triggered by the virus, so it is included in routine exams.

STD #4. HIV.

The virus widely known for causing AIDS is not easy to contract when kissing, as it is not transmitted through saliva. However, if both kissers have sores in the mouth or their gums are bleeding, spreading becomes possible. Such cases are rare, but the possibility is still there.

Knowing what you can contract through kissing can help you recognize certain symptoms and start treatment soon. However, it is whom you kiss that matters, and having just one partner can help you avoid the common implications of playing the field. The best way to prevent STDs is fidelity.

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