Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Are sexually transmitted diseases spread through kissing?"

ZocdocAnswersAre sexually transmitted diseases spread through kissing?


Can you get things like gonorrhea or chlamydia from kissing only? Would that small amount of skin contact let an STD to be spread?


Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections that can be transferred from one person to another through any type of sexual contact. Whether or not sexually transmitted diseases are spread through kissing all depends on the types of the diseases themselves. One example of a STD transmission through saliva is mononucleosis, or mono, which refers to the kissing disease. Mono is caused by infection with Epstein-Barr virus that can be transmitted by kissing because the virus is shed in saliva. Oral herpes can of course be spread by kissing. On the other hand, some infections like gonorrhea and chlamydia are harder to be transmitted through kissing alone. Gonorrhea or chlamydia is a highly contagious STD bacterial infection that spreads through semen or vaginal fluids during unprotected vaginal, anal, or oral-genital sex with an infected partner. Gonorrhea or chlamydia usually infects the genitals of both men and women, but can also infects the rectum, eyes, and back of the throat. Contrary to popular belief, transmission of gonorrhea or chlamydia by simple kissing has never been documented. If it happens, it is too rare to matter. The bacterium that causes gonorrhea or chlamydia requires very specific conditions for growth and reproduction. I hope you find the information helpful. If you have more concerns, I suggest that you have a consultation with a primary care doctor.

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