[Question #5390] Question

21 months ago
Hello Doctors,

I had an encounter with at a strip club 2 days ago.  As I was standing up a dancer that had been talking to me tried to give me a kiss on the cheek.  However, I didn’t realize this and turned my head as she tried to kiss my cheek and her lips went inside my mouth and touched my gums and under my front lip.  My questions are below.  My main fear is that this event would put me at risk for acquiring HSV 1.  I have been tested before and have come out negative for HSV 1 & 2 via the IGG blood tests you can get through online testing panels.  Further, I’ve never had a cold sore and thus I am confident I do not already have HSV 1.

1.  In the worst case scenario if the dancer had an active cold sore on her lips what would be the probability she could have transmitted HSV 1 to me from this incidental contact?

2.  I was drinking liquor (Tequila) straight at the time.  Would that lower the risk of transmitting based on creating an inhospitable environment for HSV 1 to transmit?

3.  After 2 to 12 days if I have no symptoms can I assume I am in the clear?

4.  Should I refrain from kissing my wife or performing oral sex on her?

Thank you in advance.
21 months ago
One other piece of info is that my wife definitely does not have HSV 1.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
21 months ago
First, 70% of those infected with HSV 1 would say that they do NOT have HSV 1.  In addition, the IgG test normally used to diagnose HSV by antibody detection misses 30% of HSV 1 infections compared to the gold standard western blot.  That can be true for both you AND your wife.
Now, having said all of that, The scenario that you describe presents very close to zero risk of transmission.  The encounter was incredibly brief and you've developed no symptoms in 12 days. And I think if she had had a cold sore, you likely would have noticed.    I think the chances that you acquired HSV 1 at the encounter is just about as close to zero as one can get. 

Terri
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21 months ago
Thank you for the candid response.  Just to confirm is it safe to resume kissing and performing oral sex with my wife?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
21 months ago
I don't know if you already have HSV 1 or HSV 2 from any previous encounters so I cannot say if sexual contact with your wife is risk free BUT if you are asking if you should be worried about infected your wife from anything acquired at THIS encounter as you described it, I would say there is no worry, correct.

Terri
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21 months ago
Thank you once again!  I am 34 years old.  Would you expect a new HSV 1 infection to produce symptoms?  What would be the probability a new infection would produce symptoms?  Is there any correlation between age and new infection and symptoms?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
21 months ago
Yes, I would expect it would  - that is not a guarantee but a well educated opinion.  Adults in my experience are more likely to be symptomatic when they acquire herpes than children.

Terri
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21 months ago
Last questions.  What is the timeline of when you would expect symptoms to present?  Basically how long of being symptom free after exposure would mean there was no infection transferred?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
21 months ago
IF someone is going to develop symptoms, they will do so within 2-10 days from infection.  Sometimes a rare 14 days

Terri
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