Herpes is one of those viruses that can be transmitted by sharing a drink, but it’s not nearly as common as some other ways of contracting the virus.
There are two types of herpes viruses: HSV-1 and HSV-2. HSV-1 is the virus that most commonly causes cold sores or fever blisters around the mouth. HSV-2 is the virus that most commonly causes genital herpes. But which of these can you get from sharing a drink? How can you contract herpes, and what are the signs that you've already got it? We'll answer this and more.
Herpes Transmission: How Does Herpes Spread?
Herpes transmission is essentially the act of passing on the virus to another person. There are several ways this can happen. It’s important to know how the virus is spread and how you can protect yourself and others.
What is Herpes Transmission?
Herpes transmission is the transfer of the herpes virus from one person to another. The infection is most often spread through contact with the sores or other secretions from an infected person. This means that the virus is most often spread through sexual activity, including vaginal, anal and oral sex.
There are two types of the herpes virus:
- Herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1)
- Herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2)
HSV-1 is most often spread through contact with saliva, such as kissing or sharing eating utensils, cups or glasses. It can also be spread through contact with sores on the lips, face or other parts of the body. HSV-1 can cause sores around the mouth, known as cold sores or fever blisters.
HSV-2 is the most common cause of genital herpes. It is spread through contact with the genitals, anus or mouth of an infected person. HSV-2 can cause sores on the penis, vulva, anus or in the rectum.
The virus can also be spread from an infected mother to her baby during pregnancy or childbirth. This is most likely to happen if the mother has an active infection at the time of delivery.
Can Herpes Be Transmitted by Sharing a Drink?
The short answer is yes. HSV-1, the virus that causes oral herpes, can be transmitted through sharing drinks, utensils, or anything else that may have been in contact with someone else's mouth.
HSV-2, the virus that causes genital herpes, is typically transmitted through sexual contact, but can also be transmitted through sharing drinks, utensils, or anything else that may have been in contact with someone else's genitals.
The virus can be present in saliva and can enter the body through the mucous membranes in the mouth. Herpes can also be transmitted through contact with contaminated surfaces, such as doorknobs, towels, or utensils.
While this may sound daunting, it's easily avoidable. We're told as children to wash our hands often, and this is along those lines. Not only should you frequently wash your hands, you should also avoid sharing drinks, utensils, or anything else that may have been in contact with someone else's mouth. If you must share, be sure to clean anything that will come into contact with your mouth beforehand with soap and water, or alcohol if possible.
If you have herpes, it's important to take precautions to prevent spreading the virus. Be sure to wash your hands often, avoid sharing drinks or utensils, and practice safe sex.
This blog post is for educational purposes only and does not constitute medical or other professional advice. Your specific circumstances should be discussed with a healthcare provider. All statements of opinion represent the writers' judgement at the time of publication and are subject to change. Phoenix and its affiliates provide no express or implied endorsements of third parties or their advice, opinions, information, products, or services.