Kissing and hpv: honest popular visions, the human papilloma virus, and cancers

L.Z.G. Touyz


Kissing is among the multitude of functions of the lips. It is a frequent act involving the lips, oral cavity, head and neck, and other parts of the face and body. Peri-osculation is the designated term for kissing. Paleolithic troglodytes recorded kissing in cave paintings, and kissing is mentioned 46 times in the Bible.

Kissing assumes different forms as habits are influenced through cultural mores. An affectionate greeting among the Inuit in Northern Canada called a kunik involves pressing the nose and upper lip to cheek or forehead of the loved one. South Pacific Islanders were accomplished paramours long before European influence, and yet they never kissed as a habit. Globally,
kissing is assumed to be totally innocent, without any disadvantages.

This article appraises kisses, groups the types of kisses, and discusses insights about the risks of transmitting infections between partners, with a focus on the human papilloma virus (hpv) and the association between hpvs and cancer. Suggestions on prophylaxis and safe kissing are presented.


Basium; Cancer, Dysplasia; HPV; Kissing; Osculum; Papilloma; Saviolum; p53; pRB; Warts

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ISSN: 1198-0052 (Print) ISSN: 1718-7729 (Online)