Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Can you get herpes from a toilet seat or possible smoking drinking after them?"
Need to know more about ways of coming into contact with herpes
Thank you for your question about the spread of herpes 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, glasses, 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 sore on the lip during oral sex. However there is no risk of genital herpes spread through environmental surfaces such as toilet seats, bed sheets, etc. If you are worried that someone you are sexually active with may have herpes, it is very important that he or she seek medical attention. If they do in fact have an active genital herpes outbreak, it will be important to begin antiviral therapy and to practice safe habits such as wearing a condom to prevent transmission. Please speak with your doctor about any other concerns you may have related to herpes and its transmission.
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