Ask Sam letter


To Sam


Hi Sam. I was just wondering if you know if you can catch STI's though kissing with tongue? (I know herpes is a common one to catch, but what about chlamydia or ghonnorea?) I heard if you caught these infections in your throat, you can still pass them on, so can it only be passed through sex, or can it be passed through kissing to? Thankyou.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for your message.

It’s really good that you are looking for more information on Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). It’s important you get the right information to keep yourself safe and protect your health if you are thinking about becoming sexually active.

Generally there's nothing risky about kissing someone on the mouth with tongues unless your partner has a cold sore. Cold sores are a type of herpes which could be transmitted by kissing or having oral sex. You can read more about them on the NHS website.

I noticed you asked specifically about Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea - for more information about STIs and how to avoid them, you can look at the Sexual health in Explore. The page also has links to organisations that can provide you with more detailed medical advice. For example, you can check out Brook for lots of information about sex and sexual health. They also have a helpline on 0808 8021 234. You can also get more information about STIs and contraceptives from your GP or your local Brook centre or family planning clinic.

If you would like to speak to a counsellor at ChildLine about this remember you can call our helpline on 0800 1111, send an email or log on for a 1-2-1 chat. I hope this helps.

Take care,


Need help straight away?

You can talk privately to a counsellor online or call 0800 1111 for free.

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