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admin 19.07.2014

As an NYC cosmetic dentist, I get asked all manner of questions from patients sitting in my dentist's chair. When discussing herpes in these types of instances, it's important to point out that we are generally talking about herpes type 1 (aka oral herpes), and not herpes type 2 (genital herpes). There's no getting around it -- almost anything that comes in contact with the mouth is going to transmit herpes type 1. One thing I found while looking around the web is the prevalence of talk regarding "good herpes" or "bad herpes" (well, not that any herpes is "good," mind you).
Ok, let's move on from herpes and just talk a little common sense in regard to sharing lipstick, forks or anything else.
Both types are spread via contact -- however, in general terms, genital herpes is spread through sexual contact with the infected areas. But there's this perception that HSV-1 is not that big a deal, and HSV-2 is something that carries a stigma.

Not only can you transmit herpes but almost any other sickness that can be transferred via secretions or saliva. I have been asked "Can I get HIV from sharing a toothbrush or similar?" While I just spent an entire post pointing out things that can be transmitted that way, everything I have found on HIV suggests it is NOT transferred via saliva (5).
I figure if someone visiting me in person has a question, there are likely thousands of others out there with the same question.
She was worried, because her friend had a cold sore, and while they were out clubbing they ended up sharing lipstick in the bathroom. The biggest one that I came across is what I always suspected -- most of us already have it. This includes mononucleosis (sometimes called "the kissing disease"), colds, flus, and even hepatitis (4).
So rest easy, friends -- while you may get herpes from sharing that lipstick, unless blood was involved, it's not likely you will get HIV from sharing such.

HSV-1 is far more common and can be spread by sharing a fork (hence it gets the "good" label), whereas HSV-2 happens around our genitals and is spread when those genitals come into contact with somebody else's -- hence, the "bad" label. So basically, I would not be sharing a fork, cigarette, lipstick, toothbrush or any other "mouth related" item with anyone, unless they were someone I was actively kissing (hey, who hasn't sampled something from a spouse's fork?). Although, in the case of chapped, bleeding lips, I'd say caution is warranted if that situation is present.

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