Can HPV be transmitted by kissing? – Better2Know Blog


When you’re talking about STIs, it can be tough to keep your facts straight. There are many different STIs a sexually active person can get and many more ways they can get them.

There’s a lot of information about hpv out there, and it can be difficult to know what to keep in mind – what’s fact and what’s fiction. And there can be many different questions about HPV, namely, whether HPV can be transmitted from kissing.

While the answer to this question may seem straightforward, it’s not as simple as you might think.

Keep reading to find out more.

Worried about STIs? Get tested at a sexual health clinic near you.

What is an HPV infection?

Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) infection is caused by a group of viruses that infect the skin or moist areas of the body.

There are more than 100 varieties of HPV, and an individual can become infected with more than one type.

The symptoms of HPV

Depending on the type of HPV, people may or may not have symptoms. When they do appear symptoms can include:

  • Genital Warts
  • Common Warts
  • Plantar Warts
  • flat warts

Certain strains of HPV, known as high-risk HPV, have been linked to certain types of cancer, including cancers of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus.

How common is HPV?

HPV is a common sexually transmitted infection that nearly everyone will encounter at some point. In the UK, more than 70% of unvaccinated people will get it,

Sexually active individuals are particularly at risk, with almost all experiencing an infection at some stage, often without symptoms. In the UK, about 3.2% of women in the general population are estimated to have cervical HPV-16/18 infection at a given time,

HPV prevalence peaks between 25 and 29 before stabilizing or slightly decreasing.

How is HPV transmitted?

HPV is primarily transmitted through sexual contact. This includes vaginal, anal, or oral sex.

It’s important to note that HPV can be spread even when the infected individual shows no signs or symptoms.

In addition to sexual contact, HPV transmission can also occur through any skin-to-skin contact of the genital area. This means that close physical contact during sex, even without penetration, can lead to transmission of the virus. Sharing sex toys is another potential route of transmission.

Lastly, HPV can also be passed on through the exchange of bodily fluids, such as saliva. This means that activities such as kissing or cuddling could potentially expose you to the virus. some studies suggest that open-mouthed kissing is associated with the spread of oral HPV from one person to another, especially among men. Oral HPV can cause oropharyngeal cancer, a kind of mouth and throat cancer.

So yes, you can get HPV from kissing,

It’s crucial to take these factors into account when considering how to protect yourself and others from HPV.

Get tested for HPV at a sexual health clinic near you.

What other STIs can be transmitted through kissing?

While most sexually transmitted infections (STIs) are transmitted through genital fluids or sexual contact, a few can be spread through kissing or other contact with oral fluids or sores. Here are some STIs that can be transmitted through kissing:

  • Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV): Both versions of Herpes, HSV-1 and HSV-2, can be transmitted through kissing, especially when someone has an active infection or symptoms such as oral sores. Most people with Oral Herpes have an HSV-1 infection, which causes sores, painful blisters, or ulcers to form in, on, or around the mouth or lips.
  • Syphilis: Syphilis, a bacterial infection, can cause chancres in your mouth that can transmit the bacteria through kissing. Oral Syphilis infections are usually contracted by performing oral sex on someone with a genital Syphilis infection.
  • Gonorrhea: The bacteria that cause Gonorrhoea Infections can also be transmitted through kissing, though it is quite rare. One study found that deep kissing, particularly among men who have sex with men, was associated with the transmission of oral Gonorrhoea infections.

Do I need to worry about getting HPV?

HPV is incredibly common, and most people will have an HPV infection at some point in their lives. However, there are steps you can take to protect yourself, nonetheless.

If you haven’t done so already, you should get an HPV vaccination. Doing so will keep you from getting certain strains of the virus that may cause Genital Warts and cervical cancer.

You can also further reduce your risk of getting HPV by practicing safer sex. Using barrier methods like condoms will reduce the likelihood of you getting the virus, or you passing on the virus to someone else.

Do I need to get tested?

It’s always a good idea to get tested. Better2Know offers several home testing kits that will allow you to get tested from the comfort of your own home.

The Genital Warts Home Test Kit allows individuals with a Genital Wart to test for HPV using a simple swab sample. This test will detect 6 strains of low-risk HPV that typically cause Genital Warts.

Women can also use the HPV Vaginal Swab Home Test Kit to test for high-risk strains of HPV that can cause both cervical cancer and Genital Warts.

final thoughts

If you’re concerned about HPV and other sexually transmitted diseases, you should get tested. Click the button below to schedule an STI test at a sexual health clinic near you.


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