Can you catch an STD like herpes or HIV from kissing someone?
Yes, you can catch herpes just from kissing someone on the mouth. And while experts believe the risk of catching HIV (the virus that causes AIDS) from kissing is low, someone who has a cut or sore in the mouth has a chance of infection during open-mouthed kissing.
The tricky thing about STDs is that you can't always see if someone has one. Even when you don't see signs of an STD, an infected person can pass the infection along.
STDs can be transmitted through all types of sex, including oral sex. Mouth-to-genital contact can spread many STDs, including HIV, both from giving and receiving oral sex. So guys receiving oral sex should use a condom and girls receiving oral sex should use a dental dam. And anyone who has had sex should be tested for STDs.
Reviewed by: Larissa Hirsch, MD
Date reviewed: March 2011
*Names have been changed to protect user privacy.
|American Social Health Association This nonprofit organization is dedicated to preventing sexually transmitted diseases and offers hotlines for prevention and control of STDs.|
|Planned Parenthood Federation of America Planned Parenthood offers information on sexually transmitted diseases, birth control methods, and other issues of sexual health.|
|Genital Herpes You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Read about how to protect yourself.|
|5 Myths About STDs There's lots of misinformation out there about STDs. We set the record straight on 5 of the most common myths.|
|Condom Before you consider having sex, you need to know how to protect yourself. Read this article to find out how condoms work - and how well they protect against pregnancy and STDs.|
|About Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs) You've probably heard lots of discouraging news about sexually transmitted diseases. The good news is that STDs can be prevented. Find out how to protect yourself.|
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