Yes, you can get infected with sexually transmitted diseases through kissing. However, this is much less likely than during vaginal, anal or oral sexual contacts. Some sexually transmitted diseases do not require vaginal or anal intercourse and can be transmitted through minor skin contacts. Many STDs can be transmitted with body fluids, but saliva in not as favorable for infection transmission as blood or semen.
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For a person to get infected with STD through kissing, there has to be the presence of open sores or cuts in the mouth even though contraction is potentially possible through saliva. Yet, it is recommendable to be aware of the possibility and be careful when choosing a partner.
STDs that can be transmitted through kissing Herpes
Herpes is the most common STD that can be contracted through kissing. Herpes is a viral infection that is transmitted through skin contacts and exposure of mucosal tissues to the infection. Women are more vulnerable to the virus.
The presence of any sores in the mouth or on the lips increases the chances of obtaining herpes. In spite of being relatively easy to treat, oral herpes can result in irritating blisters or cold sores on the lips and in the mouth. Most Herpes-caused cold sores and blisters are noticeable and easy to spot. As long as Herpes is a highly contagious infection, it is suggested to make quick visual examination of your new partner’s lips before kissing.
Hepatitis B is another STD that can pass from one person to another through saliva and exposed open sores. Therefore kissing and sex play are potentially among the ways of contracting this disease. However, as most people in developed countries are vaccinated against the virus, there are not many cases of it and many people do not consider the virus to be able to spread through kissing. Hepatitis B can cause life-threatening damage to liver if left untreated.
Getting infected with syphilis through kissing is highly unlikely, but the likelihood should not be discarded. It takes an infected partner, the presence of open sores in the mouth and bad odds, but it can happen. HPV (warts).
Despite the wide spread nature of sexually transmitted diseases, it is in everybody’s power to choose whether to protect from unwanted infections or not. No preventive measure can guarantee you 100% protection, but simple measures can be taken to reduce the chance of contracting an STD.
- Abstaining from sexual contacts could be the most effective solution, or monogamous relations and careful partner selection is still better.
- Using latex condoms during sexual intercourse is the most effective way to protect yourself from STDs.
- Do not proceed with sex when spotting any STD symptoms on your partner’s body.
- Avoid taking alcohol or drugs before sex as they may prompt you to risky behavior which can expose you to infection.
- Some STDs like HPV or Hepatitis B are effectively prevented by getting vaccinated.
- Avoid sharing needles and other sharp objects with other people.
- Do not share personal hygiene items such as towels, razors or toothbrushes and use slippers when visiting public baths or showers.
- Go for medical tests on regular basis as they may expose hidden STDs. When left untreated, they may be passed to your partners, develop serious conditions and favor the transmission of other infections.