ZocdocAnswersCan I get HPV or Herpes by sharing clothes?

Question

Can I get HPV or Herpes by sharing clothes?

1.-If I wore a shared bathing suit with my underwear on but under the bathing suit, can I get HPV or herpes if a sick person wore used it hours or days before? could you explain me why? 2.-there are many contradictions on internet some people say that you can get HPV by fomites like soap, towels or dirty underwear but some other people say that is just a skin to skin virus, but what's the real truth? are there enoguh studies about that or people just doesn't know? 3.-How likely is HPV to be spread by fomites? Does the virus reduce or loose its infectivity by no having a human host? 4.-Could HPV or another STI's go through clothes and infect somene? maybe trying on tight clothes at the store or in my own situation...does my underwear under the bathing suit could have worked as a layer and protect me to avoid an infection? why? I thank you a lot

Answer

Thank you for your question about the spread of STDs and I encourage you to discuss your concern with your doctor. Herpes simplex can appear in two forms, genital and oral. Genital herpes is an STD usually caused by herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). It can also be due to HSV-1, the cause of oral herpes (cold sores on the mouth and lips). Oral herpes can easily be spread from person to person through contact with active cold sores on the mouth. This includes sharing utensils, cigarettes, lip balm, towels, kissing, or any other close contact with cold sores. Genital herpes can be transmitted between partners during vaginal, oral, or anal sex. It is even possible to contract genital herpes from a person who has an infected cold sores on the lip during oral sex. However, there is no risk of genital herpes spread through environmental surfaces such as toilet seats, bed sheets, clothing, etc. This also applies to the transmission of HPV through clothing. If you are worried that someone you know has an active STD, it is very important that he or she seek medical attention. Please speak with your doctor about any further concerns you may have related to STDs and its transmission.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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