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Herpes by oral sex

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Hello. I'm curious about a particular situation involving Herpes 1. Is it possible for, say, a teenage boy (who does not have herpes) to kiss his mother on the cheek (she has a cold sore and has medicine on it), and then, hours later, if he was to have oral sex with his girlfriend (who has had cold sores before), could he cause HSV 1 to appear on her genitals?

Category: Internal Medicine Specialist

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

Expert:  Dr. John Fuller replied 4 Days.

Thank you for asking the query.

Very less likely. I would say near impossible or something like only a text book possibility.

There are many road blocks in the transmission of virus in this scenario:

  1. A typical kiss in the cheek might not transmit the virus to the person. And transmission would only happen if the affected person is actively shedding virus.
  2. The partner (girlfriend) already had cold sores – That means some level of protective anti bodies are there in her system. This could offer protection again further HSV 1 infection
  3. HSV1 is less likely to cause genital infection.

Putting all these together, it is very less likely that the infection has been transmitted.

Hope this helps. Please feel free to ask follow-up question. Thank you .

Dr. John Fuller
Category: Family Physician-GP
MD - New York Institute of Technology, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
Internship, Family Medicine - Lutheran Medical Center
Residency, Family Medicine - The Mount Sinai Hospital
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