Many people don’t realize that herpes actually describes two separate viral diseases.
Herpes simplex type 1 or Oral Herpes causes blisters mainly around the mouth, but occasionally spreads elsewhere. Breakouts of oral herpes are also called “cold sores” or “fever blisters.”
Oral herpes is a VERY common infection. Though some carriers may never or only very rarely experience an outbreak of the associated sores around their mouth, the latest estimates show 57.7% of people in the US are infected. It is actually more likely that you ARE a carrier of Herpes type 1 than that you aren’t!
This type of herpes is transmittable through contact with the saliva or the herpes blisters (cold sores) of an infected person. This said – yes, it is entirely possible to get herpes from kissing. It is also possible, though less common, that herpes type 1 might spread to genital regions through oral sex.
Herpes simplex type 2 or Genital Herpes causes blisters mainly around the genitalia, but very rarely elsewhere on the body. It is the second most common herpes infection with the latest estimates showing 16.2% of the US population are carriers.
The spread of genital herpes occurs mainly through sexual contact (vaginal, oral or anal) with an infected person. Transmission can occur even though the infected person may have no blisters at the time. Genital herpes can spread to the mouth through oral sex.
Once you have contracted either type of herpes virus you will be a carrier for life. However, both types tend to become less severe with the passing of time and though they may still be contagious to others, many times people stop having breakouts at all.
How Is Herpes Spread?
Kissing isn't the only way to spread herpes.
The main areas that are easily affected are moist areas, such as the mouth, throat, lips, vagina, vulva and eyes. Blood is also a highly contagious factor that can spread herpes. Even after the sores have healed, the skin can shed the herpes virus and spread to others. It's not until all of the scabs have fallen off that the skin is normal again.
Can You Get Herpes From Surfaces Infected People Have Had Contact With?
Despite the myths, no, you cannot get herpes from toilets, towels, wash cloths, swimming pools, bathtubs and washing machines.
Would I Know Right Away If I Had Herpes?
The time between transmission of genital herpes and the appearance of symptoms can range from 2 to 20 days. The first signs are itching and/or pain with sores appearing a few days later.
For cold sores or oral herpes, transmission results in asymptomatic infection (infection WITHOUT any symptoms) twice as often as it does symptomatic infection (infection WITH symptoms). For those that do develop symptoms, typically occur between 2 and 12 days after contact with an infected person.
What Are The First Signs of Herpes?
Itching, tingling, burning or pain sensations on the affected area of the skin are usually the first signs of the herpes virus. This can happen just hours before blisters appear, but may begin as much as a few days also known as prodrome - symptoms before the outbreak). You may also experience one or more of the following:
Burning feeling while urinating
Swollen, tender lymph glands in the groin, throat or under the arms (sometimes remaining swollen for up to six weeks)
Flu-like, achy feeling
Inability to urinate
Most of the time, these symptoms will subside after three weeks, but can leave faster if using treatments.
The virus from contact with an infected person can enter your body through a break in your skin or through the skin of your mouth, penis or vagina, urinary tract opening, cervix or anus. Commented on HelloLife · January 18, 2008 at 1:10 AM
can anyone answer questions regarding herpes in salivia or know where Commented on HelloLife · September 11, 2009 at 6:39 PM
If you have vaginal herpes type 1 on the outside of your vagina can you spread it by kissing.....and if so is tht just when ur in an outbreak or not. Commented on HelloLife · April 8, 2010 at 3:49 PM
ok this confused me... ok my girlfriend has type 1... we have never done anything... but im just asking if i can kiss her... Commented on HelloLife · February 27, 2012 at 2:45 PM
omg i had no idea u can get herpes from kissing. He better not have herpes or ima kill him Commented on HelloLife · February 27, 2012 at 5:07 PM
i have type one herpes.. i Get cold sores anytime i get really stressed, or my emotions change dramatically. But i kissed a guy two days ago, and then out of no where i got a cold sore, and it is a lot bigger than it my cold sores usually are, and i was scared i got like the actual STD, herpes... do i?? or well better question can i? Commented on HelloLife · April 4, 2013 at 7:51 PM
The counselor of HSVDatingClub.com told me the chance of getting herpes from saliva or kissing is very small. Is that right? Commented on HelloLife · September 10, 2013 at 10:21 PM
i was wondering if your partner has herpes type 1 can you kiss or french your partner and would that mean you get infected with it too? or you can only get infected if he/she has a cold sore and you kissed them? i'm very curious because my partner said they got cold sore herpes and i've read that herpes are very contagious so now i don't want to kiss my partner.
about genital herpes, if you have sex with your partner and he/she has genital herpes would that mean no matter what you do if you don't wear a condom during sex you're going to get herpes too? Commented on HelloLife · December 11, 2013 at 1:57 AM
ok well if and when the medicine does kick in to heal the herpes for the time being, and then i kiss my girlfriend, will i have a 0% just of getting herpes? Commented on HelloLife · May 29 at 12:16 AM
I kissed someone on the lips (no tongue or anything just a simple pop kiss) but I didn't know her. I'm scared because she was random I might of caught herpes, am I just flipping out for no reason, or should I get tested right away? Commented on HelloLife · June 17 at 10:09 AM
on my period, virgin, only kissed 3 people and I was both there first kiss, I drank a few open half drank beers at a party 3 days ago and have 2 small cold sores in my mouth, and a red spot not yet a cold sore but it looks like it will be soon and I have muscle aches and feel sweaty a lot but im not sure if its from my period? And I cuddled with a guy that has had a lot of sex and shared a beer with him and I also shared a drink with a couple that was like in there 20's im wondering if maybe I have herpes? Commented on HelloLife · Yesterday at 11:06 pm