Can You Get an STD from Kissing?

We humans kiss each other all the time. From greetings and farewells, to expressions of romantic intent and even love, a kiss can mean a great number of things. In fact, the average person will spend around two weeks of their life kissing. Unsurprisingly, most of us think of kissing as an innocent act, and don’t associate the danger of STD transmission with a harmless smooch. However, kissing does carry a certain level of risk in regard to STDs. Can you get an STD from kissing? The answer might surprise you:

Defining Casual Contact

For years people were deathly afraid of coming into casual contact with individuals with HIV and AIDS. Due to a lack of accurate information regarding STD transmission, lots of folks still believe you can get an STD from shaking someone’s hand or using a public toilet. However, STDs don’t really function this way. In almost all instances, some degree of sexual contact is required to spread STDs. Saliva isn’t an ideal conduit for STD transmission; rather, blood, semen, vaginal fluid, or breast milk is almost always required to spread an STD. To simplify, you can consider any contact with those fluids “intimate,” and almost everything else “casual.”

Yes, You Can Get an STD from Kissing

Though not common, it is possible to get an STD from kissing. Usually, one of these criteria has to be met though:

  • Blood is present. As mentioned above, STDs have trouble moving through saliva. But saliva mixed with infected blood is another matter, and in rare instances HIV has been suspected to travel from mouth to mouth through open wounds.
  • Deep Kissing. You’re not likely to get an STD as a result of a peck on the cheek.
  • STD Sores in the Mouth. Similar to point one, sores in the mouth can increase the likelihood of STD transmission through kissing. (Especially if those sores are open.) Note that chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, herpes, HIV, HPV, and trichomoniasis can all exhibit symptoms in the mouth or throat.
  • Herpes. In general, this is the STD that you’re most likely to get from kissing. Because herpes passes through skin-to-skin contact, it’s one of the few STDs that spreads through kissing “easily.” (It’s also one of the reasons why herpes is so prevalent.) The risks associated with picking up other STDs through kissing –– especially if no blood or sores are present, are much lower.

A Word from Same Day STD Testing

If there’s a lesson to be learned here, it’s that you can never be too careful with your sexual health. Any sexual contact at all –– even something as minor as kissing –– can lead to STD transmission. So if you’re concerned about your own well-being and the health of your partner(s) always make sure to prioritize sexual wellness. You can do this by practicing safe sex, using condoms or dental dams during oral sex, holding open and honest conversations with your partner, and, naturally, getting tested for STDs. If you’re worried you might have an STD –– don’t wait another minute. Call us today at 844-394-8520 and set up an appointment. Your visit is confidential and you’ll have access to the most sophisticated tests on the market. Find a location near you and reclaim control of your sexual health.

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