Catching Herpes from Kissing or Sharing a Drink

cup and straw

Question:

If someone has cold sores caused from the herpes virus is it possible to spread herpes by drinking out of the same cup or kissing?

I know if you have cold sores from herpes and give oral sex its possible for the herpes to spread to the genitals, so I wondered what’s the difference if you kiss or drink from the same cup as the infected person?

Answer:

Herpes is typically spread through skin-to-skin contact. The virus doesn’t live long away from the body. This is why you can NOT catch herpes from towels or toilet seats.

If someone had a cold sore, then touched the cold sore to a straw, and then immediately passed the drink to you and you used the same straw, it is possible that you could catch herpes that way. But you would need to drink IMMEDIATELY after them. Similar – if you were passing a tube of lipstick or chap stick.

You should know that as many as 50% of people have oral herpes by the time they are teenagers, and by the time a person turned 50 there is an 80% chance that they have it. I would avoid sharing drinks or kissing with people who have open sores on their face – just on general principle – but I certainly wouldn’t worry too much about contracting oral herpes.

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