STDs Expert Forum
Cold sore fear
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Cold sore fear

Hi there-

Appreciate this forum and all that you do. Will try to keep this brief and to the point:

-35 year old male, married 5+ years (monogamous).

-Have never had any HSV sympton and never had a cold sore but am worried about getting one now.

-Visited a strip club on Saturday night and took a couple of shots from the "shot girl". In case you aren't familiar with what this is, girls walk around with what are essentially test tubes filled with alcohol. They perform a brief "show" with the tube wherein they imitate giving it fellatio and then pass you the tube to take the shot. Can't recall if they wipe the tube down before passing it back to customer, but I doubt it.

-On Monday night (about 48 hours later) I noticed very small,  whitehead looking bumps on my lips (2-3 on front of upper lip, 5-6 on back of upper lip). Might be overreacting and these could have been there for some time, but going through some major guilt right now.

My questions:

1. Care to hazard a guess as to chance I could have contracted HSV from this incident?

2. Do these small whitehead type things sound like beginning of a cold sore? If not, any idea what they might be?

3. Is there such a a thing as an "in the clear day" or a day in which I can be reasonably certain I did not contract a cold sore from this woman? I have read mixed reports on this.

Thank you for your time.
300980_tn?1194933000

Welcome to the Forum.  I'll try to help.  As I understand it, there was no direct contact between you and any of the shot girls, including kissing.  If so, the events were no risk for transmission of HSV to you.  Transmission of herpes infections requires DIRECT contact, and even then the transmission is not very efficient, occurring no more than 1% of the time for oral infections and even less for genital infections.  

In addition, HSV typically takes at least 4 days to become apparent after transmission, thus, IF this is herpes, I suspect if reflects infection that you acquired in the past,  It may not even be HSV however.  The best way to determine if the lesions you have noticed is herpes is to seek evaluation by your doctor and ask for a culture or PCR test to be performed.  A blood test would be useless and is something I recommend against since, even if positive, it would not tell you if the lesion on your lip is HSV or when it was acquired.  

As for your specific questions:
1. Care to hazard a guess as to chance I could have contracted HSV from this incident?
See above.  it is most unlikely that this is HSV and if it is, you did not get it on Saturday night.

2. Do these small whitehead type things sound like beginning of a cold sore? If not, any idea what they might be?
No, I doubt that they are HSV.  As to what they might be, it is difficult to say.  I suggest you have your doctor take a look.

3. Is there such a a thing as an "in the clear day" or a day in which I can be reasonably certain I did not contract a cold sore from this woman? I have read mixed reports on this.
If lesions do not appear in the interval between 4 and 14 days, you can be confident that you did not get HSV.

I hope these comments are helpful.  EWH
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