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Hannah Kingston

Mar 25, 20227 min read

Can You Get Herpes From Kissing?

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


There are lots of facts and myths out there when it comes to how you get herpes, and you may be wondering whether you can get herpes from kissing. In the simplest of terms, it is important to note that, yes, you can get herpes from kissing. 

Can you get herpes from kissing? 

You can get herpes from kissing. Oral herpes which is also known as herpes simplex I, HSV-I or the common coldsore. Oral herpes is very contagious and can be spread via kissing. It is also important to note that it is very common, so if you do experience coldsores, there is nothing to be embarrassed about. 

In fact, oral herpes is so common, 67% of people under the age of 50 have the virus in their immune system, according to the World Health Organization.  

You are most likely to get herpes from kissing if or when you kiss someone while they have an active herpes outbreak, or in simpler terms when someone is experiencing active blisters or sores on their mouth or genitals.

It is very important to know that it is also possible to get herpes from kissing when you or the person you are kissing is not experiencing the symptoms of a oral herpes, (i.e. the herpes virus is dormant in their systems.)

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?

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What can you catch from kissing?

You may catch the follows STDs from kissing: 

  • Herpes
  • Syphilis
  • Cytomegalovirus¬†

Read: Can you get an STD from kissing? 

What are the signs of an STD on your mouth?

Some of the most common signs and symptoms of oral STDs include: 

  • Tingling and itching in and around the mouth¬†
  • Blisters in and around the mouth¬†
  • Scabs in and around the mouth¬†
  • Sore throat¬†
  • Swollen glands¬†

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How long does it take for an STD to show up on your mouth?

  • Oral herpes (coldsores) takes 2-12 days to show up following contact.¬†
  • Syphilis takes an average of 3 weeks to show up following contact.¬†
  • Cytomegalovirus takes an average of 3 weeks to show up following contact.

How do you know if you have a bacterial infection in your mouth?

Some of the most common symptoms of a bacterial infection in the mouth include: 

  1. Pain, redness, and swelling of the oral glands
  2. Sensitivity to hot and cold foods
  3. Sensitivity to pressure in the mouth 
  4. Fever
  5. Swelling in the cheeks or face
  6. Bad taste or smell in the mouth 

What to do if you think you have oral herpes

If you think you have oral or genital herpes, you should get tested as soon as possible, while herpes cannot be cured, it can be managed very effectively. 

At home herpes tests

At home herpes tests are relatively easy and simple to use. 

Some at home herpes test providers offer swab tests while others use blood tests. It will depend on the provider. You will be able to receive a diagnosis from either type of test. 

Here’s how at home herpes tests work: 

  1. Order the herpes test online.
  2. Take either a swab sample or blood test depending on the type of test used. 
  3. Mail your sample to the lab using the self-addressed envelope included in the price. 
  4. Receive your results by logging onto a secure online portal or via phone call. 

You can quickly and easily order an at home gonorrhea test from the following providers: 

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