Can you Get an STD from Kissing?


Does Kissing Cause STDs?

As enjoyable as kissing can be, it comes with its risks. There are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) that you can contract through kissing. Some of them are herpes simplex virus (HSV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV). Let’s discuss some of the most common STDs that are spread by kissing.

Common STDs that Are Transmitted through Kissing


Herpes simplex virus has two different forms. They are HSV-1 and HSV-2.


Also called oral herpes, HSV-1 is easily spread through kissing. Studies reveal that 67 percent of people under age 50 have the virus in their bodies. The most common symptom of herpes is a small white or red blister in the mouth or on the genitals. It could ooze or bleed during an outbreak. One can contract herpes by touching or kissing someone who has an active cold sore. In some cases, the virus has no symptoms and is still spread, notwithstanding. It is commonly spread by sharing saliva or utensils that have come in contact with the mouth of an infected person. HSV-1 can also affect the genitals and spread through oral, genital, or anal sex.


Also called genital herpes, this HSV infection is easily communicable through sexual contact with someone with an infected sore. HSV-2 symptoms are basically the same as those of HSV-1.

Neither HSV-1 nor HSV-2 can be fully cured, and sufferers would usually not experience any symptoms or complications except their immune system is compromised. There are antiviral medications that combat these conditions. Some of the common ones are acyclovir (Zovirax) and valacyclovir (Valtrex).


infectionSyphilis is a bacterial infection that isn’t typically transmitted by kissing; it’s more commonly spread through oral, genital, or anal sex. Its most common symptom is sores in the mouth. Deep kissing can increase the risk of infection because it exposes one to more potentially infected tissue in their partner’s mouth. Leaving syphilis untreated can be fatal. Its common symptoms are a feeling of exhaustion, fever, sore throat, headache, hair loss,
lymph node swelling, abnormal spots, pimples, or warts, vision loss, heart conditions, mental health conditions, memory loss, and brain damage. You can treat syphilis early with antibiotics like penicillin. Not treating it early can cause long-term complications.


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a viral infection that can be spread by kissing someone with infected saliva. It can also spread through urine, blood, breast milk, and semen. Some of its symptoms are fatigue, fever, body aches, and sore throat. Like herpes, CMV is incurable and may never show symptoms, except one has a compromised immune system. Its treatment options are similar to HSV.

What Can’t Be Transmitted through Kissing?

Well, not all STDs are transferrable through kissing. Let`s take a quick look at those that aren`t:


Chlamydia is a bacterial STD that spreads through unprotected anal, oral, or genital sex with someone who has the infection. It doesn`t get transferred through saliva.


Gonorrhea too is a bacterial STD that can only spread through unprotected sex, never through saliva from kissing.


Hepatitis is a liver condition caused by a virus that spreads through sexual contact or exposure to the blood of an infected person. Hepatitis definitely doesn`t spread through kissing.

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

PID is bacterial and spreads through unprotected sex. It never spreads through kissing.


This bacterial infection is only spread through unprotected genital sex, not through kissing or even oral or anal sex.


HIV is a viral infection that spreads through blood, semen, vaginal fluid, anal fluid, and breast milk. It never spreads through kissing because saliva can’t carry the virus.

Interesting Facts About Kissing


  • The expression, “kiss my ass” dates back to 1705.
  • The lips are 100 times more sensitive than the tips of the fingers.
  • About two-thirds of people tip their heads to the right when they kiss.
  • Because the mouth is full of bacteria, people exchange between 10 million and 1 billion bacteria when they kiss.
  • One of the most vital muscles in kissing is the orbicularis oris, popularly known as the kissing muscle.
  • French kissing involves 34 facial muscles.
  • Some women orgasm through kissing.
  • The concept and expression, “French kiss”, also known as a tongue kiss or a soul kiss got into the English language in 1923.
  • The Romans, back in the day, categorized kissing into three: osculum, basium, and savolium which respectively mean a kiss on the cheek, a kiss on the lips, and a deep kiss respectively.
  • The first on-screen kiss was shot in 1896 by the Edison Company. The film, titled The May Irwin-John C. Rice Kiss, lasted 30 seconds and consisted entirely of a man and a woman kissing intimately.
  • Passionate kissing burns 6.4 calories a minute.
  • Some studies hypothesize that the way a person kisses may be a reflection of their feeding method in childhood: breastfeeding or bottle feeding.
  • Kissing can be great for the teeth. The anticipation of a kiss increases the flow of saliva to the mouth, giving the teeth a plaque-dispersing bath.
  • Some people are more particular about who they kiss than who they have sex with because they consider kissing more intimate.
  • Back in the day, in the Trobriand Islands, lovers went through phases of sucking and biting in a variation of the French kiss, including biting off each other’s eyelashes.
  • Research shows that kissing reduces cortisol, a hormone linked to weight gain, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
  • Some people believe that kissing might have originated from the days when mothers orally passed chewed solid food to their infants during weaning.
  • Common chimpanzees kiss with open mouths, but not with their tongues.
  • Contraction of HIV through kissing is unlikely, though it was recorded that a woman was infected in 1997 when she and an infected man both had gum disease. Transmission must have been through the man’s blood and not his saliva.
  • Our brains have special neurons that help us find each other’s lips in the dark.
  • Basorexia is an overwhelming desire to kiss
  • A medieval manuscript warns Japanese men against deep kissing during the female orgasm because a woman might accidentally bite off part of her lover’s tongue.
  • Cunnilingus is a type of sexual kissing whereby a person stimulates the external female genital organs with the mouth or tongue.
  • The word “cunnilingus” originates from the Latin cunnus (vulva, vagina) and lingua (tongue) or lingere (to lick up).
  • On July 16, 1439, King Henry VI banned kissing in England to prevent the spread of the plague.
  • A group of German psychologists and physicians led by Dr. Arthur Szabo discovered that men who kissed their girlfriends or wives every morning live an average of five years longer than those who don’t.

Now that you Know…

Well, some good news; there are more STDs that aren`t transferrable through kissing than those that can. The fact that some are is enough reason to be careful. It is highly important that you take proper precautions before kissing anyone. So now you know that careless kissing can expose you to STDs.

If you have a partner, you should discuss testing with them before engaging in any kind of sexual activity so you can ascertain that neither of you has an STD. If you discover that either of you has an STD, you should take the right measures to treat or manage it before engaging in any sexual activity.