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Oral sex and transmission of genital herpes and cold sores

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Hi doctor, I am a 23 years old male. I am sexually active and recently had sex with a woman. It was an oral sex which she gave me. Now, I am experiencing little cold sores. Is there a chance that I am developing antibodies against some disease, say herpes? If yes, are they sufficient to make me immune to infections further, and help me from getting infected with genital or oral herpes? How can I prevent myself being caught with herpes by receiving oral sex from women who may have cold sores or herpes?


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Category: Family Physician-GP
Dr. Cecelia J. Russ is online now

Expert:  Dr. Cecelia J. Russ replied 4 Days.

Genital and oral herpes are caused by Herpes Simplex Virus. There are two types of HSV in the family. They are HSV type 1 and HSV type 2. Of the two, oral herpes is caused by HSV type 1. Genital herpes is caused by herpes type 2. Both are similar in their way of production and infection. Both can co-exist in same person. Even if they are of two different types, type 1 can even cause sores in genital areas, if they are contracted in genitals through oral sex. Similarly, HSV type 2 can cause oral cold sores and blisters, by oral sex. Even a skin to skin contact with cold sores and blisters can cause spread of the virus. However, there is no sure shot treatment for the virus. Moreover, antibody produced by our own body is capable of fighting with the virus. Anyway, HSV 1 antibody cannot fight with HSV 2 virus and vice versa. Also, after getting infected there are huge chances of recurrence year after year, more or less frequently. No permanent cure for this disease is still available. There is no way to prevent getting infected from an infected person if you come with sexual contact with her. This is more evident that even using of condoms are also not effective. It is because condoms cannot prevent a skin to skin contact with parts other than penis and vagina. Hope your doubts about genital and oral herpes are cleared by now. Take care.


Dr. Cecelia J. Russ
Category: Family Physician-GP
Experience: 
- Medical School - New York Institute of Technology, New York College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Duke University Medical Center, Residency in Family Medicine
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