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STD From A Toilet Seat

Published: 22 April 2002
Dear TeenHealthFX,
Can you get any STD's from a toilet seat, sharing a drink with someone who may have given oral sex to someone who has herpes or something like that?
Signed: STD From A Toilet Seat

Dear STD From A Toilet Seat,


Generally, STDs are not passed by coming in contact with a toilet seat. Most STDs are only transmitted during sexual contact, either by skin-to-skin contact or through body fluid exchange. Crabs, or pubic lice, may be transmitted through sexual contact, sleeping in infected bedding, sharing infected clothing and possibly through sitting on an infested toilet seat. However, lice cannot survive away from the human body for longer than 24 hours. So contracting pubic lice from a toilet seat is possible, but it's unlikely.

Herpes II and I are viral infections spread through direct skin-to-skin contact and sexual contact (oral, anal or vaginal). The main difference between Herpes I and Herpes II is that the Herpes I virus is usually found in the mouth or facial area and the Herpes II virus is usually found in the genital area. In both locations it causes a painful ulcer which can start out as a fluid-filled blister-like lesion.  Some other symptoms of herpes are flu-like symptoms, fatigue, fever or swollen glands. Both Herpes I and Herpes II can cause either genital and/or oral outbreaks.  The virus remains dormant in the body for the person's entire life between outbreaks.

Oral Herpes (fever blisters, cold sores) usually last at least a week. The fluid they contain has the virus in it and they are contagious as long as there is secretion from the blisters. Kissing, shaking hands and sharing a drinking glass can spread the virus.

It is possible to develop herpes II in the mouth region. A person with an open wound in their mouth having oral contact with someone who has open sores can develop the virus. If sore develops on the mouth and they are open, then the virus could be transmitted to a glass and then to someone else.

If you want the complete low down on herpes, check out TeenHealthFX's response to What's Herpes or Herpes HSV1 Hypochondriac.

If you have any reason to suspect that you may have been exposed to herpes or are worried that you have contracted the virus then you need to see a doctor right away. You can be seen at a local teen clinic or Planned Parenthood without parental permission and for little or no cost.

If you would like to be seen by a doctor from the Adolescent/Young Adult Center For Health in Morristown, New Jersey, you can call 973.971.6475 for an appointment.

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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