Herpes: Oral Transmission

Patient

Q: I have gotten a fever blister on my mouth from laying in the tanning bed, I want to know if I give my husband oral sex while I have the blisters will that result in him having genital herpes?

Doctor

A:   There are two types of Herpes Virus : Herpesvirus type 1 (HSV-1), which is transmitted primarily by contact with infected saliva and Herpesvirus type 2 (HSV-2) which is usually sexually transmitted, and genital herpes infections are among the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs). HSV-1 is the usual cause of what most people call "fever blisters" in and around the mouth and can be transmitted from person to person through kissing. Less often, HSV-1 can cause genital herpes infections through oral sexual contact. The genital sores caused by either virus look the same.
It is very important to know that anyone with active disease should avoid any sexual contact when sores are present. Even the use of condoms does not prevent the spread of disease because not all sores are covered by the condom. Remember that individuals with herpes may spread the disease even if they do not realize they have an infection. Even more, they can transmit infection while their disease appears to be inactive and no sores can be visibly seen. Then, if you or your partner is diagnosed with Herpes, the chance of spreading disease is greatest when sores are present, people who have had genital herpes may always be contagious to some degree, even if they have received medical treatment. The virus can become active and be transmitted to a sexual partner even when the skin appears completely normal. For this reason, safe sex practices (use of a condom) should be used between disease outbreaks to lessen the chance of spreading disease to a sexual partner.
So, absolutely not, you cannot give oral sex while you have the sores.

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