Health: 5 Diseases And Infections You Can Get From Kissing
While kissing is generally considered a low-risk sexual activity compared to anal, oral, and vaginal sex, certain sexually transmitted infections can be spread through kissing.
It’s not just the lips; some STIs may also be passed on by kissing someone's cheek, eyes, and head.
However, mouth-to-mouth kissing can increase the risk of certain STIs.
Here are five STIs you can get from kissing.
Herpes is caused by two viruses: Herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and HSV-2. HSV-1 causes cold sores on the gums, lips, mouth, or throat, while HSV-2 causes genital herpes. Both viruses can be contracted through skin-to-skin contact during anal, oral, or vaginal sex and kissing.
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is another herpes virus that spreads through saliva while kissing. It can cause flu-related symptoms like fatigue, fever, loss of appetite, malaise, muscle aches, rash, sore throat, and swollen glands.
Mono, also known as kissing disease, is an Epstein-Barr virus infection transmitted through saliva, like kissing or using the cooking utensils of a person with the virus. It causes symptoms like fatigue, fever, rash, and swollen glands.
3. Human Papilloma Virus (HPV)
There are over 200 types of HPV, some spreading through deep tongue kissing and oral sex. Oral HPV often causes no symptoms, making it easy to pass from person to person and potentially causing cancer.
The virus can cause painless growths or lumps around the vagina, penis, or anus, known as genital warts, which most people do not realise.
Kissing might be a means of oral gonorrhoea transmission.
Gonorrhoea is a bacterial infection contracted through sexual contact that, if left untreated, can lead to infertility.
Symptoms include painful urination and unusual vaginal or penile discharge. Women may feel discomfort in the lower abdomen, while men may suffer pain in the testicles. Gonorrhoea can occasionally go unnoticed. When an infection is present but not causing symptoms, regular screening can help find it.
Syphilis can be gotten from kissing an infected person. It is a skin disease that spreads through close physical contact with sores on the vagina, lips, anus, rectum, or mouth. Symptoms include skin rash, fever, firm, round, painless sores, and swollen lymph nodes.
You can avoid these infections by practising monogamy, using dental dams and going for regular medical check ups.