I woke up this morning with a little bump on the top of my lip. Now, I've always been scared of having herpes because then I always have the risk of spreading it to someone. So, I looked up pictures of what a cold sore looks like, and mine sort of looked like the pictures, but certainly not as severe and very tiny. It is a small reddish bump that hurt in the morning, and throughout the day the pain was gone. It looks maybe like a little pus bump, but I'm not sure. It could just be a pimple? I'm very scared because I don't want to give my partner herpes. Should I not kiss him at all? Is there always a risk of spreading herpes, when there isn't an outbreak?
I'm especially scared of giving him genital herpes, because I read that condoms only minimally decrease the chance of spreading herpes.
This is very very upsetting. What should I do?
Posts: 59 | From: United States | Registered: Jun 2006
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Let's assume that it *IS* oral herpes for the time being.
If you have oral herpes, condoms are HIGHLY effective in protecting your partner against infection during oral sex. After all, during oral sex, it's easier to stay on the latex-covered zones.
The only reason genital herpes can pread even with condom use is that herpes is spread by skin contact, and the virus can be shed from all over the genitals all the way back towards the anus, and even on the upper inner thighs.
Oral herpes as you probably have then are only being shed from the mouth. You aren't shedding virus from your genitals.
Anyway, avoid kissing during an outbreak. Some people do shed all the time, and that is the case if you get lots of outbreaks. And it's more likely when you are newly infected (outbreaks and viral shedding decrease with time). And if you are having lots of cold sores, ask your doctor about taking medications like Valtrex and Zovirax.
Don't freak out too much. Just try to process the info and figure out your plan of action. If you've got more questions, come back and ask.
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