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Possibilities of getting infected with herpes without having sex and without knowing it.

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Dear doctor, Is there any chance for getting infected with genital herpes without knowing? I haven’t had sex anytime in life. I heard that herpes is a sexually transmitted infection and is transmitted through sexual intercourse. But in a recent test, it turned out that I am infected with herpes. Is there any other chance for getting infected? Sexually I haven’t gone beyond kiss, with anyone. Please help me with this.

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

Expert:  Dr. John Fuller replied 4 Days.

Thanks for your question and concern. It is unfortunate to know that you are infected with herpes. Herpes is a sexually transmitted infection ( STI ), usually get transmitted through sexual means. But it is possible to transmit the virus without sex. Even a kiss with infected person is enough to transmit the virus to the uninfected. Oral herpes is generally transmitted this way and it is said that about 50-80% of American adult has got this infection. In your case it is most likely to be the oral herpes transmitted this way. It appears as cold sores in and around mouth with sores and fever blisters. Genital herpes on the other way, is caused by type 2 of HSV. It is also a sexually transmitted disease. It can be spread orally through oral sex. If a person performs oral sex to an infected one, he may get this virus orally and will show symptoms similar to that or oral herpes or cold sores. If the same person transmits the virus to someone else through oral sex, it becomes genital herpes to the infected person. You might have got the infection that way also. The worst part of this disease is that the virus can stay dormant for months without showing any symptoms. But even during this time of dormancy, the infected person act as carrier of the virus. 

Dr. John Fuller
Category: Family Physician-GP
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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