Mayo Clinic Health Library

Question

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

Can you get genital herpes from a toilet seat?

Updated: 06-18-2011

Answer

It's very unlikely that you would get genital herpes from a toilet seat. Genital herpes is a sexually transmitted infection (STI) spread by skin-to-skin contact. In most cases, the virus enters your body through mucous membranes — the type of skin found in your mouth, genitals or anus. The virus can also enter your body through skin that has tiny scrapes or tears.

People can have genital herpes for years without knowing it. The virus can be spread even if an infected person has no genital sores. Because the virus dies quickly outside of the body, it's nearly impossible to get the infection through contact with toilets, towels or other objects used by an infected person.