This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding herpes issues such as: Herpes symptoms and treatments, causes, diagnosis, and herpes in men, tests, telling your spouse or partner.
Absolutely not, you need direct skin to skin contact, that is, mucous membrane (for example, penis) to mucous membrane (for example, vagina) contact (plus friction and heat--that is the sex act) to spread the virus.
hi sadgirl, i'm curious about something related to your post here. while you say that 'sweat' specifically can't transfer the virus, you go farther than that with specifics and say that for it to pass it MUST be mucous membrane to mucous membrane contact, along with friction and heat, which i haven't heard. not saying friction and heat isn't necesarry, but i haven't read that anywhere, so that seems odd.
what doesn't make sense about this is that i've read by more than one source, including doctor's own words say that auto-inoculation is possible during an initial infection, and that this can happen from touching your face/genitals and passing it to your genitals/face. i'm not questioning what you say to 'correct' you, but to simply raise the issue and try to understand it.
i believe i passed oral herpes to my genitals during an initial infection. no tests yet so not sure which kind. insight from anyone on all of this is appreciated. more details on auto-inoculation would be helpful.
it takes more than just contact with the virus to transmit it - it also takes heat and friction to transmit it. this includes oral herpes and both genital herpes. This is something we talk about frequently here and is also echoed by all 3 herpes experts here on medhelp.
the risk of transmitting your own hsv1 oral infection to your genital area when newly infected is still incredibly low. In theory it could happen but it's not likely to happen. Most cases of auto-inoculation during initial infection involve transmitting the virus to the hand area more than anywhere else.
We don't think transmitting hsv1 from the oral area to the genitals happens hardly ever because of children. 20% of preschool age children contract hsv1 orally. that age group constantly has hands in mouth, drools profusely and has those same hands down their diapers/pants all the time. You just don't see children transmitting the virus to the genitals and they have a very immature immune system - you don't really even see them transmitting their hsv1 to other body parts in general despite their immature immune system.
so could you transmit your own hsv1 oral infection to your genital area during your initial infection? In theory you could but the reality of that occurring is low.
My 'opinion' is this...if you can pass HSV1 by a simple kiss or taking a sip of drink behind someone, then you can definitely contract from infected sweat...it doesn't take heat or friction for the first two...and as far as auto-inocculation, I think it is definitely possible to infect other areas of your own body...if you are hot and sweaty then your pores are open for contamination. Treating yourself orally for HSV1 can transmit to your fingers (whitlow) and if you accidentally rub your eyes...that is all mucus there....if you were to ever contract the whitlow, even ever so mild, surely you could pass it to your genitals. I think handwashing is key for prevention of spread as well as using a seperate washcloth for face and body/genitalia...and never share towels, clothes, etc.
I've learned that when it comes to HSV1 or 2, it is not a matter of theory, mythology or common sense re: transmission; rather, transmission centres around one thing: a very clear understanding of viral pathology.
Dr Hook/Handsfield and Grace (not sure why she is anonymous when she's clearly on par with them....anyway :)) have learned through their clinical experience, that HSV is not passed on through indirect contact, such as through hands, towels, sweat, etc.
Dr Handsfield has reiterated many times, on multiple posts, that he has never seen HSV passed on indirectly in 30 years practice. The reason: there is NOT enough active virus on the hand/towel to infect another person.
Beyond very young children, who has contracted HSV 1 through a simple kiss or a towel? No way. I can't imagine it happening. It takes sustained contact, friction, etc. I suppose there might be rare exceptions but the experts, Dr Hook, Handsfield and Terri Warren, have simply not seen them in the context of their clinical practices--which I believe are STI specific.
maybe not a towel, but HSV1 is said or believed to be passed by touch, kiss, drinking after another person....I personally think it is easier to pass than what the experts do say, I think there is still a lot that is not known or understood about this virus....all I know is what my doctors have told me and what I have personally experienced myself, as well as the information I've read on several CDC websites....now I think it is RARE that it could happen, but I do think it is possible...just saying
I mean research says that the virus can shed assymptomatically and is contagious when there are no visible symptoms...and I understand the theory about heat and friction...but I feel that could include like I mentioned above open pores and microscopic fissures in your skin. Children are to believed to get them from kisses and sharing eating utensils/glassware...there is not much friction involved there.
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