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Positive for HSV2 and risk of infection transmission by kissing

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This April I had an STD check. My doctor told they had detected antibodies for Herpes type 2. As far as I can tell, I must have gotten herpes type 2 in December 2012.
I haven’t had any outbreaks (as far as I have been able to tell).

The past month have been pretty stressful. App. 1 week ago, I noticed what felt like a tiny blister on my lower lip. I didn’t think much of it.
When I looked in mirror yesterday, I could see what looked like a tiny rift – app. 1 millimeter long and no wider than a paper cut. I had to use a make-up mirror to discover this. Only after knowing it was there did I notice it in a normal mirror. Today, it’s almost gone.

Question 1)
Is there any chance this could be a herpes outbreak? Or is it more likely just a blister or a scratch?

The reason I’m asking, is that I made out with a girl 4 days ago. We kissed quite a bit.

Question 2)
Is there any risk she could have gotten Herpes type 2 from me from kissing?
Either if this tiny scratch was or wasn’t a herpes outbreak?

i've attached a picture. not very good. it is tiny scratch to the right on my lower lip. the white thing slightly to the right of the middle didn't feel swollen or sore and looked more , eh, white on the picture than in real life.


Category: Family Physician-GP

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Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
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Thanks for your query at DoctorSpring.

From your history and the photo provided it does look like there is a herpes simplex infection . This is caused by the herpes simplex virus. It can occur secondary to the stress that you have been through. You also have an antibody to the virus which increases the possibility of infection.

It does not look like a simple blister or scratch.

Answer to your second question would be a yes . There is a chance of spreading the infection to her whether you had the blister or not . The virus stays in the top layers of the skin and can easily spread.

Hope this helps, please feel free to discuss further.

Thanks and take care

Patient replied :

thanks! i'm not sure i understand completely, though.

you write:

"You also have an antibody to the virus which increases the possibility of infection."

i do have antibodies, yes. how can this increase her risk of getting it?! i mean, when you have the virus, you have the antibodies, right?

also, you write:

"Answer to your second question would be a yes . There is a chance of spreading the infection to her whether you had the blister or not . The virus stays in the top layers of the skin and can easily spread."

as far as i can read online and from what my doctor told me, the risk of giving herpes type 2 to someone kissing is virtually impossible. unless there is an outbreak.
so what you mean is, 'under normal circumstances the risk of giving it to her would be small, but since i had what possibly is an herpes outbreak OR alternatively a blister you could have given it to her' ?

a final question:
i know it is very difficult to make any precise estimates. but roughly : is there a big or small chance that i have given it to her?

thanks again


Thanks for your reply.

If you have antibodies to the virus, that means you had an infection in the past so that's how you have got the antibodies.

Once you get the infection, you can shed the virus and transmit it to others whether you have a blister or not. That is because the virus can stay dormant in the skin, even though there are no blisters.

Herpes virus type 2 can be transmitted at times by kissing even in the absence of active lesions. So in presence of blisters chances increase to some extent.

Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar
Category: Cosmetic and Plastic Surgeon
Diploma in Dermatology - Royal College Of Physicians & Surgeons Of Glasgow, UK , 2010
Residency - DNB, Dermatology -  K.J Somaiya Hospital, Mumbai, 2009
Medical School & Internship - MBBS - Dr. D . Y . Patil Medical College, Mumbai, 2004
Dr. Kruti Jobanputra Banodkar and 4 other Medical Specialists are ready to help you

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