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Can Genital Herpes Be Transmitted Through Saliva?

About Genital Herpes

Genital Herpes refers to a sexually transmitted condition, which is caused by herpes simplex virus.(1) This virus spreads from individual to individual through unprotected sexual contact or having sex with more than one partner.(1) Once genital herpes outbreak occurs, the virus stays dormant within the body for several months before reactivating again.(1)

Genital herpes can be extremely painful when it first presents with pain centered around the genital region. Genital Herpes is then followed by blisters and red colored bumps in the genital areas.(1) These bumps then turn into ulcers, which finally rupture and then heal. Genital Herpes is extremely contagious and easily spreads to other parts of the body just by touching.

An infected individual can pass on genital herpes to another person by coming in direct contact. Genital herpes remains contagious even if there are no observable symptoms in a person.(1)

Genital Herpes does not have a cure and once the virus enters the body, it follows a relapsing-remitting course with frequent outbreaks being very common.(2) Many individuals end up asking questions as to whether genital herpes can spread through saliva. This article highlights this issue and throws some light on it.

Can Genital Herpes be Transmitted through Saliva?

Can Genital Herpes be Transmitted through Saliva?

The answer to this question is YES, the virus that causes Genital Herpes can be transmitted through saliva.(3) Direct contact with an infected person is the primary route through which genital herpes is spread. This direct contact can be by way of kissing and exchange of saliva even if there are no open sores in the mouth. Licking the infected area also can infect the saliva resulting in a herpes infection.

There are basically two types of herpes simplex virus; HSV-1 and HSV-2, which both can cause genital herpes,(4) but the most common strand of virus that causes herpes through saliva is the HSV-1 type, although some cases of HSV-2 strand have also surfaced.

This form of contraction of the herpes infection is referred to as oral herpes. Individuals with oral herpes generally tend to get cold sores or fever blisters along with other presenting features of genital herpes infection.(5)

In summary, genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the herpes simplex virus. Genital Herpes is an extremely contagious infection and gets transmitted mainly by direct contact, which also includes transmission through saliva.(1)

This direst contact through which genital herpes spreads normally consists of unprotected sex, kissing and exchange of saliva. This is referred to as oral herpes. Thus, it is right to say that genital herpes can be transmitted through saliva and any form of physical contact should be avoided with an individual who is at risk for genital herpes.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 9, 2022

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