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Home Ask the Experts Ask the Experts Transmission through sex toys

Transmission through sex toys

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I know that herpes is about person-to-person, skin-to-skin contact. If that’s the case, is it safe to use dildos or other similar types of sex toys if one person has herpes and the other does it? Could herpes be passed that way?

You are correct that herpes is transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact. While it would be unlikely for HSV to be transmitted from sharing sex toys, it is possible. And don’t forget that there are other viruses or bacteria that can be transmitted from one partner to another when sex toys are shared as well. Perhaps the best option is for each partner to have his or her own personal toys, that aren’t shared. If you decide to share your sex toys with a partner, though, you should put a condom on the sex toy and remove it after use on one partner. Then, you should thoroughly clean the toy with soap and water before using it on a different person or area.


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