Q. Can kissing cause HIV?

Answered by
Dr. Sushma Shah
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Apr 14, 2018 and last reviewed on: Aug 13, 2019

Hello doctor,

I am a female in my 20s. I have been having obsessive worries, so please do not judge my rather paranoid concerns, since I cannot get them off my mind. A week ago, during a night out, I received a kiss on the cheek by a male stranger, and also gave him a kiss on his cheek. Initially, I was not alert because I thought the person was a friend of my friend's, but later I realized that he was a total stranger, who was acting weird and asking everyone in the nightclub for a kiss on the cheek. For some reasons, I kept thinking that this weird person had some sort of contagious disease and was just desperate to pass the disease to as many people as possible. About three days later, I started having symptoms similar to those of a cold. I felt tired and had a runny nose. I stopped feeling tired after two days, but the runny nose has not completely stopped until today, which is four days later from the start of the symptoms. From my own knowledge and some researching, I learned that early HIV symptoms include flu-like symptoms. And although I did not have any a sore throat, fever or swollen lymph nodes, my runny nose has been worrying me and making me have thoughts that I may have contacted HIV from the weird stranger. From my memory, when he and I exchanged kisses on the cheek, his lips, and cheeks, as well as my lips and cheeks, did not have any open cuts or sores, so I have almost zero chance of HIV exposure. However, I cannot seem to put my mind at ease, as I have been having obsessive worries for about three days. Therefore, I want to seek consultation from a professional. Please give me some advice, so I can get some peace of mind.

Dr. Sushma Shah

HIV/AIDS Specialist


Welcome to icliniq.com.

As you have mentioned, there were no cuts in his and your lip, then 80 % problem is solved. Touch and light kiss do not transfer HIV. Saliva is their least chance of transmission, which is not known or does not have a reported case though. So, this is just a quick response, nothing else. The common cold is very common in your place. Do not worry. Take tablet Montek FX (Montelukast and Fexofenadine) one at night for three to five days. There is no HIV contamination.

For more information consult a HIV AIDS specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/HIV-AIDS-specialist

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