THE mononucleosis-Sexually Transmitted Diseases with a kiss?
Sexually Transmitted Diseases with a kiss?
In terms of sexual activity, a kiss seems harmless enough . Actually, when it comes to the transmission of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), kissing isn’t completely risk-free.
Is it possible to contract a sexually transmitted disease from a kiss?
For many people, kissing may be considered a simple show of affection or an “intimate act” that carries less risk than other modes of sexually transmitted disease ( STD ) transmission. However, some of these infections can also be spread through kissing, especially when an individual has symptoms of active infections, such as a sore, mouth ulcer, or other sore.
What to know about sexually transmitted diseases
Sexually transmitted diseases are diseases that are transmitted mostly through vaginal , anal and oral intercourse , especially if unprotected. However, the bacteria , viruses, fungi and parasites that cause it do not spread exclusively through sexual contact .
In fact, sexually transmitted diseases can be contracted through other intimate activities in which it is possible to exchange bodily fluids ( saliva , male ejaculate, vaginal secretions and blood ) in which infectious agents are present, as well as from direct contact with the skin or mucous membranes and through random behaviors , such as borrowing dirty towels, sharing personal hygiene items, or being exposed to contaminated surfaces.
What diseases can be transmitted?
What Sexually Transmitted Diseases Can You Get From Kissing?
Although kissing is considered lower risk compared to oral sex or other types of intimate intercourse, it is not excluded that it can promote the spread of sexually transmitted diseases such as cytomegalovirus (CMV), HPV, herpes simplex and syphilis infections . The cytomegalovirus can be present in the saliva , while herpes and syphilis can be transmitted through skin-to-skin or mucous membrane contact with someone who has the infection (who is not necessarily aware of being a carrier , since they are often asymptomatic conditions, at least in early stages).
Oral STDs transmitted very easily
Oral herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and it is the STD that is most easily transmitted through kissing. Oral herpes is incredibly common, affecting an estimated 3.7 billion people worldwide under the age of 50.
Oral STDs transmitted less easily
Although cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection is not on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) list of sexually transmitted diseases, it can also be spread through sexual contact. It’s not easily transmitted through kissing, but it’s possible. CMV is transmissible through bodily fluids, including saliva, urine , blood, tears , semen, and breast milk .
Oral sexually transmitted diseases that are difficult to transmit
Syphilis is usually transmitted through vaginal, oral , or anal sex. This infection can be spread through kissing if one partner has a sore in their mouth, although this is rare.
How long does it take for them to appear?
How long does it take for oral STDs to cause symptoms?
The time it takes for symptoms related to an STI to appear varies, because each type of infection has its own incubation period .
For example: for oral herpes, the incubation period is 2 to 12 days, while for syphilis, it is 10 to 90 days; CMV can show itself after 3-12 weeks.
However, some sexually transmitted diseases remain asymptomatic and, if left untreated, can give rise to severe complications. For this reason, if you suspect you have contracted one, it is advisable to undergo a diagnostic test .
Syphilis is a disease caused by a bacterium called Treponema pallidum . The infection is most often transmitted during vaginal, oral, and anal sex when an uninfected person has direct contact with a syphilitic sore on the skin and genitals. Syphilis can also be spread through kissing if someone has lesions typical of the disease on the lips or in the mouth .
Treponema pallidum is present in all body fluids of infected people, especially in sexual fluids, therefore in semen and vaginal and pre-coital secretions. For this reason, the transmission of the infection occurs mainly through unprotected sexual intercourse, whether genital, oral or anal, consumed with an infected person and in the contagious phase.
Syphilis doesn’t always cause symptoms , so it’s important to get tested regularly to diagnose it. if it is not treated, it can cause fertility problems or other health problems in the future: the disease has a very long course, divided into various stages which, in the absence of treatment, gradually become more and more serious, until seriously damaging multiple organs and systems, such as the skin, heart , skeleton, and nervous system. Fortunately, thanks to the availability of valid diagnostic methods and the high efficacy of antibiotic therapy, syphilis is a controllable and curable infection.
- First symptoms : In general, the incubation times of syphilis are quite long and extend from 2 to 12 weeks. After an initial onset without obvious symptoms , the disease manifests itself with skin and genital lesions, accompanied by flu -like symptoms .
Risk of transmitting syphilis with a kiss
- In addition to sexual fluids, the bacterium is also abundantly present in the lesions caused by syphilis, present on the skin, genitals and mucous membranes in general, including those of the mouth, lips and throat ;
- If there are lesions associated with Treponema pallidum infection on the lips or inside the mouth of the kissing person , it is possible to contract syphilis. Most of these sores are found on the lips, mouth and genitals; typically, these lesions are firm, round, and painless and may heal within 3 to 6 weeks.
Two herpes viruses can be transmitted through kissing:
- The most common is herpes simplex type 1 , or oral herpes, which can cause cold sores ;
- Herpes simplex virus type 2 , or responsible for about 80-90% of all cases of genital herpes , can also be transmitted during kissing, but is most often transmitted through intimate contact.
Herpes simplex type 1 is the herpes infection most likely to get from kissing. This causes, in particular, ulcers, painful blisters or sores that form in, around or on the lips and mouth of the infected individual.
These manifestations can be quite annoying, but it is also possible that herpes simplex does not cause any noticeable discomfort. In this regard, a relevant factor in the spread of herpes is precisely the unaware transmission of the disease. In fact, it may happen that a person is a healthy herpes carrier, and can therefore transmit it to other people while not showing any symptoms or disturbances related to the disease.
Many people contract the virus not through sexual contact, but when they are children; for example, something like a kiss from an infected parent or relative can spread the virus. Herpes can also be spread through sharing utensils or anything that comes in contact with the virus.
Herpes simplex type 2 is most often spread through sexual acts such as oral, vaginal and anal sex. Again, the infection presents as painful blisters, sores, and ulcers, but in the genital area.
- First symptoms : Primary herpes virus infection may be asymptomatic or manifest at the point of entry of the infectious agent. When present, herpes symptoms usually appear 4-7 days after infection. Generally, the first symptom to appear is an annoying burning and tingling sensation, located in the area where the lesions will later appear. In the acute phase, in fact, the most characteristic sign is the appearance of rounded vesicles gathered in a “cluster”. Over the course of a few days, these blisters rupture, spilling their contents and leaving small, itchy, painful sores; precisely this moment coincides with the phase of maximum contagiousness. Primary infection may be complicated by systemic symptoms, such as fever , headache , joint pain , general malaise, and difficulty urinating. As the disease progresses, the ulcers left by the rupture of the vesicles dry out. Thus scabs are formed which gradually heal until they disappear. An important feature of all herpes viruses is that after infection and the first manifestations, they remain in the body hiding in the nerve ganglia, where the immune system and drugs cannot attack them. Thus holed up, herpes viruses remain in a latent state for long periods, which can be several weeks, months or years. This feature is also reflected in the course of genital herpes and cold sores, which is typically recurrent; in practice, the disease reappears from time to time, with short episodes and, generally, less serious than in the
Risk of herpes infection with a kiss
- Generally, herpes simplex type 1 limits its action to the mouth, lips and nose. Exchanging saliva with a kiss during the active phase of herpes makes transmission of the infection probable, as does direct contact with infected labial mucosa . The virus is most contagious in the presence of lesions (blisters, ulcers) or other symptoms of active infection; if a cold sore oozes serum or bleeds, it’s even more likely to spread the virus. Therefore, it is important to avoid kissing while having cold sores.
- Genital herpes can be spread through kissing under very limited circumstances and can cause oral herpes; however, transmission can occur through oral sex and petting : practices such as kissing, rubbing the genitals and mutual masturbation are at risk , especially when the oral or genital mucous membranes come into contact. In other words, mouthing the genitals of a partner with herpes on the genitals, anus, buttocks, or rectum can lead to herpes infection on the lips, mouth, or throat; likewise, receiving oral sex from a partner with herpes infection on the lips, mouth or throat can lead to herpes in the genital area, anus or rectum.
Although not officially considered a sexually transmitted disease, cytomegalovirus (CMV) is a viral infection that can be spread through sexual contact and kissing.
CMV is a virus belonging to the Herpesvirus family and can be transmitted by direct contact with bodily fluids, such as saliva, tears, blood, urine, breast milk, sperm and vaginal fluids.
Once contracted, CMV remains latent in the body for life, but can reactivate if the immune system weakens. In the active phase of the infection, fatigue, fever, sore throat , and swollen lymph nodes may occur ; individuals with compromised immune function may experience much more severe symptoms affecting the eyes , stomach , liver , lungs , esophagus , and intestines .
Healthy individuals are able to prevent the spread of CMV through their body’s immune system, fighting off any serious illness or infection.
Risk of CMV infection with a kiss
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) can be transmitted by a simple kiss (ie by the exchange of saliva).
Human papilloma virus (HPV) infections
HPV is an infectious agent characterized by a wide genetic variability: over 100 serotypes are known that can infect humans. Some of these are responsible for benign lesions of the skin and mucous membranes, such as warts , warts or papillomas . Other viral strains, on the other hand, have an oncogenic potential, i.e. they are capable of producing lesions that can evolve into a neoplastic sense. In particular, oral HPV – which is transmitted through contact or exchange of saliva in which the virus is present – can infect the mouth and throat, causing tumors in the oropharynx , base of the tongue, tonsils and back of the throat.
Risk of HPV infection with a kiss
Human papillomavirus (HPV) is usually transmitted through direct contact with the genital area, but a small number of people can develop oral HPV that can cause cancer of the oropharynx, tongue, tonsils, or throat. If your saliva is infected, you can pass the virus on to your partner through deep kisses .
In general, the infection can occur especially if there are active viral cells and if there are lacerations, cuts or abrasions in the skin or mucous membranes.
Genital HPV infection can also be transmitted to the mouth and throat with oral sex; the methods of contagion must also include vaginal and anal intercourse (most common), manual intimate contacts and the exchange of sex toys contaminated by infected people.
Finally, the transmission of the HPV virus can also occur indirectly. At risk are, in particular, places that host many people, such as public toilets, changing rooms or swimming pools, where contact with surfaces previously used by carriers of the infection is possible.
They are NOT transmitted with kisses
STDs that are not spread through kissing
- HIV : viral infection transmitted through semen, blood, vaginal and anal fluid, and breast milk; in rare cases, it may have passed through kissing if the HIV-negative person has an open sore or sore in their mouth;
- Hepatitis B : contracted by genital contact or infected blood;
- Gonorrhea : transmitted through sexual activity, but not through saliva exchange during kissing;
- Chlamydia : bacterial infection spread through genital, oral, and anal sex;
- Trichomoniasis : is transmitted through genital, oral and anal sex;
- Pubic lice : are transmitted through genital-to-genital contact.
Be aware that unprotected sex or not using a barrier method can transmit these STDs.
Other diseases that can be spread by kissing
Kissing sessions can spread other diseases, the most common of which include:
- Coronavirus and other cold viruses
- Flu-like syndromes
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