Can herpes be transmitted through kissing?

Yes, herpes can be transmitted through kissing, particularly oral herpes, which causes cold sores or fever blisters on or around the mouth. Oral herpes is usually caused by the herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), although it can also be caused by the herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2). When a person has an active outbreak of oral herpes, the virus can be transmitted through kissing or sharing utensils, towels, or razors.

It’s important to note that herpes can also be transmitted through sexual contact, including oral sex, vaginal sex, and anal sex. People with genital herpes may not have visible sores or symptoms, but they can still pass the virus to others.

To reduce the risk of transmitting or contracting herpes, it’s essential to practice safe sex and avoid kissing or sharing personal items when you or your partner has an active outbreak. If you or your partner have herpes, it’s also important to talk to a healthcare provider about treatment options and strategies for managing the condition.