[Question #6977] HIV& Herpes

11 months ago
Hi Dr
I am a married man but unfortunately I was weak one day with a co-worker with unknown HIV status and she:
1) Gave me a blow job ( for less than 10 seconds) not a real blow job she is like held my penis between her mouth lips for few seconds.
2) I hugged her from the back. Neither me nor did she feel any penetration to her anus. I believe we will both feel if i am inserting my penis inside her anus at least will feel resistance as well as hugging a woman from the back will not slide my penis into her anus without me opening her butt cheeks and have a certain position to insert it inside her. However, just assume that my penis rubbed her anus from the outside without penetration.
3) We deep kissed each other ( French kisses). I did not notice or taste  any blood in her or my mouth. 

So there was no penetrative sex as all. 

Furthermore, I have to mention that I was diagnosed with genital herpes 2 years ago. I was diagnosed with HSV1 and my wife was diagnosed with both HSV1 and HSV2, but honestly I think the tests were wrong because my wife had only one itchy blister in her pubic area once in her life  and never had oral blisters and I had got genital outbreaks 4 times in two years and oral blisters twice in my whole life and I am 39 years old now. So I believe it is me who is infected by both HSV1 and HSV2 not her.

I am on Valtrex 500 mg once daily to prevent any outbreaks. The last outbreak I had was almost 9 months to a year before the encounter. I had no outbreaks during the encounter. 

I always thought that insertive oral sex is safe but then I read that with Herpes it can be a high risk for HIV so this is making me worried especially that I did sex with my wife many times thinking that my risk is negligible especially that I had no outbreak at that time. So according to my explanation am I high risk of contracting HIV?

NB: I read also in a study that CD4 and CD8 cells which are the primary targets of HIV remained in the HSV infection sites for 20 weeks. Can it stay fo
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
11 months ago

Welcome to our Forum and thanks for your questions.  I'll be glad to comment.  I think there are several things for me to point out to you regarding your situation as I address your situation.

The encounter with your co-worker that you describe was a no risk event for HIV.  HIV is transmitted only through penetrative sexual activity and is NOT transmitted by hugging and contact without penetration or from deep kissing.  Further, there has NEVER been a case in which HIV has been proven to have been acquired from receipt of oral sex.  Thus, each of the sorts of contacts you describe were NO risk events for acquisition of HIV.  I would not worry and see no need for testing related to the activities that you have described. 

Regarding your herpes diagnosis.  From your description of your own oral and genital outbreaks, it does sound like you may have both HSV-1 and HSV-2.  As for your wife, it is not clear how her herpes was diagnosed.  If it was from a blood test, I would be cautious since HSV blood tests can be unreliable and difficult to interpret.  If you would like to describe more about how you and your wife were diagnosed, I may be able to offer additional comments. 

Finally, regarding herpes and HIV, you are correct that many studies have suggested that having herpes may somewhat increase a person's risk for acquisition of HIV  however none of the activities you describe place you at risk for HIV, even if you have herpes. 

I hope that this information is helpful.  If anything is unclear or you wish to ask follow-up questions, please use your up to two follow-up posts to seek clarification.  EWH

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11 months ago
Thank you for your reply. We were both diagnosed by Herpes blood test she was diagnosed with both types of herpes and I am diagnosed with HSV1 only. I am suspecting that the test results are accurate because as I mentioned I got genital outbreaks 4 times in 2 years and oral outbreaks twice in my life and she got only one blister during her period last year and never oral outbreaks. The dermatologist told me that I will get HSV2 eventually because he told me she is your wife and I do not have to wear condom with her. He told me that any dr will advise me to wear a condom when I do sex with my wife but realistically this will not happen. 
By the way I just figured out that the coworker whom I had the encounter was tested by 4th generation HIV test here in Canada ( to renew her work permit) 69 days after her last exposure with her ex husband and she is negative. According to white I read that 4th generation HIV test is conclusive by 69 days post exposure, correct?
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
11 months ago

You are correct that your co-worker's test results are conclusive and should be believed.  That plus the past that the activities you describe were no risk events means there should be no concerns for HIV.

Regarding herpes, typically HSV-2 only infects the genitals, not the mouth and could sores are due to HSV-1.  You have both genital outbreaks (4 times in two years) and oral outbreaks twice.  Thus I question the accuracy of your blood test showing that you only have HSV-1.  In persons with HSV-1, blood tests sometimes erroneously indicate positive tests for both HSV-1 and -2.  EWH

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11 months ago
Thank you doctor. Actually I believe that blood testing for Herpes are not very accurate in general. The thing is that I had a blister before and the dermatologist took a swab from it and the result came back No Herpes. So whether I have herpes or no I am fine with that. HIV was is concern because as you know the symptoms may not show up for up to 10 years.
Also I thought that herpes 2 can cause oral herpes and herpes 1 can cause genital herpes. That what I read on the CDC website. Thanks again to you and thanks for this amazing website. 
Edward W. Hook M.D.
Edward W. Hook M.D.
11 months ago

I'm glad your concerns about HIV have been dealt with.

HSV-1 can certainly cause genital herpes as well as cold sores but, when it does it typically does not recur.  OTOH, for HSV-2 to cause oral herpes is extraordinarily rare and is only described in highly exposed men who have sex with men.  I have never seen oral HSV-2 in a heterosexual person.  EWH

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