[Question #264] Herpes / Oral Sex

35 months ago

In the past week, I’ve had protected vaginal sex and unprotected oral sex with the same woman twice. I performed oral sex on her and she performed oral sex on me. There was also some open-mouth kissing, but nothing long or sustained.

 We used a condom for the vaginal sex. It was used properly both times and didn’t break. I don’t believe I have anything to worry about there.

 So that leaves the fellatio and cunnilingus. I’ve read the doctors (numerous) other posts at Medhelp, but I wanted to ask my own question now in case their opinion has changed.

 What risk am I at in regards to the oral sex, from me to her and from her to me? My biggest fear is herpes. I should note that in the in the past three years, I’ve taken three separate herpes tests. All have been negative for both HSV1 and HSV2. I distinctly remember, however, having cold sores when I was in middle school. I remember the horror of having them and the bottles of campho-phenique I poured on them for them to go away.

 Is it possible to have HSV1 and test negative?

 If these are actually 2 questions, let me know and I’ll pay for a second question.

 Thanks.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
It is certainly possible to have HSV 1 and not test positive on the antibody test.  The usual screening test misses 1 out 4 HSV 1 infections.  If you already have HSV 1 infection, and it sounds like you do from your history which in this case is probably more accurate than the test, then you are not at risk of getting HSV 1 from her - if she has it also, she is not at risk either.  But if she doesn't then she could be vulnerable to you.  Do you know if she has been tested for HSV?  It is unlikely that you have HSV 2 as the test picks up about 98% of infections compared to the best test, western blot.  We don't know if she has HSV 2.  If she does, then there is a slight risk of you acquiring this from her orally, though statistically it really is small. 

Terri
---
35 months ago
Nurse Warren, thanks for your response. 

I do not know if she has ever been tested for HSV. I can ask her.

From other posts, I know I should keep an eye out for herpes symptoms (e.g. lesions) for the next 2-3 weeks. If nothing comes up, should I assume I'm in the clear? If not, blood test at 3 months?
35 months ago
Another clarification I thought of ...

I have to bullet this out because HSV1 vs HSV2 always confuses me.

  • Assuming I have oral HSV1 and she has oral HSV1, can I get HSV1 on my genitals from the fellatio?
  • Assuming I have oral HSV1 and she has oral HSV1, can I get HSV2 on my genitals from the fellatio?
  • Assuming I have oral HSV1 and she has oral HSV1, I can give her HSV1 on her genitals from the cunnilingus?
  • Assuming she has genital HSV2, can I get oral HSV2 from the cunnilingus?

Let me know if this qualifies as a new question and I will pay to repost.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
1.  No, having herpes in one location protects you against getting it in a new location
2.  No
3.  No
4.  That is a slight possibility, yes

This is the last of your questions, Ben.  If you have more, please feel free to renew, OK?

Terri
---