Can You Get Herpes From Sharing A Drink?

There are a few reputable websites out there that are claiming to answer the question "Can You Get Herpes From Sharing A Drink?" - and they are stating different conclusions. On this page, we will answer the question.

Fact: You Can Get Oral Herpes From Sharing A Drink

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1 or Oral Herpes) is spread through kissing or sharing eating or drinking utensils. This means it is possible to contract herpes from someone if you are sharing straws or drinking out of the same glass.

More than half of Americans have oral herpes, which show up as cold sores. People with oral herpes are most contagious when the cold sore is beginning to form (typically on the lower lip or mouth area). The person remains contagious while the sore is present. A person may also be contagious if they have no visible signs of a herpes outbreak (i.e. a very mild outbreak).

Herpes is transmitted through saliva. This is why it is very possible to give or contract herpes when kissing. However, herpes cannot live outside the body for very long. Hence, you are much less likely to contract oral herpes from someone by sharing eating utensils or drinks.

When you share a drink, there is a small amount of saliva that remains on the straw or glass that you are using. If someone then immediately drinks from it, they may come into contact with your saliva. Once saliva is transferred, there is a definite possibility of transferring the oral herpes virus.

Now, if you shared a drink with someone, you should not freak out. The odds of transferring oral herpes by sharing drinks is much lower than kissing for the following reasons:

  • The amount of saliva transferred via sharing drinks is significantly less than that exchanged when kissing
  • When the saliva is sitting on the straw or drink, the virus is actively dying out because it is not in the body
  • A person with oral herpes is not necessarily contagious unless cold sores are present
  • You may already have had oral herpes and not even known it (if you've had a cold sore - you've had it!)

    To wrap it up, it is possible to contract oral herpes by sharing a drink with someone who is contagious. This is not 100% likely if you drink after someone, but definitely possible.

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