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Genital herpes without outbreaks and chances of transmission through oral sex

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Hi doctor,I am a 23 years old male. I was sexually active till recently. I was tested positive to have genital herpes. However, I haven’t got any visible breakouts till now. Also, I am taking medication for it and the medicine I am taking is Acyclovir. Now, my issue is whether I can transmit the virus to my girlfriend, through oral sex performed on me, by my partner? If yes, is there any way to prevent the spread? I need urgent help please. Thanks for your time.

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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. John Monheit is online now

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Thanks for your concern about spreading herpes virus. As you may know, Type 1 of Herpes simplex virus is transmitted mainly through infected saliva. SO there are possibilities of spreading virus through kissing, cunningulus etc. Type 2 of HSV is transmitted through sexual contact and are sexually transmitted. Fever blisters are caused by type 1 HSV, and are seen in and around mouth and facial area. But chance of spreading HSV type 1 through sexual contact is minimal. Anyway, sores, which are usually called cold sores caused by both of the infections are similar and look alike. Touching or getting direct skin to skin contact with sores can simply spread the transmission to the non-infected. Sometimes, use of towels used by infected persons are seen to spread the disease. Moreover this infection is so dangerous that it can make a person carrier, without his knowledge. This is because the virus can stay dormant in the body of infected people without any visible breakouts but causing a spread. So, people who are found to be infected are contagious by any degree and it is better to avoid any sort of sexual contact. So, if you sincerely wish not to spread your infection to your girlfriend, better abstain from sexual practices. Anyway, using condoms till you get a visible outbreak will help reducing the chances of spread. Hope your doubts are clear by now. Take care.

Dr. John Monheit
Category: Family Physician-GP
Residecny: North Colorado Family Medicine
Medical School: The Chicago Medical Center
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