[Question #5112] Herpes !

26 months ago
Recently I  was diagnosed with herpes after developing cold sores on my mouth. Specifically on the top lip. I took valacyclovir 1 mg tablets. I took these twice daily until finished. Question is this easily transmitted to  a partner orally or sexually ? Is it possible to get infected when you are not in relationship with a partner meaning no oral contact or sexual contact. Have not been in relationship with anyone for years probably 5 or more.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
26 months ago
Yes, oral herpes can be transferred to a partner by giving them oral sex.  If you are having a cold sore now, it is reactivation from a previous infection if you have not had any oral or genital contact in the past 5 years.  This means you have had this infection all this time but simply have not had symptoms prior to this or at least that you recall.  You could have had this since childhood.

Terri
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25 months ago
So I have been oral herpes all this time. I have been having one or two sores on the upper lip which I had been attributing to headaches that I had been getting overnight. Going back to oral sex the last time someone performed oral sex on me was 2000 i.e 19 years ago. And my last active sex life hasn't happened since 2010  which is 9 years ago. So are we saying I have had herpes since 2000. Prior to this I was using condoms. The only thing that got attention was the abundance of the cold sores that covered the top lip. This episode happened 2 months ago that is the herpes treatment and announcement. Going forward can I engage in kissing activities without infecting anyone ? Oral is to be done with a condom only correct ? And finally actual sex without the use of a condom can  lead to transmission of the herpes virus ? Thank you.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
25 months ago
So with oral herpes, you could have been infected since childhood.  It most often has nothing at all to do with sexual activity, except that you can give it to someone else by giving them oral sex OR passionate kissing.  The cold sores are almost always caused by HSV type 1.
If your infection is only oral this is not something that you would transmit to another person through intercourse.  That would only happen if you had genital herpes. 
Please let me know if that seems clearer to you now.

Terri
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25 months ago
So I have had oral herpes which is also HSV-Type 1 , which I can transmit to someone else through passionate kissing or oral sex. Does it mean if someone else does oral sex on me they will get the HSV -Type 1 virus ? Another question so each time those many years ago I was having cold sores appear on my top lip though minor that was oral herpes or HSV-Type 1 being revealed. Finally how could I have been infected with oral herpes during childhood ? Could it have been when someone performed oral sex on me ? Thank you for your answers.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
25 months ago
So let me be absolutely sure I understand you. You have only had oral sores, not genital sores, is that right?

Terri
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25 months ago
I have only had oral sores and not genital sores.  And that is correct. Also those have come and gone before (that is the cold sores)without treatment it is just that  the last episode it was so bad that is why I sought treatment. It is not like they happen all the time. Thank you.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
25 months ago
So oral infection does not come from someone performing oral sex on you.  Oral infection is oral and genital infection is genital.  If someone performs oral sex on you, and you only have oral infection, they could not get your oral infection.  People can get infected during childhood by someone with a cold sore kissing them.  Cold sores are caused by HSV 1, yes.  That's correct.

Terri
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