Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

HIV and AIDS

Can I Contract HIV From Open Mouth Kissing?

10/27/2005

Question:

I had a small scrape on the roof of my mouth when I "french kissed" a guy. The scrape was a few days old, still hurt a little, but I don`t think it ever bled. I don`t know whether or not the guy had HIV, so I wanted to know my risk of contracting it from this situation. I`ve read reports on contracting HIV from both partners having bleeding gums and such. But, assuming I have healthy gums and this scrape is the main concern for possible HIV entry point.

Answer:

Casual contact through closed-mouth or "social" kissing is not a risk for transmission of HIV. Because of the potential for contact with blood during "French" or open-mouth kissing, CDC recommends against engaging in this activity with a person known to be infected. However, the risk of acquiring HIV during open-mouth kissing is believed to be very low. CDC has investigated only one case of HIV infection that may be attributed to contact with blood during open-mouth kissing. See HIV and Its Transmission.  If you are worried that you may have contracted HIV infection, you should see a doctor and get tested.

For more information:

Go to the HIV and AIDS health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Lisa A Haglund, MD Lisa A Haglund, MD
Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati