[Question #4933] HSV 2 in the mouth

27 months ago

HI Terry,

I know you don't believe that HSV 2 is passed via kissing. How ever, it has been said that someone can have HSV 2 in their mouth. If someone has HSV 2 in their mouth, couldn't they transmit the virus to someone else by kissing another person ? or can this only happen if they are experiencing an HSV 2 outbreak during the kiss? In my situation I kissed a man who was positive for HSV 1 and 2. I already have HSV 1, but I am worried about the HSV 2 that he also has. There was no vaginal, anal, or oral sex & no contact with his genital area period.  However, he has never had an outbreak before, so he does not know the location of his HSV 2 ? Am I at risk?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
27 months ago
95%, at least, of those infected with HSV 2 have it genitally.  this has been shown by doing daily home swabs of the genital area in people who test positive for HSV 2 but report no symptoms.  Also, some people who state that they are HSV 2 positive do so because they have a positive antibody test.  But some people have a false positive on the test and are not truly infected.
Is it possible to get HSV 2 orally? Yes, it is possible, and when there it shed very rarely indeed.  Is it possible that you could acquire HSV 2 orally by kissing someone who tells you they are HSV 2 positive?  Yes, it is possible and it is also possible to be struck by lightening.  But that doesn't keep us from going outside.  You can choose to worry about this extremely unlikely event or not - your call.  If it was me, I wouldn't give it a second thought.

Terri
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26 months ago

thank you terri,

just to follow up, if a person tests positive, but has never had an outbreak, is there a way to find out where the site of the HSV is without having an actual outbreak?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
26 months ago
We know that at least 95% of HSV 2 infections are genital.  The CDC says if someone tests positive for HSV 2 by antibody test, there infection should be considered at least genital.  We know this by doing daily home swabs of the genital area in people who are simply positive but no symptomatic.

Terri
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26 months ago
Can hsv 2 be passed through sweat? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
26 months ago
No.

Terri
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