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Does oral cold sore transmit through oral sex or kissing?

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Hi doctor,

I wanted to ask about the oral cold sore that I am having. I wanted to know if there is a possibility to spread this to the genitals as seen in the std pictures. If yes then how easily can this be spread? Is it transmittable through kissing or oral sex?


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Category: Family Physician-GP
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Expert:  Dr. John Fuller replied 4 Days.

Thank you for your question and I am sorry for your problem. With the help of std pictures you can assure if it is the problem of herpes or not. I would like to bring to your knowledge that the herpes are of two types, first is HSV-1 and the other is HSV-2. They are somewhat similar in various respects. The HSV-1 is associated with facial sore and the HSV-2 is associated with sore in genitals. As far as the transmission of HSV is concerned, it is a std and is transmitted through close sexual relations. When the virus enters the body through small cracks formed on the surface of the skin, the virus starts showing its symptoms in few days. Coming to your last part of the question regarding the modes of transmission of the virus, I would like you to know that being a std, the disease can easily be transmitted if you have sex. There may be a possibility there are cracks in the skin which are not visible to the naked eye, in that case the virus can be easily transmitted to the partner. The details of such cracks can be seen in the std pictures. Therefore I would suggest you to keep aloof from any kind of sexual activity till you are assured of being negative to the disease in the various tests. I would suggest you to approach a physician and get the tests done and only then take the further decisions. Hope this helps, take care.


Dr. John Fuller
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
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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