Did you know kissing on the mouth actually has the ability to transmit several types of STDs? Yuck. One of the most popular being the Herpes Simplex Virus 1, 2, gonorrhea and Syphilis.
Is there a way to prevent this? Well let’s get to the facts.
Herpes simplex is the name given to two viruses in a family of herpes viruses. Once you catch Herpes, it remains in the body and can last a lifetime. Herpes simplex virus 1 and 2 cause genital herpes and can cause symptoms on the face (cold sores), hands or fingers. Because symptoms can lay dormant, it’s possible people who have Herpes are unaware because they don’t see symptoms.
While HSV-1 is responsible for oral herpes, HSV-2 causes genital herpes. What’s interesting is that oral herpes can be spread from the mouth to the genitals as a result of oral sex. The reverse can happen as well with genital herpes being passed from one person’s genitals to another person’s mouth.
Common symptoms that signify a herpes breakout may be on the horizon include burning, itching, and/or tingling feelings. If you are in a partnership and you know your partner has Herpes, ask them to be up front when they feel that symptoms are coming on. If your partner has herpes, ask them to chat with their doctor about taking medication that can lower their chances of spreading the virus.
Syphilis occurs in four stages with different signs and symptoms at each stage. If not treated, syphilis can cause serious health problems.
- Primary syphilis will be evident because a person will generally have sores occurring at the infection site. These sores will likely occur on the genitals or mouth.
- Secondary syphilis symptoms include skin rash, swollen lymph nodes, and fever.
- Latent stage syphilis shows no signs or symptoms. If you do not get treatment, syphilis could stay in your body for years without symptoms.
- The fourth stage of syphilis is referred to as tertiary syphilis. This is very serious and correlated with severe medical issues. If this phase is not treated, it can affect the brain, heart and organs.
Although it is commonly known that this infection can be passed through vaginal, anal or oral sex – unfortunately syphilis can also be contracted through kissing. Although avoiding kissing isn’t exactly practical, there may be a few things you can do to reduce risks.
If you are sexually active, here are a few ways to avoid contracting syphilis.
- Be honest with your partner. Ask whether they have an STD and when was the last time they were tested.
- Don’t be a hypocrite – make sure you are tested regularly as well
- If you see a cold sore – avoid it and no smooches!
Make sure you and your partner have been tested. If you know your partner has syphilis or herpes, slow down on the kissing. And if you are sexually active, make sure you always get tested. Throat swab PCR for 12 infections at PULSE clinic is available 7 days a week. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for Bangkok, and email@example.com for Phuket.