Direct skin-to-skin contact is the most common way of catching genital herpes, that includes vaginal, anal, or oral sex with someone who has the virus, even if they are not displaying any symptoms at that time. You can also pass it on by:

  • Transferring the infection between the fingers and genitals 
  • Sharing sex toys with a person who has herpes  

It is possible to catch herpes from a cold sore, if contact is made with the genitals. 

You should remember that you cannot catch genital herpes from objects, such as cutlery or a toilet seat – the virus dies very quickly when away from the skin.

Although all of our content is written and reviewed by healthcare professionals, it should not be substituted for or used as medical advice. If you have any questions about your health, please speak to your doctor.

Authored Dec 01, 2021 by Joseph Issac, MPharm
Reviewed Dec 01, 2021 by Prabjeet Saundh, MPharm

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