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Can You Get an STD From Kissing?

The information provided herein does not constitute an expert or medical advice, nor intended to replace such advice.

Sexual Health
STD Tests

Can you get an STD from kissing? With so much misinformation out there when it comes to sexually transmitted infections, it’s normal to be concerned and worry that getting an STD through kissing could be a possibility, and it is a possibility.

That doesn’t mean that you should worry too much about kissing other people, however, it is important to have the facts so you have the best chance of staying safe, no matter what.  

There are three types of known STDs that can be contracted via mouth to mouth contact. 

Read on to find out everything you need to know about the risk of getting an STD via kissing. 

Can you get an STD from kissing?

You can get an STD from kissing. 

While kissing is viewed as a lower risk activity in comparison to oral and penetrative sex, it is still possible to get an STD via kissing. 

While kissing is a fun activity, and has been shown to have a variety of health benefits, it does hold a relatively small risk. 

Kissing can lead to the transmission of STDs including: 

  • Herpes
  • Syphilis
  • Cytomegalovirus 

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Kissing may also lead to a number of other health conditions via a variety of routes including airborne spread (when particles from the nose and throat are inhaled by someone who is close to you), droplets spread (when infected droplets from the nose and throat of an infected person enter the nose and/or throat of another person), contact spread (when a disease is spread directly from person to person via kissing, or indirectly, when a non-infected person comes into contact with a contaminated surface or object.)

Kissing can spread viruses from person to person, which can lead to different diseases. Some of the diseases that you can get from kissing include:

  • Common colds
  • Mononucleosis
  • Viral gastroenteritis
  • Seasonal influenza

Which STDs can you get from kissing?

STDs that can be spread through kissing include:

  • Herpes
  • Syphilis
  • Cytomegalovirus 


Oral herpes, HSV-1, or the common coldsore is highly contagious and can easily be spread via kissing. 67 percent of people under 50 have had the HSV-1 in their immune system. 

Oral herpes or coldsores are particularly contagious during an outbreak (when someone is experiencing active blisters or sores on their mouth or genitals), however, it is also possible to transmit coldsores while the virus is not active. 

Herpes may be spread by kissing or touching a person who has oral herpes. 

Genital herpes, while it is more commonly spread via sexual contact, can also be spread via kissing, particularly during active outbreaks of genital herpes. Having oral sex with someone who has genital herpes increases the likelihood of experiencing a blister or sore on the mouth on the mouth. 

Read: Herpes treatment | How do you treat herpes?


Syphilis may be spread via kissing, especially deep kissing. Syphilis may be spread via kissing when there are active sores on the mouth, known as the chancre.

If left untreated, you may experience serious syphilis symptoms

Syphilis is very easy to treat with antibiotics when treated early. If you are experiencing any symptoms of syphilis, make sure to get tested and treated as soon as possible. 

Read: Syphilis treatment | How do you treat syphilis?


Cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a viral infection, an infection that is similar to herpes. 

CMV may be contracted via contact with an infected person’s with saliva that contains the virus. CMV may also be transmitted through breast milk, semen, urine and blood. 

CMV is considered an STD due to the fact that it is transmitted via oral, anal and genital sexual contact. 

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What STDs can’t be transmitted through kissing?

However, it’s important to remember that you can still get different STDs in your mouth by giving oral sex to a partner who has a genital or anal STD. Although most oral STDs don’t cause symptoms in a large percentage of people, you could still transmit them to other people through different intimate activities. STDs that can be spread through oral sex include:

  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Trichomoniasis
  • Syphilis
  • HPV
  • Herpes

If your throat is sore after kissing, it is possible that you have contracted glandular fever, more commonly known as mononucleosis.

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Why is my throat sore after kissing?

If your throat is sore after kissing, it is possible that you have contracted glandular fever. 

Some of the symptoms of glandular fever include: 

  • Body aches
  • Headaches 
  • High temperature
  • Rash
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue 
  • Swelling around the eyes 
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • A sore throat 
  • Abdominal pain, especially in the upper right quadrant of the abdomen
  • Jaundice 

What STD is not curable after kissing?

Herpes and cytomegalovirus are not curable, although both viruses can be managed. They remain inactive inside the body, and they can reactivate later on. This usually happens when a patient becomes immunosuppressed, or when they’re under high levels of chronic stress.

Can you get chlamydia from kissing?

You cannot get chlamydia from kissing. Chlamydia is transmitted via anal, oral and penetrative sex. 

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Hannah Kingston

Hannah Kingston

Mar 25, 2022

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