[Question #2357] Recently Diagnosed Genital Warts

46 months ago
Hi, I have been recently diagnosed with genital warts.  My girlfriend doesn't know about this yet and it hasn't cleared up. Is it safe to have sex with a condom? Can she become infected with this? I know she has had the vaccine and hopefully that makes it OK, but I'm not sure.

In addition, all my life I've had sore gums that cause bleeding when I brush. I'm also a smoker. In spite of this, I have shared many toothbrushes with friends and older family members who get active cold sores. Many times that I shared with them, they had an active cold sore present I think. My mother gets cold sores, but my dad doesn't, although I'm not sure if he has the virus, but probably since they are married. I've shared toothbrushes with both of them. Does the fact that my gums are sore and sensitive and bleed when I brush, in combination with the fact that I've been sharing toothbrushes with people with active cold sores (friends and family) mean that you doctors recommend I get testing to know? I don't have any cold sores that I know of.

Similarly, I have shared razors with the same people throughout my life (those who get active cold sores, paresnts, friends and family) at times to shave my entire body. I'm pretty sure they've had active cold sores right before I shared it with them, and this has happened several times throughout my life. I am not very careful with a razor and always end up with cuts on my face and in the genital area. Is testing for HSV-1 or HSV-2 recommended for any of these exposures? I think the risk is quite low still but I'm not sure. I saw a similar post but it wasn't quite clear. Thanks for the clarification in advance.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
46 months ago
This is your third question, repeating ones already answered. Your previous thread, with a different username and email address, ended with "Please note that repeated questions about the same exposure, symptoms, or disease concerns are not permitted. This being your second, any further ones will be deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee." In addition to its repetative nature, multiple usernames and accounts are against forum rules. This thread will be deleted.

HHH, MD

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46 months ago
I understand, but I think there is more nuance in this post because before I thought you didn't understand a couple of things. I'm not trying to break the rules I'm just trying to get clarification. If you would just read it you would understand that I meant WITH sore gums that bleed I shared plenty toothbrushes, in the details that I thus described in this first post. I thought that this would somehow increase my risk to the point of a test recommendation.  And also with the razor thing that I cut myself a lot, shave my entire body and have used plenty of other peoples razors with active cold sores (like I mentioned in this post). If you understand that and the recommendation is still No, then you won't hear from me anymore, I just thought from the last post you thought that I meant the sore gums and bleeding were some sign of herpes, when in fact I was just trying to ask if the combination of sharing toothbrush with the gum bleeding problem led to high enough of risk to be recommended to be tested for HSV-1
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
46 months ago
Sigh. OK, we'll leave this thread in place. But this is definitely your last one on these topics.

None of my previous replies implied that your sore gums might be due to herpes; I didn't say any such thing. HSV is not known to cause gingivitis or other gum problems. As for the chance you might have HSV1, I already said that it is quite high, because of being raised in a household with one or both parents having HSV1; and that the toothbrush and razor sharing doesn't raise that risk any further, at least not very much. The same applies to bleeding gums:  little or no further increase in risk.  All things considered, there is at least a 50:50 chance you have HSV1. (Depending on what country you live it, there is up to a 90% chance you have HSV1.) I also said in the other thread that since this is obviously worrying you, it would be a good idea to be tested, and I even told you the kind of test to have (type specific IgG test, no IgM test). I am not recommending that you be tested, simply saying you might want to do so. It's entirely up to you:  there are no formal guidelines on this.

I would very strongly recommend that you never again share toothbrushes or razors with other people. Nobody does that -- just common sense hygiene. It's not as if toothbrushes and razors cost a lot of money -- they're very cheap.

Having decided to leave this thread open, I will leave it open so you can post your HSV blood test result if an when you have it, but that must be within 2 weeks. After that, the thread will be closed permanently.

HHH, MD

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46 months ago
Right, I understood all that. I just wanted to make the distinction between just sharing a toothbrush with ppl with cold sores  versus sharing a toothbrush with ppl with cold sores WHILE I had bleeding sore gums (since I usually do). But if the risk level is the same then I understand.

I also understand that even though i've shared a lot of razors throughout my life with people with active cold sores and cut myself plenty of times while using them shaving both my face and 'down there', that this is still low risk for either HSV-1 or HSV-2 and no need to be recommended to be tested.

Those were just the two things I wanted to clarify with you. I know you read a ton of these daily and my language itself was probably not so clear to read.
Oh and it wasn't that YOU said that sore gums were related to herpes, it was that you THOUGHT that I THOUGHT it was. That's all. I know reading stuff on here can be confusing especially when people have anxiety in their tone.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
46 months ago
As I have said repeatedly, you probably have HSV1. Why do you ignore it every time I suggest you be tested to learn for sure? Whether or not you have bleeding gums, or brushed your teeth with a contaminated brush while your gums are bleeding, makes little or no difference. However, you have burned through your entitled follow-up questions and replies, so this thread is over. The previous warning still stands. To assure no misunderstanding, here it is again:

Please note the forum does not permit repeated questions on the same topic or exposure. This being the most recent of several, it will have to be your last; future new questions about this exposure, testing, and your fears about herpes or other STDs will be deleted without reply and without refund of the posting fee. This policy is based on compassion, not criticism, and is designed to reduce temptations to keep paying for questions with obvious answers. In addition, continued answers tend to prolong users' anxieties. Finally, such questions have little educational value for other users, one of the forum's main purposes. Thank you for your understanding.    
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