Kissing is such a beautiful, intimate act of romance. Kissing someone can make you happy and elevate your hormones. But more often that not, you are bound to ponder – is kissing really safe? What if you kissed a random guy last night drunk at the party and now you have a bad feeling? We in this article tell you all about the diseases related to kissing people, how you can catch them and whether or not you can get an STD from kissing. Only some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are transmittable over kissing. Two common ones are herpes simplex virus (HSV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV).
Herpes simplex virus can take two distinct forms.
Oral herpes or HSV-1 can easily be spread through kissing. The most prominent symptom is a small white or red blister in your mouth or on your genitals. It may ooze or start bleeding during an outbreak. Touching or kissing someone with an active cold sore can also spread the viral infection to you. The virus can also spread when there are no symptoms present. HSV-1 can be spread by sharing saliva or utensils that have touched the mouth of those with the virus. HSV-1 can affect your genitals and be spread through oral, genital, or anal sex.
Genital herpes or HSV infection is more commonly spread through sexual interaction — oral, genital, or anal — with an infected sore than through kissing. However, mouth-to-mouth transmission is still possible. HSV-2 symptoms are essentially the same as those of HSV-1. Neither HSV-1 nor HSV-2 can be totally cured. You likely won’t experience any symptoms or problems unless you have a compromised immune system. For active infections, your doctor will recommend antiviral medications for instance acyclovir (Zovirax) or valacyclovir (Valtrex).
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a viral infection and can be spread by kissing someone whose saliva is infected. It’s can also be spread through:
- breast milk
Symptoms of CMV include:
- sore throat
- body aches
CMV isn’t really curable but someone with CMV may never have any clear symptoms. Like herpes, CMV can cause symptoms if you have a weak immune system. Your doctor may recommend similar treatments for this.
Syphilis is a bacterial infection and is not typically transmitted by kissing. It is more commonly spread by oral, anal, or genital sex. Nevertheless, syphilis can cause sores in your mouth that can spread the bacteria to someone else. Deep or French kissing, where you and your partner touch your tongues together while you kiss, can also upsurge your risk of infection. This is because you expose yourself to any possibly infected tissue in your partner’s mouth. Syphilis can become severe or fatal if it’s left unattended. Symptoms include:
- sore throat
- lymph node swelling
- losing hair
- body aches
- feeling exhausted
- abnormal spots, pimples, or warts
- vision loss
- heart conditions
- mental health conditions, such as neurosyphilis
- brain damage
- memory loss
Primary treatment of syphilis with antibiotics, for instance, penicillin, is generally successful in destroying infectious bacteria. Get treatment as quickly as possible if you doubt you have syphilis to prevent any long-term complications. Most of the STDs cannot be spread through kissing, so you don’t need to be worried if you kissed someone unknown. However there are some STDs that can spread this way, so it is vital to be aware of this before you kiss someone, so you can take suitable precautions.
You can also try to sit down and discuss these things with your partner before you engage in any sort of sexual activity, and don’t be scared to get tested or ask your partner to get tested in order to be confident that neither of you can spread an STD. An open discussion like this can remove some of the anxiety and uncertainty around sexual activity and make your experience even more fulfilling. Besides if you’re concerned you might have an STD, see your healthcare provider right away before you have sex or engage in any sexual related activity.
That being said, even if your partner doesn’t necessarily have STDs, you can still catch other diseases from kissing. Some of these are listed below:
- Cold – catching a cold virus is easy if you are practically kissing someone infected by the virus
- Glandular fever – also referred to as the kissing disease can be caused by kissing or intimate contact
- Warts – If you kiss someone infected with warts you are very much likely to infect yourself too, especially if they have been recently diagnosed with it
You can take necessary steps and precautions to lower your chances of catching an infection or a disease by practising some habits listed here :
- Avoid kissing when either one of you or your partner is sick.
- Refrain from kissing anyone on the lips when you, or they, have an active cold sore, warts or ulcers around the lips or in the mouth.
- Practice good oral hygiene.
- Cough or sneeze into a handkerchief if you have a cold.
- Always see a doctor immediately if you notice something suspicious in or around your mouth.