Donate Now
  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » EXPERT ADVICE » Ask Scarleteen » Maybe I can finally clear this up...

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Maybe I can finally clear this up...
JB
Activist
Member # 36720

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ok, so I have a question regarding herpes/cold sores. I get cold sores...I have since I was a little girl. My mother and father have them too, but my older brother does not (so I believe).

I'm really confused about cold sores vs. herpes and oral herpes vs. genital herpes and how that all passes. I've kissed lots of people, and shared drinks with lots of people, and I have never passed the sores onto anyone, including several boyfriends who I dated for upwards of a year.

Is what I have oral herpes? Can it become genital herpes? Or is it something different? Or am I just lucky?

Thank so much in advance...I've never understood it, and I've always been meaning to ask!

Posts: 186 | From: Richmond, VA | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Cold sores are a symptom of HSV-I, or oral herpes. So, if you know for sure what you have is cold sores, then you need to know you have oral herpes.

Oral herpes can't become genital herpes, but it can be transmitted genitally. Most commonly, oral herpes is transmitted orally, and genital herpes genitally, but now and then one kind of herpes can wind up transmitted to the other site.

Like a majority of people, it sounds like you contracted it from nonsexual contact as a kid. But that's not the only way it gets transmitted, nor the only time: that's just what's most common.

You may or may not have yet transmitted herpes to anyone else (a lot of people don't realize they have it when they get it), but you do want to make sure that if and when you have an active sore or are getting one that you don't share drinks with people, and ideally don't have oral contact with people, who don't have it themselves already. It's something you'll want to let people you have oral contact with know, too, so they can just know it's a risk.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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
JB
Activist
Member # 36720

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ok thanks for clearing that up! =]
Posts: 186 | From: Richmond, VA | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
JB
Activist
Member # 36720

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, re-reading this, I'm a little confused. You said oral herpes can't become gential herpes, but then you mention that "now and then one kind can windup transmitted to the other site" and that oral herpes can be trasmitted genitally. What exactly does that mean?
Posts: 186 | From: Richmond, VA | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It means that sometimes people can get/have oral herpes genitally or genital herpes orally. In other words, that HSV-1, the virus that usually sticks around the mouth, can wind up on someone's genitals, and vice-versa with HSV-2.

Is that more clear? If not, just shout, and I'll give it another go.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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
JB
Activist
Member # 36720

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Nope, that's clear. I'm assuming that if the oral virus winds up on the genitals, it'll cause painful sores? Or is it just that then it can be transmitted to the mouth?

I'm really scared and kind of upset about this. I feel like this is...limiting. I feel dirty, I guess. I'm sorry, I know those are really negative and narrow-minded views I just...feel awful.

Posts: 186 | From: Richmond, VA | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It's not dirty, and neither are you.

It's an illness, like a ton of other illnesses. It's not caused by dirt, nor by being dirty. It's caused by a virus, and viruses are opportunists who don't pick good people or bad ones, they just spread as much as they can as widely as possible, and are experts at it.

I know there's social stigma put on this and other kinds of illness, but it's just like stigma put on people of color or size or who are queer or gender-variant or poor or disabled: it's about ignorance on the part of the people with the stigma, not about anything wrong with anyone it's put on. And you having internalized that stigma doesn't make you crappy, either: it just will take some awareness, education and unpacking, that's all.

It's also something that, for most people, is really not tough to manage once you get the swing of it, and which you likely can do a good job not transmitting. Of course, chances are good that at least half the people you (like the rest of us) will date will have it already, too, or have built up an immunity to it already, if not more.

This link might help you out: http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/i_feel_dirty_and_irresponsible_because_of_genital_herpes

And yes: genital herpes or HSV-1 on genitals can have outbreaks, just like oral herpes. In both cases, outbreaks can be avoided often with medications, though, so that's something you can always ask a doctor about.

You also should know that for the majority of people, there's nothing scary about herpes or to be scared of: it most often doesn't do anyone any real harm anymore.

[ 05-24-2011, 08:50 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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
JB
Activist
Member # 36720

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you for the link, I read it over and it definitely helped to calm my fears. I might look into the medication, although I have outbreaks really very infrequently, and I usually only get one sore that lasts for about five or seven days.

So is it mainly when I have an active sore that I can pass on the virus? I'm avoiding sharing drinks, etc. right now, I just want to know for the future.

Posts: 186 | From: Richmond, VA | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Herpes is passed, the vast majority of the time, when someone is about to get a sore and when there is an active sore. Far more rarely, it can be passed by something called "asymptomatic shedding," where the virus "sheds" without a sore or one coming up.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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
JB
Activist
Member # 36720

Icon 1 posted      Profile for JB     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And usually I can tell when I'm about to get a sore...I can feel it "budding", which is a gross term.

I'll be sure to be careful, especially with any new partners. Thank you so much, for everything. This site is a godsend. And you, Heather, are marvelous! But I'm sure you've heard that countless times =]

Posts: 186 | From: Richmond, VA | Registered: Jan 2008  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey, I always appreciate such lovely thank yous. [Smile] Glad to have been of help.

(And as someone who digs plant life, I think budding is lovely, if that helps you unpack it!)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
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
   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3

Google
Search Scarleteen