Can You Give Someone Herpes If You Kiss Them (Even If The Herpes Is On Your Penis)?

by Reid on June 23, 2016

Love couple eating breakfast cereal together, sitting on couch aHow can you spread herpes and what should you know?

With Reid Mihalko from and Cathy Vartuli from

Cathy: If you have herpes on your penis and you kiss someone, will you give them herpes?

This is Reid Mihalko from

Reid: That is Cathy Vartuli from

Cathy: And the answer is no, unless you’ve just touched your penis with your hand and then touched your mouth.

Reid: What if you’re kissing them with your penis?

Cathy: I can’t take him anywhere. If your penis is safely in your pants and your hands have not been touching it, and you kiss someone, you will not give them herpes.

Reid: Yeah, and it’s possible, but more unlikely that you could have herpes on your penis and also oral herpes. So you could give somebody herpes if you have oral herpes, and maybe you don’t know, because you’ve never had an outbreak there. So this is a lot of reasons why you should get tested. If you can, get tested regularly just for general health purposes. Understand that the HSV, the herpes test, is a blood test that free clinics don’t give, because it’s an expensive blood test, and it’s also- herpes for the most part isn’t life-threatening, so there’s no reason to really test for it because you’re not gonna die from it.

So what you need to do is go to a private physician or a clinic that will do the tests and pretty much have to pay for it, or if your insurance covers it. Then you’ll know if you have herpes or not, and you’ll know if you have HSV-1 or HSV-2. It used to be that HSV-1 was the oral herpes and that was the cold sores and the things that Aunt Gertrude would come home [inaudible 00:01:38], like, “Aunt Gertrude, that cold sore!” That’s herpes! The reason we call them a cold sore is so many people are ashamed of having herpes, we won’t call it what it is. It’s just culture having its way with you and being shameful, and that sucks.

HSV-2 used to generally be located in the genital region which would be the front of your genitals, your vagina, your penis, it could be all the way in the back on your rectum or even on your ass cheeks. Now what we’re learning is that HSV-1 and HSV-2 can jump locations, so you could have HSV-2 orally and HSV-1 genitally. Not so much that you need to know which is which, but statistically speaking it’s very hard for people to have both. So if you have both, that can be difficult to bear, but you’re special! You have both and that’s kind of rare.

Again, it’s not life-threatening; it’s just really cultural stigma is so hard on people. Also having HSV, having herpes can make it harder for people who have immune deficiency situations, HIV, things like that. If you want to know more, there’s a great resource called The H Opp, or The H Opportunity, and it’s T-H-E H-O-P-P dot com. That’s a website and some amazing people who support people who have herpes to lessen the stigma and the shame, and to realize that your life’s not ending. You just happen to have herpes.

I have HSV-1, so hey, like we’re in the herpes club together! Welcome to the club.

Cathy: It’s actually a lot of people have a lot of shame around it, but a lot of people do have herpes. It’s important to be respectful to your partners and let them know, and make sure that you have things taken care of, but a lot of people have it and never have an outbreak, or have very few outbreaks that cause very little problems.

Reid: And for the people out there who do have herpes who have frequent or even infrequent really painful outbreaks, my heart really does go out to you! It sucks! I think you’re awesome. Please don’t give up. Email us, leave comments if you want to talk more about this. is a great resource and they’re doing great work.

Cathy: Hope it helps.

Reid: Comments!

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