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Can I Kiss My Partner If I Have HPV? (Check this out!)

I’ve been practicing as a urologist for quite some time now, and I often get asked about HPV. One common question is whether you can pass on the virus through kissing.

The answer is technically yes, it’s possible to transmit HPV through kissing, but don’t freak out just yet—your chances are very low. Allow me to explain this further…

How does kissing transmit HPV?

A couple kissing in the park.

So, you’re curious whether you can get HPV through saliva or kissing. There have been studies on this and the results are not totally clear.

In 2014, scientists at Johns Hopkins University in the US did a study. They found that your chances of getting HPV from kissing someone with HPV are pretty low – around 1.2%. These scientists checked out lots of couples with one partner having HPV.

From what they discovered, it’s unlikely to catch HPV just from casual kisses.

But even though your chances are very small, it’s still wise to be cautious as there is a possibility of transmission through intense deep kisses. So, better safe than sorry.

Does the type of kiss matter?

Yes, the type of kiss matters a lot when it comes to transmitting HPV. The French kiss is the one that could transmit HPV, as there is a high exchange of saliva.

On the other hand, in those kisses where there is little exchange of saliva, the risk of transmission is almost zero.

What about sharing eating utensils or lipstick?

Family eating together

Let’s talk about whether you can catch HPV by sharing kitchen utensils like forks or personal items like lipstick. 

The answer is no, it’s highly unlikely. The HPV would not survive on such objects because there is very little saliva exchange, or virtually none. 

So using the same fork or borrowing someone’s lipstick won’t put you at risk of getting infected.

However, it’s important to still practice good hygiene habits and not share personal items for other health reasons (like avoiding colds or flu). Stay safe by sticking to your own utensils and cosmetic products.

Is there anything you can do to reduce your risk of oral HPV?

Couple smiling

Certainly! There are actions you can take to lower your chances of contracting oral HPV. 

First and foremost, avoid engaging in risky sexual behaviors like oral sex without using protection (such as dental dams or condoms). Remember that using a barrier method reduces the risk even further.

Maintaining good oral hygiene is also valuable because it helps reduce inflammation or cuts in the mouth that could facilitate an HPV infection.

Choosing vaccine completion against HPV can also protect you from certain strains that cause oral cancer later on in life.

These were some tips to help you know how to deal with HPV. However, there is much more you need to do if you really want to get rid of HPV and warts forever.

What you need to do is GET RID OF THE ROOT of the problem.

For that reason, I recommend you to look into Dr. Kirkland's story and how he was able to cure HPV and get rid of warts for good.

Click here to see what he did

Can the HPV vaccine reduce your risk?

Doctor giving a vaccine to a patient.

Yes, absolutely. 

The truth is that most cases of oral HPV are caused by the same viruses that are linked to genital HPV infections. 

Since the HPV vaccine targets these specific viruses responsible for causing various types of cancers and infections (including both genital and oral), it can significantly lower your chances of developing any type of infection in those areas. 

It’s important to know that vaccination offers protection not only for genital HPV but also reduces the risk of contracting oral infections significantly as well. 

So don’t hesitate, get vaccinated to safeguard yourself against potential risks associated with HPV.

How is HPV usually transmitted?

Pareja riendo en la cama
Credit: Photo by depositphotos.com

HPV is mainly transmitted through intimate skin-to-skin contact. This often happens during different kinds of sexual activities like vaginal, anal, and oral sex. 

It’s important to know that even if a person doesn’t show any symptoms of HPV, they can still pass it on to their partner.

Taking part in high-risk behaviors like having unprotected sex or multiple partners increases the likelihood of getting HPV.

However, it’s worth noting that while uncommon, non-sexual transmission may happen in places such as communal showers.

In rare cases, babies can contract HPV from their mothers during childbirth. 

But here’s some good news: most people with HPV should know that the infection usually goes away without causing trouble preventing serious health problems.

Remember to prioritize prevention by getting vaccinated and regularly screened for your peace of mind against possible complications related to HPV.

Are you more likely to contract HPV through oral sex than penetrative sex?

The answer to this question isn’t black and white. HPV can be spread through both oral sex and vaginal or anal sex. 

Although the virus is commonly transmitted during those latter activities, it is still possible to get infected with HPV from oral interactions too. 

However, it’s important to know that the chances of getting oral HPV are usually lower than acquiring genital HPV infections in general.

Does oral HPV increase your risk for oral, head, or neck cancer?

Pareja sonriendo en la cama
Credit: Photo by depositphotos.com

If you have some types of HPV, like HPV-16 specifically, there is a higher chance of getting oral, head, and neck cancers. 

Although it’s quite common to have an oral HPV infection which usually goes away by itself without causing problems, having a persistent infection with high-risk types raises the possibility of getting cancer later on.

But don’t worry too much because for most people – even if at increased risk – the likelihood of actually developing these cancers is still relatively low.

Symptoms of cancer

Symptoms related to oral, head, or neck cancers can vary depending on the exact location of the cancer. But here are some common signs and signals you should be aware of:

  • Feeling stucked like there’s something in your throat or having a sore throat that won’t go away.
  • Unexpected pain or discomfort in your mouth, throat, or neck region.
  • Changes in how your voice sounds (like constantly hoarse).
  • Trouble swallowing food easily.
  • Losing weight suddenly without trying to do so intentionally.
  • Seeing swelling or lumps around your jawline, neck area, or inside your mouth.

It’s important to note that these signs might not automatically mean cancer. They could just be caused by other stuff. 

However if any of these last for over two weeks, it’s important to consult a healthcare professional for a thorough evaluation.

What happens if you do contract HPV?

Mujer abrazando a su novio
Credit: Photo by depositphotos.com

Most of the time, an HPV infection doesn’t show any symptoms and just clears up on its own without causing health issues. 

However, if symptoms do arise, they can differ depending on the type of HPV you have.

Some people might get warts as a result of their HPV infection. These warts could show up on your hands, feet, mouth or throat. 

Meanwhile, particular types of HPV may cause genital warts that appear around areas like the vulva/vagina (for females) or penis/scrotum/anus/thigh area (for males). 

Typically, these warts are small and look flesh-colored but there is variation – sometimes appearing flat or looking like cauliflower-shaped growths.

Oral HPV usually doesn’t show any signs, which means a lot of people don’t know they carry the virus. Occasionally, warts in the mouth or throat can develop from oral HPV, but this is not very common.

But here comes the important part: those types of HPV considered high-risk (those that could cause cancer) do not produce symptoms until they have significantly advanced.

How is it diagnosed?

Doctor smiling at the camera.

There are different ways to diagnose HPV depending on the type of infection suspected. Let’s break it down:

  • Genital Warts: Usually, a healthcare professional can visually determine if someone has genital warts just by examining them.
  • Cervical Cancer: Screening for cervical cancer often involves a test called Pap smear or Pap test. This checks for abnormal cells in the cervix that can potentially turn into cancer. If any abnormal cells are found, an HPV test may be done as well.
  • HPV DNA Test: By collecting cells from your cervix, this test identifies high-risk types of HPV linked to cervical cancer. It’s typically recommended for women over 30 and often done alongside a Pap test.
  • Anal Cancer: Similar to cervical screening, anal Pap tests can detect signs of anal cancer in high-risk individuals such as men who have sex with men or those having HIV.
  • Oral HPV: Unfortunately, there aren’t approved tests specifically designed for oral HPV yet. Diagnosis usually happens when it leads to more severe conditions like oropharyngeal (mouth and throat) cancers.

Does it always go away?

Usually, the body’s immune system can eliminate the virus in 2 years. Although in some cases, it can remain for much longer.

What if it doesn’t go away?

In that case, I recommend that you follow a diet to optimize your immune system. This way, your own body will fight against HPV and will be able to eliminate it naturally. Click here for more information on this.


Woman thinking

Don’t be afraid to kiss your partner, as the chances of transmitting HPV are very low, almost non-existent. Just refrain from French kissing and you both will be fine.

These were some tips to help you know how to deal with HPV. However, there is much more you need to do if you really want to get rid of HPV and warts forever.

What you need to do is GET RID OF THE ROOT of the problem.

For that reason, I recommend you to look into Dr. Kirkland's story and how he was able to cure HPV and get rid of warts for good.

Click here to see what he did

I wish you great success in your recovery!


Medically reviewed by Dr. John Wellington. Dr. John Wellington is a board-certified physician specializing in urology. With over 15 years of experience, he is passionate about sharing his knowledge through a popular health blog. Dr. Wellington holds an MD from Ivy League University and is a member of prestigious medical associations.

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