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Confusion on transmission of genital herpes

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Hi doctor, I am a 19 years old female. I have a boyfriend and I used to have sex with him. But recently, for about a month ago, I had sex with some other guy. I gave him oral sex and after some days I had got a blister in my lips. I think it was due to sun burn and nothing else. After that oral sex, we had an unprotected sexual intercourse. Is there a chance that I can get genital herpes? I fear vaginal herpes more. What are the symptoms I can expect if I have got vaginal herpes? Also suggest me some home remedy for genital herpes. Thank you.

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Category: Family Physician-GP
 21 Doctors Online

Thanks for your question and concern about genital herpes. Let me say something about genital herpes, first. There are two types of genital herpes virus, Herpes Simplex Virus Type 1 and type 2. Of these, type 1 is responsible for oral infections which cause facial herpes sores, cold sores and fever blisters. Type 2 of HSV is the reason for genital herpes which cause similar sores and blisters in genital area. However, facial herpes can occur in genital area and vice versa, due to oral sex between infected and non-infected partners. Kissing and oral sex causes spread of HSV type 1. Moreover barrier methods like condoms cannot provide adequate protection from spread of these viruses because a skin to skin contact with virus can result in transmission of virus. This is also because condom cannot prevent all sores seen in body. It is better to abstain from sex with partners having HSV infection, as in 90% cases, HSV is transmitted successfully. Moreover, it is spread from people who do not have active outbreak of virus. If your partner has got HSV infection and is medically got confirmed positive with tests, chances of transmission are very high. Unfortunately there are no vaccinations available to prevent infection. Only medical treatment available is to suppress outbreak or depth of outbreak. It is done using antiviral medications like acyclovir. For effective eradication of virus, no medicines or treatments are found effective. So, this virus, once got infected in a person, will stay there for a lifetime. In most of the people outbreaks are rare and in 80% of infected people, there has been not even a single outbreak. But infected people can spread the virus even without visible outbreaks. Even while receiving antiviral treatment, a person is capable of transmitting the virus effectively, through sex or kiss. But HSV is not known to cause any decrease in life expectancy of human beings. And in most of the outbreaks, visible outbreaks will go away by its own in a matter of 2 to 3 weeks, without any treatment. But in rare cases, situations worse and can lead to death. Hope I have said thing in detail. Take care.

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