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Can herpes be transmitted without any sexual contacts? Am I getting cheated?

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Hello doctor, I am in an embarrassing situation and am really lost in thoughts. I have been staying with my fiancé and my mother in my house, for some weeks. I am now pregnant and so, have refrained from sex for a couple of weeks. It turned out recently that my mother has got herpes. It was medically tested and she had not got any outbreaks till now. But my fiancé has got visible outbreak in the form of cold sores. He has got cold sore inside mouth and some cold sore in lips. Later I found that he has got cold sore in genital area also. But still, my mother has not got visible marks or cold sores till now even after staying with us. Can the medical report false? If no, is there a chance of spreading herpes from my mother to my fiancé without any sexual contact? I am not able to trust any of them. Is it possible for herpes to get transmitted without physical, especially sexual contact? Please help.


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

Expert:  Dr. John Monheit replied 4 Days.

Thanks for your question and concern. Herpes or serpes simplex virus is what causes cold sores. Of the two types of HSV, type 2 is what causes genital herpes. Type 2 of HSV causes facial sores and visible sores in lips and mouth. Now, your problem is with spreading of virus without sexual contact. HSV can be spread from one person to another even without any type of sexual contact. Sharing vessels and utensils, direct skin to skin contact, sharing of towels etc. can cause transmission of virus. Oral genital contact is what usually causes herpes type 1 virus infection. Moreover, type 1 herpes is also transferred through sexual contact, which is the prime method of transmission of virus. However, there is no treatment for herpes available which can ensure a complete eradication of the infection. Usually, it is treated symptomatically and treatment is given to suppress symptoms. Hope your query is answered. Take care.


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