HPV Spread During Kissing

Last Modified: January 1, 2010

Question

Dear OncoLink "Ask The Experts,"

Since HPV is a skin to skin...if I have HPV can I give it my children when I kiss them?

Answer

Harry Quon, MD, MS (CRM), Assistant Professor of Radiation Oncology at the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania, responds:

The HPV virus seems to need some break in the mucosa for it to start the infection. This mucosal abrasion or break typically occurs during sexual intercourse and is not a concern during kissing.

This question and answer was part of the OncoLink Brown Bag Chat Series, How Much Do You Know About HPV? View the entire transcript here.

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