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HSV1 and kissing
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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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HSV1 and kissing

What are the chances of catching herpes-1 by lip kissing or french kissing if no cold sores are seen?  I guess they could be on the inside of the lip and not seen? What if no cold sores present at all? I am also wondering what STDs are possible to catch by french kissing?
What are the chances of catching a STD from kissing or sucking a womans breast?  I am just curious....I would like to be safe as possible, and so many STDs out there.  Thanks.
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In general, the chance is low--think how many people kiss others and how ofthe that happens, and how few of those events result in herpes transmisison.  As you suggest, if one person is infected and the other isn't, the odds are higher with french kissing than less intimate forms of kissing; and the odds would be higher if the infected person had recently acquired infection compared with chronic infection.  It isn't known whether the transmission risk is higher from symptomatic lesions vs asymptomatic shedding.  (For genital HSV-2, there is little or no difference). might be higher when overt lesions are present (but maybe not); and so on.  About half the population is infected, meaning there is a 50:50 chance you already have HSV-1 yourself--in which case, your chance of getting a new HSV-1 infection is virtually zero, even if exposed.

The risk of STD transmission by oral contact with breast (or any other skin surface other than the genitals) must be just about zero.  In 30 years of working in a busy STD clinic, I have never seen or heard of a case.  In distant decades, once in a while a baby would get syphilis from a non-maternal wet nurse.

Good luck--  HHH, MD
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Im not a doctor but from the research I've been doing on herpes since I became infected 5 years ago via a dried up cold sore from my husband lips during oral sex, I HIGHLY disagree with that statement.  NO offense to the doctor.  Considering that 90% of the population has hsv in their trigeminal ganglia (cold sores on their mouths...the ganglia is where the virus lives...trigeminal being behind the ears and sacrial for genital..which is in the lower spine...either hsv 1 or 2 could be latent in either place) the chances of passing herpes via kissing is very high.  How do you think most people get "cold sores"?  Most people come in contact with it when they are childen..taking drinks of mom or dads drinks..parents kissing their babies.  Babies arent born infected with hsv in their ganglia...they contract it from somewhere...and I dont think most children are out having oral sex to contract something like that. You dont have to have an ob of hsv on your mouth to pass it to someone that you kiss, the virus may be shedding cells and thus being passed to whomever you kiss on.

Check this site out..its good info

http://www.racoon.com/herpes/main/hsv1-2.html

Del

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The first question posed by Roberty was "what are the chances" of transmitting HSV by kissing when no visible oral cold sores are present.  The answer still is that for any single kiss, the odds are low.  Of course some people acquire genital infection by oral contact, as you did; that doesn't mean that everybody does.

The second question was whether it is possible to acqire an STD (HSV or something else) by oral contact with a partner's breast.  The answer still is zero.

So I'm not sure what statement you "HIGHLY" disagree with.

The 90% figure for prevalence of HSV-1 in the population is outdated.  50% probably is a better estimate in the U.S.  Most infections are acquired in childhood, not by kissing people as adults.  But the prevalence of HSV-1 infection probably reaches 90% in some countries.

HHH, MD
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A related discussion, French kissing , rinsed mouth after act was started.
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A related discussion, how much contact is necessary for herpes was started.
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