Can You Get A Sexually Transmitted Disease From Kissing?
Yes, one can get a sexually transmitted disease through kissing as well. Diseases like herpes can easily be transmitted through kissing. Whenever there is mucosal involvement there are high chances of transmission of the disease. Usually, the one who is involved in oral sex has a higher chance of getting the disease.
When there is breakage of the mucosa, then the probability of invasion increases. As it is observed that in patients with HIV there is very less number of viruses present in the saliva and hence very few cases are registered who suffer from the disease through saliva, but still precautions should be taken. Hence, these things prove that sexually transmitted diseases can be transferred through kissing.
There are few diseases which can be transferred through skin to skin contact, which includes herpes. Kissing is considered an important source of transmission of herpes virus.
Epstein Barr virus is shed in saliva and it is usually transferred through kissing hence it is known as the ‘Kissing disease’. There are only a few organisms which are transmitted through saliva namely herpes and Epstein Barr virus. Gonorrhea and chlamydial infections are never transmitted through kissing. So, one should have thorough knowledge regarding the modes of transmission of each and every disease.
It has been found out in research that not all herpes infections are transmitted through saliva. The one having vesicles present in oral cavity rather possesses a higher risk of transmission. Very few cases are registered which say that transmission through saliva occurs not very often.
Sexually transmitted diseases are broadly characterized into 5 major types which are caused by 5 different organisms-
Syphilis Causing Chancre- symptoms include painless lymphadenopathy, a single lesion which is superficial with rounded or oval edges. Ulcer does not bleed.
Chlamydial Infection- symptoms include painful lymphadenopathy, single lesion which is superficial, does not bleed with round edges.
Donovanosis- caused by calymmatobacterium granulomatis associated with exuberant granulation. Ulcer bleeds on touch and is beefy in appearance. Pseudobubo is associated with the disease.
HSV Infection- multiple ulcers are present which are superficial. These ulcers do not bleed and have irregular edges. This is the only infection among sexually transmitted diseases which are transmitted through kissing. Saliva is the source of infection. If oral vesicles are present in the oral cavity then spread of infection may occur through kissing. There are high chances of recurrence.
Chancroid – painful ulcers associated with inguinal bubo is the hallmark of the disease. Painful lymphadenopathy is also present. The lesion does not bleed on touch and is associated with soft induration.
Out of all the diseases, only herpes is transmitted through saliva. Rest others are not transmitted through saliva.
Herpes infection is caused by HSV-2 and rarely by HSV-1. The infection is usually asymptomatic. Lesions start appearing when immunity is lowered. The disease is associated with multiple vesicles which are really very painful. Most common type of herpes infection is herpes labialis which is caused by HSV type 1.
There is bilateral painful inguinal lymphadenopathy associated with the vesicles. Acyclovir is the drug of choice. Foscarnet is used in cases of mucocutaneous HSV infection which are resistant to acyclovir.
Sexually transmitted diseases cannot be detected just by looking at the patient. Proper investigations and treatment are needed. Kissing disease caused by Epstein Barr virus is another disease which is transmitted through saliva.
Thus, prevention should be taken at early stages. Prophylactic treatment should be given to the patient who comes in contact with the person having the disease. It is highly recommended that before the birth of a child, women should get her birth canal checked so as to prevent complications during the labor. Plus attitude of the patient towards the disease should be modified. The stigma attached to the sexually transmitted disease prevents the person from getting the treatment. Clinics have been set up at various levels so that person can get themselves treated. One should not hesitate to consult the doctor, because if a person delays the treatment there are chances of complications and infertility. So, sex education should be given to each one of us. It’s not a matter of shame.
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