[Question #3816] HSV2 Non- Sexual Transmission Questions

35 months ago

Hi

If this could be answered by one of the Doctors that would be great. I hope it is ok that I asked 3 questions upfront. No problem if I need to make a additional payment. Just let me know.  I am a male who has had HSV2 for years now and for some reason recently I have gotten really hung up on social or non-sexual transmission of the virus. From all the research I have been doing it seems to all boil down to that HSV2 does not spread through casual, household, or non-sexual contact,and basic hygiene is enough. Herpes (HSV2) can only be transmitted by direct sexual contact with the infected area, natural birth from a woman who carries the virus, and possibly sex toys. Is this correct? Assuming I am on the right track.  I still have a few questions that I was hoping you could answer that my seem kind of absurd to you but are real to me.

1). I have been very concerned about the clothing in my gentile area that sometimes brushes up against my gentiles or I touch while getting dressed or using the bath room. I am concerned about the bottom of  my shirt, belt, and crouch area of my pants would pick up the virus and it would get spread around by my hands or something that came into contact with that area of clothing. Lately I have been extra careful to try and make sure nothing comes in contact with that part of my clothing and I have been washing my hands if I touch that area. Is this a realistic concern? If no why not?

2).I read that washing your hands with soap and water kills the virus? Does it matter if it is warm or cold water and length of time?

3)  If you forget or are unable to wash your hands after using the bathroom ie. Camping or in the outdoors. Does it matter as far as spreading the virus or being contagious? If no why not?

Thank You           

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
I answer the herpes questions on this board and have 33 years experience specializing in herpes. 
It sounds like you know the correct facts about herpes transmission but you are having a difficult time accepting these facts or applying them to yourself.
Having said that,no question is absurd here!
1.  There is zero risk of you spreading herpes by contact with clothing as you describe in this question. No risk at all.
2.  Yes, soap destroys the lipid layer that surrounds the virus, so washing with warm water for 15 seconds is adequate to kill any herpes virus.
3.  No, you will not spread the virus, even if you can't wash your hands,simply because you touch your penis while urinating.  That's not how this works.
If you are worried, take some hand wipes if you wish with you.  But you really don't need to.

I hope this provides you with some reassurance.

Terri
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35 months ago
Terri, 
Thank you for your response.  It was very helpful. I think I am going through a phase probably due not getting fully educated on HSV2 in the past and now finding it unavoidable.  Could you please clarify one thing.  Washing with soap kills the virus. Does it matter if the water is warm or cold? Sometimes warm is not available. It seems soap or a cleaning agent is the key ingredient? Thanks again! 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
Warm water is probably better but it isn't necessary when you have soap involved or sanitary wipes for example, if you are out camping. The virus is a lot more fragile than people might imagine and it's fine that you are now becoming educated about herpes.  There are no stupid questions here

terri
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35 months ago
Thank you for your patience and the much appreciated support you provide for those  of us wrestling with this infection. One last question please. I have noticed often in your replies to other questions you often answer with:
 
" Genital Herpes is transmitted from one person to another through some kind of sexual contact. Period. " 

 Even though this is clear it can be difficult to process when wrestling with this. So  with all the scenarios that happen in life or thoughts that my unrestrained mind might come up with considering Herpes transmission. Is this statement correct as a as a guide line to bounce questions off of to keep myself strait?

Genital herpes is transmitted from one person to another through some kind of sexual contact—Period .. It is transmitted via skin-to-skin contact and the  infected area MUST come in direct contact with a crack in the skin or a mucous membrane. Herpes can live off the body a very short time. And when it does, it is likely not to be able to be infectious to others given its’ very small quantity and the fact that it takes a substantial quantity of virus to infect another person..


Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
34 months ago
These are correct statements.  Is there a question in there?
I would be happy to answer a question.

Terri
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