man and woman kissing

Can I get HIV through kissing?

Susan French kissed a man at a popular Nairobi club. The thought that she might have caught HIV tormented her for months, and this left felt quite anxious. She would periodically take tests to check her status.

…and while all come up negative, she was too anxious to stop.

This not only sounds stressful but also curious.

So, can HIV be transmitted through kissing?

HIV transmission through kissing is highly unlikely as the chances are extremely small. The virus is primarily spread through specific bodily fluids like blood, semen, vaginal fluids, and breast milk. Saliva, which can be exchanged during kissing, does contain some traces of the virus, but the concentration is not sufficient to pose a significant risk of transmission.

Factors such as oral health, the presence of cuts or sores in the mouth, and the viral load of the person with HIV can influence the theoretical risk, but even under these conditions, the likelihood remains extremely low. The virus is fragile outside the body and is not easily transmitted through casual contact.

It is, thus, essential to remember that HIV transmission is more commonly associated with activities involving the exchange of bodily fluids, such as through unprotected sex, sharing needles, or mother-to-child transmission during childbirth or breastfeeding.

In conclusion, the risk of contracting HIV through kissing is very small, and the virus is not typically spread through casual social interactions.

Remember: Recognizing, understanding and dispelling misconceptions about HIV transmission are important for fostering informed and compassionate communities that support individuals living with HIV.

Myths suggesting HIV transmission through kissing are not accurate. Accurate information dispels these misconceptions, fostering understanding and reducing unnecessary fears surrounding HIV transmission.

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LoveMatters Africa

Blush-free facts and stories about love, sex, and relationships