[Question #3128] HSV1 transmission

37 months ago

Yes, trying to clear something up. I’m a 24 year old male and was at a Christmas cocktail party. I picked a glass up near the bar and mixed a drink. A little while later I realized it was someone else’s glass that was empty. The person might have had a cold sore. I always thought that you could only get a cold sore through direct contact (kissing, oral sex) and not through the sharing of a glass. If you think about it most of the lips do not touch the glass when drinking. Anyway I didn’t drink from the glass immediately after. My girlfriend said I could be infected. Van you clear this up. Thanks.

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
37 months ago
Your girlfriend is incorrect.  The situation that you describe does not present any realistic risk of acquiring HSV 1.  The virus is far more vulnerable than one might think.  Also, about 70% of those infected with HSV 1 are unaware of their infection so she or you could already be infected with HSV 1 and not know it - 56% of the population between 14 and 49 is infected in the US.

Terri
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36 months ago
Thank you Terri. As a follow-up, if you have a cold sore but do not realize it and, while showering touch the cold sore as you're applying soap to your face; and then wash you penis with soap, can you transmit HSV1 to your penis? Thanks.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
36 months ago
This would not transfer virus to your penis for two reasons:
1) having the virus in one location on you body offers you almost complete protection against getting it in a new location and
2) soap destroys the lipid layer that surrounds the herpes virus and causes the virus to completely fall apart and be non-infectious.

Terri
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36 months ago
Thanks Terri.  Last follow-up question.  If you have a cold sore and you use chapstick and your girlfriend uses the chapstick a month, later the virus can't be transmitted correct? It can't live that long on the chapstick I assume.
36 months ago
Thank you very much , Doctor! I appreciate greatly your responce which put my mind at ease. May I just ask out of curiousity: isn't the freezing temperature supposed to preserve the virus? This is what I read on the internet from cites like CDC. Or ice cream freezing temp is not enough for that? Thank you again and have a fanstastic day
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
36 months ago
Yes, virus would most certainly be dead on the chap stick a month later.  No worries there

Terri

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