[Question #1347] HSV2 and oral sex

84 months ago
I am a 54 year old male and I am HSV2 + but HSV1 -. I met a woman who is HSV 1&2 negative and we are considering having an unprotected oral sex only relationship. What are the risk of her getting HSV2 orally? Once infected orally, can it migrate to her genitalia? If I were to start taking acyclovir daily how would the odds change? Once infected orally with HSV2, would she risk infecting other men? Does swallowing sperm increase the chances of contamination?
Thank you.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
84 months ago
If you started taking acyclovir daily, the risk of infecting you partner who is HSV 2 negative is reduced by almost half - add condoms and the odds of infecting her are very low indeed.  If she was the giver of oral sex to you, she could still acquire HSV 2 orally, though that is uncommon because HSV 2 does not like the oral area.  But if she did acquire it orally, that would essentially vaccinate her against genital infection and it would rarely recur orally.  She could potentially infect other men, but because HSV 2 doesn't like the mouth, it infrequently recurs there and is infrequently shed from this area.  Swallowing semen does not increase the risk of contamination - semen is not a good carrier of virus.