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You Probably Won’t Get Herpes By Sharing a Drink, Glass, or Straw

It’s unlikely, but theoretically possible, for herpes to spread by sharing a straw or glassware. Saliva infected by an active outbreak that ends up in a drink, or on a glass or straw, may spread the virus for a very short amount of time.

You can get two types of herpes: HSV-1 (oral herpes) and HSV-2 (genital herpes). HSV-1, which shows up as cold sores on your mouth, is much more commonly transmitted than HSV-2.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) , about 47.8 percent of adults in the United States have herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) and 11.9 percent have herpes simplex virus type 2.

The most common symptom of herpes is a sore that can leak infected fluid. You can get herpes by physical contact with someone who has active sores, although in some cases sores don’t have to be present for transmission to occur.

In addition to saliva, the virus can also be present in other body fluids like genital secretions.

Someone with herpes who isn’t having an outbreak or doesn’t have active sores is extremely unlikely to spread the virus through a drink, glass, or straw.

Someone with an active outbreak on their mouth may spread herpes by leaving traces of saliva behind on dishware. But it’s still unlikely because the virus has a very short lifespan.

The chances of getting herpes from sharing a drink with someone who has herpes — even an active outbreak of herpes — is next to zero.

It’s always a good rule of thumb to avoid sharing glasses or dishware with others. Avoid sharing any dishware or other objects, like towels or silverware, with someone you don’t know or with someone you know has herpes, whether they have an active infection or not.

Herpes is primarily spread through direct physical contact. This can include oral-to-oral contact and oral, anal, or genital sex without a barrier method, such as condoms.

Active sores leaking infected fluid, which carries the viral material, are more likely to spread the infection. But a person doesn’t have to be experiencing an active outbreak to transmit the virus.

Some people show symptoms right after they get infected or a few months or years down the line. But not everyone shows symptoms: The virus can lie dormant in the body for years without causing an outbreak.

There are periods during the herpes virus outbreak cycle when the virus is more contagious. It’s more likely to be spread when:

  • the infected area begins to feel itchy and uncomfortable (about 3 days before an outbreak)
  • the sores are leaking infected fluid or otherwise open or moist (even if you don’t have any sexual contact)
  • breastfeeding with an open sore on the breast
  • the virus is “shedding,” which doesn’t cause any symptoms

In rare cases , a mother may transmit the virus to her baby during birth.

The amount of time that the herpes virus can live outside of the body can vary. It’s been estimated that it can be anywhere from a few hours up to a week.

Other myths exist about how herpes spreads. Here are some of the facts:

  • You don’t have to have active, infected sores to spread herpes.
  • You still have herpes even if you never have any symptoms — once you get a herpes infection, you have the virus in your body for life.
  • You can get herpes if you have oral or anal sex, even if no fluids are shared.
  • You can get herpes just from a kiss with someone who’s infected, even if they don’t have any symptoms or the kiss doesn’t involve any tongue.
  • You can get herpes from sharing a sex toy that’s made contact with your genitals, anus, or mouth.

You’re unlikely to get herpes from sharing a drink, a straw, or a glass.

But you can get other infections or diseases from sharing objects with someone with an infection or disease, such as colds, the flu, and strep throat.

Here’s how you can help protect yourself from getting an infection:

  • Ask for a clean glass if you get a dirty glass at a restaurant, cafeteria, or anywhere where dishware is shared, such as at your workplace.
  • Clean any surface you plan to use before preparing food in case bacteria or viruses are present.
  • Don’t mix chopping boards by chopping or preparing raw meat on the same board as vegetables or other foods that don’t need to be cooked.
  • Wash your hands immediately after handling raw meat before you touch any other surfaces or foods, especially if you’re sick.
  • Thoroughly clean any surface you used to prepare raw meat or other food that might be carrying bacteria or viruses.

It’s very rare ⁠— but possible — to spread herpes by sharing a drink, glass, or straw.

Be careful when sharing any kind of dishware that’s used in public places, and always wash anything you plan to put near your mouth if someone else may have used it.

Use barrier methods (condoms and oral dams) when you have oral, anal, or genital sex when you’re with a partner who may have herpes.

It's very rare ⁠— but possible — to contract herpes by sharing a drink, glass, or straw. Here's what you need to know about how the virus spreads.

Marijuana Products Can Help Stop The Spread Of Herpes

Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg

You get out of bed in the morning after a long weekend of reefer chiefing shenanigans with a group of friends and spot a mysterious sore festering up on the side of your lip in the bathroom mirror. At first, you brush it off as a battle wound, perhaps something that happened during an overly ambitious bout with a pepperoni pizza. After all, a hardcore case of the marijuana munchies can sometimes wreak havoc on a person’s ability to eat without causing bodily harm. But after a quick Google search during breakfast, you soon realize that the monstrous lesion turning your mouth into a deleted scene from the Toxic Avenger could actually be a dreaded case of herpes.

Toxic Avenger Photo courtesy of IMDB

Courtesy of IMBD

Although the herpes virus is considered a sexually transmitted disease, it can be easily spread through the sharing of joints, vaporizers or any other smoking device. It is one of those super foul social hazards on the scene that does not receive the attention it deserves. Most devout pot smokers, even if they are aware of the risks associated with participating in those ever-so-popular communal smoke sessions, typically do not dwell on the fact that the bowl or bong pressed against their lips might be crawling with cooties.

But they might want to start. Some of the latest statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show that nearly 50 percent of the American population between the ages of 14 and 49 will have contracted this disease before 2018 comes to screeching halt. The consensus is that it’s not really possible these days to swap spit with too many people before turning one’s mouth into a biohazard.

“If you have oral herpes and a cut on your lip, you could easily spread the disease by sharing blunts or joints,” Dr. Carolyn Cegielski, a gastroenterologist from Mississippi, told High Times.

But never fear. Although the herpes virus should be considered a legitimate threat for those cannabis users who share weed with fish-lipping fiends, this vile disease does not have to cripple the concept of social marijuana use. Now, thanks to the legalization of recreational marijuana in a growing number of states, there is a variety of cannabis products on the market that cater to those individuals who no longer wish to share. These creations were not designed to be passed around the room like a bottle of toilet hooch in a Mexican prison. But rather, they are intended to bring a certain level of class and civility to those interested in living a disease free cannabis lifestyle. Here are three innovative products that provide the highs without the herp.

Toast – For The Smokers

Photo courtesy of Toast

Toast is a cannabis cigarette built for the germaphobe. The company devised these fancy low-THC joints to mimic the experience one might have while sipping on a cocktail. Its Original Slices and Gold Pack contain a 2:1 and 4:1 CBD:THC ratio, which provides the user with around 4-6 percent THC per cigarette. Toast is an “all-natural, mildly potent, 100% Cannabis cigarette,” according to company’s website. “While a Slice is designed to be consumed entirely by you, share your pack with friends for a social experience.”

Keef – For The Drinkers

Photo courtesy of Keef Brands

In the same way that members of civil society do not share their beers with others, Keef Brands has taken this concept to cannabis. The company has a variety of THC-infused soda’s and flavored sparkling water. Each beverage contains 10mg of of the intoxicating compound, so they are perfect for moderating a buzz, sip by sip, without getting too stoned, too fast. It is also the low dose of these concoctions that prevents party leeches and deadbeat friends from gaining any benefit whatsoever by stealing a swig when you’re not looking. Of course, we advise never leaving a drink unattended.

Kiva – For The Chocolate Lovers

Photo courtesy of Kiva Confections

Edible cannabis products are a solid purchase for any pot enthusiast trying to catch a buzz without encountering the mouths of others. Kiva Confections has an impressive variety of chocolate bars that, if used properly, can provide the user with a nice, consistent high without risking a lifelong virus. Each bar comes with 100 mg of THC, but they are sectioned off into 5 mg servings — making them very microdose friendly. Technically, these chocolate bars can broken in half and shared with others. But thankfully, no mouth contact is necessary.

Remember — marijuana buzzes wear off, but herpes is forever.

I am a freelance writer hailing from the darkest depths of the armpit of America. That’s Southern Indiana, just in case you were wondering. When I’m not carving out a…

I am a freelance writer hailing from the darkest depths of the armpit of America. That’s Southern Indiana, just in case you were wondering. When I’m not carving out a juicy story for various publications including High Times, Cannabis Now, and BroBible, you can find me down at the local tavern watching the Indiana Pacers, drowning my sorrows in the greasy comforts of a cheese double cheese with cheese. My qualifications are simple. I’ve been on the cannabis scene for the past six years. My work has appeared in Playboy’s Smoking Jacket, Mashable, Salon, and the New York Daily News, just to name a few. I also got really stoned one night with former Pantera vocalist Phil Anselmo and showed up for work the next day like it was nothing at all. Not as easy as it sounds. In addition to my coverage of the mad, mad world of cannabis legalization and the culture that exists around it, I am currently writing my first novel, which I hope will earn me enough money to never be seen or heard from again. Wish me luck!

Although the herpes virus is considered a sexually transmitted disease, it can easily be spread through the sharing of joints, vaporizers or any other smoking device. But there are some cannabis products that can help prevent the spread of this disease.