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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » worried- hsv related

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Author Topic: worried- hsv related
thisismyscreenname
Activist
Member # 37104

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Hello,
I have a bit of a concern going on...
yesterday my bf and I hung out. We had condom protected sex twice, and manual sex (each receptively once). We also kissed and cuddled a lot.

Anyways, today he told me he woke up with a cold sore. I know he gets cold sores occasionally and we usually are extra careful. I also know that they are contagious even in the beginning stages, which he clearly didn't notice yesterday.

What worries me is this: If he was contagious yesterday, and neither of us knew, I am frightened of contracting hsv 1.

I know that I touched his lips with my hands, and I'm sure he touched his lips at some point throughout the day as well. I know there is a greater risk of me contracting it orally from the kissing, but I'm more scared that from touching his lips and then my genitals I may have contracted it genitally.

I've read mixed reports about whether it is even possible to spread the virus through mouth to hand to genital contact, but I am still worried.
Help?

Posts: 40 | From: Canada | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
diamonds4lucy
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 28076

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It is indeed possible to spread HSV-I ("oral herpes") through hand-to-genital contact. Even though it's called "oral herpes", HSV-I can infect the genitals (and, even though HSV-II is called "genital herpes," it can infect the mouth- confusing, I know).

However, keep in mind that while mouth-to-hand-to-genital transmission is possible, that doesn't make it likely, especially considering that at the time your boyfriend didn't have any active cold sores.

Some info that might be helpful:

The STI Files: Herpes
HPV & Herpes: Why Safer Sex Isn't Always Safe Enough
Without sexual contact, could I have an STI?
Are coldsores herpes?
Safe, Sound & Sexy: A Safer Sex How-To

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Posts: 446 | From: Seattle | Registered: Mar 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
thisismyscreenname
Activist
Member # 37104

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I was just worried because I heard hsv is most contagious the day before an outbreak...

also, I'm annoyed because we are always so careful, and there really was nothing we could have done about this (outside of not having any sexual contact ever), since the warning signs didn't appear until the next morning.

I guess there's nothing I can do now except to try not to worry to much and just hope I didn't get it [Frown]

Posts: 40 | From: Canada | Registered: Feb 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

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It is indeed contagious when an outbreak is starting but before a sore is visible.

So, hopefully now your boyfriend has a better idea of what that tingling sensation the day or so before is like so make this less likely in the future. You guys might also better remember to wash your hands before manual sex (and avoid intimate contact when he is about to get a sore), which is a good habit, herpes or no herpes. We live, we learn.

Really, as Nicole said, oral transmission is going to be the greater concern here, even though genital transmission is not totally off the table, either. One extra perk in your corner is that if you two have been together a while, you've likely already been exposed to his Herpes and you may well have developed some immunity that can help.

But alas, there really isn't anything to do after the fact besides keeping your own immune system up.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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