Mononucleosis, also called the kissing disease, is a common viral illness that can affect anyone. It’s often associated with students and young people because it spreads through close contact like kissing, sharing food and drink, and coughing and sneezing.

But is it an STI? That’s a common question among people concerned about their sexual health.

In this blog, we’ll explore what mononucleosis is, how it’s spread, and whether it’s an STI.

What is Mononucleosis?

Mononucleosis, also known as mono, is a viral infection frequently caused by the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV). It affects the lymphatic system, which is a part of the immune system that helps fight off infections and diseases. The symptoms of mono include fatigue, fever, sore throat, swollen glands, and body aches. Some people may also develop a rash, headache, or jaundice.

The symptoms of mono can last for weeks or even months – in some cases up to six months – making it difficult to function while suffering from the virus. People infected with mononucleosis may experience extreme exhaustion as well as difficulty concentrating due to the lingering effects of fatigue caused by the virus.

Is Mononucleosis contagious?

Yes, mononucleosis is highly contagious and can spread easily from person to person. It’s usually transmitted through saliva, but it can also be spread through blood and other bodily fluids. People who are infected with EBV can pass the virus to others for several months after they recover from the illness, even if they don’t have any symptoms.

How is Mononucleosis spread?

Mononucleosis is spread through close contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. This includes kissing, sharing food and drinks, coughing and sneezing, and touching objects or surfaces that have the virus on them. It’s important to note that mono is not an airborne disease, so it can’t be spread through the air.

Is Mononucleosis an STI?

Yes. Mononucleosis can be spread through sexual contact, saliva when kissing and the exchange of body fluids. Therefore, this infection can be classed as a sexually transmitted infection (STI). Mononucleosis can also be transmitted from person to person through close but not intimate contact, coughs, sneezes and the sharing of eating utensils, food and drinks. Thus, as with many other STI’s mononucleosis is a contagious infection that you can catch in a variety of ways.   

Final thoughts

In conclusion, mononucleosis is a viral infection that can be spread through close contact with an infected person’s bodily fluids. While it’s common among students and young people, anyone can get mono. This infection can be easily transmitted from person to person through sexual contact so can be technically classed as an STI. People who are sexually active are more likely to contract the virus, but it can also pass between people in other ways.

If you’re concerned about your sexual health, it’s important to practice safe sex and get tested for STIs. At Better2Know, we offer a range of confidential STI testing services to help you take control of your sexual health.

Call the number listed above to speak to one of our Sexual Health Advisors.

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