[Question #6083] HSV Transmission Follow Up

16 months ago

Hi Terri,

I have sent you a few questions in the past concerning non-sexual transmission in the past. I have had HSV2 for years and for some reason I had gotten triggered and panicked about non-sexual transmission. It seems there are a lot of specific questions out there by concerned people but I wanted to see if I could clarify/confirm a few things with you on a broader scale. I tried to keep it as simple as possible.

 

1) HSV 1 or 2 have the same means of transmission?

 

2) HSV transmission basically only occurs by sex?  HSV transmission requires that a contagious are of the skin has to come into direct contact with acceptable skin which would be a mucous membrane, vagina, mouth, penis or crack in the skin?

So the reality of it is  ….The only way I could infect another person is if my genitals came in to contact with their genitals, mouth or a crack in the skin?

 

3)  HSV 1 or 2 does not transmit indirectly?  Except for possibly actively using sex toys w/ a uninfected partner. So this means that HSV would not be transmitted from any inanimate object?

 

4) As for washing hands I understand that soap and water will kill HSV however washing of hands after bathroom seems to be just basic sanitary issue to kill regular germs?

 Washing hands after touching a gentile area or sexual contact is not necessary because HSV does not spread by indirect contact?

 

I haven’t been able to find anything to support anything more than normal hand washing. It seems the only people looking for time frames and specifics are those like myself who are concerned about spreading HSV?

 

 Would it be correct to conclude:

There are no special precautions that should be taken if a person has Herpes. They should live normally and only be concerned with Herpes if they are having sex with someone?

Thank you

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
16 months ago

1) HSV 1 or 2 have the same means of transmission?

Genitally, yes, they have the same means of transmission.  Are you referring to genital infection for both?  I am assuming this entire conversation is in regards to genital transmission, correct?

2) HSV transmission basically only occurs by sex?  HSV transmission requires that a contagious are of the skin has to come into direct contact with acceptable skin which would be a mucous membrane, vagina, mouth, penis or crack in the skin?

So the reality of it is  ….The only way I could infect another person is if my genitals came in to contact with their genitals, mouth or a crack in the skin?

Correct.

3)  HSV 1 or 2 does not transmit indirectly?  Except for possibly actively using sex toys w/ a uninfected partner. So this means that HSV would not be transmitted from any inanimate object?

Correct, except the sex toys that you reference

4) As for washing hands I understand that soap and water will kill HSV however washing of hands after bathroom seems to be just basic sanitary issue to kill regular germs?

 Washing hands after touching a gentile area or sexual contact is not necessary because HSV does not spread by indirect contact?

Correct

 

I haven’t been able to find anything to support anything more than normal hand washing. It seems the only people looking for time frames and specifics are those like myself who are concerned about spreading HSV?


The general rule about hand washing is that you wash with warm water and soap, long enough to sing happy birthday twice, at a normal speed.


 Would it be correct to conclude:

There are no special precautions that should be taken if a person has Herpes. They should live normally and only be concerned with Herpes if they are having sex with someone?


You have got all of this absolutely correct!  And good job for reaching out when you have questions, always better to ask than wonder and drive yourself a little nuts with worry.


Terri

Thank you

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16 months ago

Hi Terri

Thanks for your response. My responses have the – in front of them to help them stand out. Sorry for a little bit of repetition.

1) HSV 1 or 2 have the same means of transmission?

Genitally, yes, they have the same means of transmission.  Are you referring to genital infection for both?  I am assuming this entire conversation is in regards to genital transmission, correct?

--My case is HSV 2 genital. I was trying to understand HSV I as well since I may have to deal with it. I was under the impression that HSV 1&2 oral and genital all transmitted the same way and basically followed the same guidelines I had listed below. I do understand that the specific types prefer more specific areas and transfer easier to preferred areas. Is this correct or am I a bit off?

2) HSV transmission basically only occurs by sex.  HSV transmission requires that a contagious are of the skin has to come into direct contact with acceptable skin which would be a mucous membrane, vagina, mouth, penis or crack in the skin

So the reality of it is  ….The only way I could infect another person is if my genitals came in to contact with their genitals, mouth or a crack in the skin.

Correct.

--Based on your response I removed all the question marks. Just checking to make sure #2 is now a correct statement?

3)  HSV 1 or 2 does not transmit indirectly. Except for possibly actively using sex toys w/ a uninfected partner. So this means that HSV would not be transmitted from any inanimate object.

Correct, except the sex toys that you reference

--Based on your response I removed all the question marks. Just checking to make sure #3 is now a correct statement?



4) As for washing hands I understand that soap and water will kill HSV however washing of hands after bathroom seems to be just basic sanitary issue to kill regular germs.

 Washing hands after touching a gentile area or sexual contact is not necessary because HSV does not spread by indirect contact.

Correct

--Again based on your response I removed all the question marks. Just checking to make sure #3 is now a correct statement?



 

I haven’t been able to find anything to support anything more than normal hand washing. It seems the only people looking for time frames and specifics are those like myself who are concerned about spreading HSV?

--So I am taking it that the above statement is true and the below general rule for hand washing has nothing to due w/ HSV and is just a basic rule you shared w/ me?


The general rule about hand washing is that you wash with warm water and soap, long enough to sing happy birthday twice, at a normal speed.


Would it be correct to conclude:

There are no special precautions that should be taken if a person has Herpes. They should live normally and only be concerned with Herpes if they are having sex with someone?



16 months ago
Just letting you know I know you answered the last question.


Would it be correct to conclude:

There are no special precautions that should be taken if a person has Herpes. They should live normally and only be concerned with Herpes if they are having sex with someone?  

You have got all of this absolutely correct!  And good job for reaching out when you have questions, always better to ask than wonder and drive yourself a little nuts with worry.

Guess I spaced every thing out too much.

Thanks again!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
16 months ago
There are no special precautions that should be taken if a person has Herpes. They should live normally and only be concerned with Herpes if they are having sex with someone? 

That is absolutely correct.

--My case is HSV 2 genital. I was trying to understand HSV I as well since I may have to deal with it. I was under the impression that HSV 1&2 oral and genital all transmitted the same way and basically followed the same guidelines I had listed below. I do understand that the specific types prefer more specific areas and transfer easier to preferred areas. Is this correct or am I a bit off?

May have to deal with it?  You mean if someone else has it with whom you are sexual?  You won't get their HSV 1 - HSV 2 protects against the acquisition of HSV 1 though the reverse is not true.  Oral HSV 1 can be transmitted to the genitals giving oral sex.  It  an also be transmitted to the mouth of another through kissing.  HSV 2 is transmitted essentially through intercourse although it is possible though rare that HSV 2 genital infection cold be transmitted to the mouth of someone giving you oral sex.  Number 2 is correct

#3 is a correct statement

HSV 2 needs direct contact for transmission correct.

Terri



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