Before you had herpes, you probably didn’t think twice about sharing a drink with a friend or partner. A sip of soda here, a shared glass of wine there.
Now you’re left wondering: can you get herpes from sharing a drink? You don’t want to put your loved ones at risk, so keep reading to learn more about the likelihood and contracting herpes from sharing drinks.
Can You Get Herpes From Sharing a Drink?
The short answer is no, you can’t get herpes from sharing a drink. Though it’s theoretically possible to transmit herpes when sharing drinks, experts agree that it’s highly unlikely.
There’s one main underlying reason for this: the herpes virus dies quickly when exposed to air. So even if a person with herpes drinks from your straw, the virus weakens and dies within a few hours.
Let’s Take a Closer Look
It’s true that herpes simplex virus type 1 and type 2 can be spread even if no systems exist. But that doesn’t mean you’ll automatically spread or contract herpes when you share a drink.
HSV-1 (Oral Herpes)
Of the two types of herpes, HSV-1 is more likely to spread from sharing drinks, even if it’s unlikely. HSV-1 presents itself in the form of a cold sore around the mouth. If you have active, open, weeping cold sores and you share a drink or straw with another person, it’s possible for the virus to transmit through your saliva.
In order to share drinks with minimal risk, use separate straws or refrain from sharing until all signs of cold sores have disappeared. The CDC clearly states that saliva, not common surfaces, is the most likely source of herpes infection for HSV-1.
HSV-2 (Genital Herpes)
Genital herpes, also known as HSV-2, is even less likely to spread from sharing a drink. Genital herpes mainly spreads through sexual contact and direct skin contact with open sores.
Can Other Items You Share Transmit the Virus?
Just like shared drinks, it’s unlikely that other common items will transmit the virus from a person with herpes to an uninfected partner or friend. That doesn’t mean the risk is zero, of course. If a person with herpes leaves his or her saliva or the liquid from an open sore on any of the following items, the virus could potentially be transmitted:
- -Lip balm
- -Toilet seats
Despite the minor risk, the CDC specifically states, “You will not get herpes from toilet seats, bedding, or swimming pools, or from touching objects around you such as silverware, soap, or towels.”
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