[Question #4954] Is it possible to spread hereps to other parts of your body during primary outbr

26 months ago
Hello, i was exposed to the herpes virus exactly one week ago and was just diagnosed today with cold sores on my lips. I have been applying abreva and other topical remedies with my fingers instead of using a q-tip. However, after each time i did this i used 91% isopropyl alcohol as well as h d sanitizer on my hands immediately after. My question is that i absent mindedly put my hands on my genitals for an extended period of time and im wondering if i could have potentially spread the virus there even though i was always careful to sanitize my hands but i am still in my primary infection. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
26 months ago
No.  This is not a concern.  The hand sanitizer that you have used is certainly adequate to kill the herpes virus.  Besides, even if you had not used that, it would take a significant amount of virus to be transferred from your hand to your genital and autoinocualtion during a primary infection is not common (though not impossible).  I have no concerns about you transferring virus from your hands to you genitals in your situation.

Terri
---
26 months ago
Thanks for your response, i forgot to to mention in my orginal question that after doing this i sort of panicked and then put the l-lysine cream that i was putting on my lips on to my penis. Is it possible that the virus could have been living on the end of the tube and then by putting that on my penis I transferred the virus? The tube never came in direct contact with my soar, and the tube had been sitting there for a few hours without any use, however before that, my finger would touch the tube to put the cream on the soar and  then back on the tube again to put more on. I should also mention that im taking Valacyclovir twice a day currently.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
26 months ago
No, I don't believe  it is possible that the virus was living on the end of the tube and you transferred it to your penis.  The virus cannot live off of humans very long at all. 
You mention that you were exposed to the virus a week ago - what was the exposure?  Was your penis also exposed or just your lips?

Terri
---
26 months ago
No, it was just my lips, i devloped the cold sore after preforming oral sex on someone, the cold sore is very mild which I researched may because it could potentially be caused by hsv 2, however i have not received a test to determine wheather or not the cause of the cold sore was hsv 1 or 2 hence my extreme concern that i may have spread hsv 2 to my genitals.  I used a q-tip to put the cream from the tube onto my penis however, if the virus had been living on the end of the tube this would not have mattered since the cream itself would be contaminated.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
26 months ago
If the cold sore recurs, you should have it swab tested for type.  You said the cold sore was very mild - are you certain it was a cold sore?  HSV 2 would be no more mild than HSV 1 in it's presentation.  Again, the application of the cream would be not result in transfer of virus to your genitals (if it indeed was a cold sore)

Terri
---