Center for the Biology of Chronic Disease (CBCD)

Can Kissing Spread the Herpes Virus?; the CBCD Reviews the Medical Evidence

The answer is yes, HSV-1 is usually passed from person to person by kissing. (1)


Rochester, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 10/29/2015 -- "Infected with the herpes virus (HSV-1, or HSV-2)? The CBCD recommends talking to your doctor about a study, which was published in the peer reviewed medical journal, Pharmacology & Pharmacy. The study discusses natural, antiviral remedies that were shown to effectively reduce HSV symptoms." - Greg Bennett, CBCD

The medical evidence shows that the oral herpes virus (usually HSV-1) can easily be transmitted through kissing. HSV-1 normally causes cold sores and fever blisters. It is important for the public to realize, however, that HSV-1 can be spread from the mouth to the genitals. WebMD notes that "HSV-1 can also spread from the mouth to the genitals during oral sex (fellatio, cunnilingus, analingus)." (1)

The same is true in reverse. It should be noted that HSV-2, which normally causes genital herpes can also infect the mouth, and can be spread through the saliva. "HSV-2 is most often passed by vaginal sex and anal sex. But just as HSV-1 can infect the genitals and cause genital herpes, HSV-2 can pass from one person's genitals to another person's mouth, resulting in oral herpes." (1)

Click to learn more about HSV symptoms.

The CBCD points out that infection with the herpes virus can happen, as notes, "from general interactions such as eating from the same utensils, sharing lip balm, or kissing. The virus spreads more quickly when an infected person is experiencing an outbreak. Additionally, it is possible to get genital herpes from HSV-1 if the individual has had cold sores and performed sexual activities during that time." (2)

What treatments are available for herpes infections?

"Two types of antiviral treatments against HSV are available: topical and oral. The treatments include penciclovir, acyclovir, famciclovir, and valaciclovir. However, their effectiveness is limited. For instance, a meta-analysis of five placebo-controlled and two dose comparison studies evaluated the effect of aciclovir, famciclovir or valaciclovir on symptoms. The meta-analysis showed that oral antiviral therapy decreases the duration and the associated pain of an outbreak by merely one day." (3). There are also the remedies discussed in the study mentioned above, which was published in Pharmacology & Pharmacy. The CBCD recommends printing up the study, and showing it to your doctor.

The study can be read and downloaded in .pdf format, here:


(1) - "The Basics About Genital Herpes" Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD, FACOG on September 30, 2014

(2) Dock, E. "Herpes Simplex" - Medically Reviewed by Brenda B. Spriggs, MD - Published on June 22, 2012

(3) Polansky, H. Itzkovitz, E. Gene-Eden-VIR Is Antiviral: Results of a Post Marketing Clinical Study. Published in September 2013.