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Genital herpes: Can you get it from a toilet seat?

Medically reviewed by Last updated on Nov 11, 2022.

It's nearly impossible to get genital herpes from a toilet seat.

Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection. It is caused by the herpes simplex virus. This virus dies quickly outside the body. So it is nearly impossible to get infected by contact with toilets or other objects used by a person with an infection.

The herpes virus spreads by person-to-person contact, usually during sexual activity. In most cases, the virus enters the body through mucous membranes. This is the type of skin found in the mouth, genitals and anus. The virus also can enter the body through skin that has tiny scrapes or tears.

People can have genital herpes for years without knowing it. The virus can spread even if an infected person has no genital sores.

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