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Herpes through fellatio
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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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Herpes through fellatio

Doc...about 11 days ago, I allowed a woman to perform unprotected fellatio on me. I did not ejaculate. Afterwards, I became very worried about contracting herpes. It bears mentioning that this woman did not have any cold sores on her lips that I could see.

I am lucky to know this woman well enough to be able question her past testing history. She told me she goes to one of the best gynos in NYC (Dr. Cynthia Pegler, if you have any familiarity with her) and is tested twice a year for all STDs. She maintains that she has never had any symptoms of anything. She even told me she got tested 4 days after our encounter, and before that test, she had been tested 2 months previous. She says she has not been with anyone in between the tests. Has not even kissed anyone. Her most recent test, as well as all of her previous tests have been negative. When I asked her what she was tested for, she said "the whole shebang". When I mentioned that some gynos don't test for herpes as part of a regular test, she told me her dr. always did. I have no reason not to believe her. I do not know what type of herpes test this doctor does, or if she does the blood test to distinguish between the types. I have to assume she does.

Based on this exposure, and my partner's history, do you see any reason to be worried about contracting herpes? I have noticed one small bump on my scrotum..it is red, but it has been there for about 4-5 days now, with no change. It doesn't really look to be filled with fluid and it hasn't popped and scabbed over. Additionally, this morning, I woke up with a bit of an itch on my penis, but I suspect that I could be freaking out about this enough to make my penis itch. I do not notice any redness on my penis where my itching is. Do these symptoms sound like herpes to you?

I have written in about this before, but it is worth the $10 donation to a worthy cause to get an answer directly from you and hopefully, ease my mind about this. Thank you for this service...it has been exremely helpful to me and many others. I appreciate your time.
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239123_tn?1267651214
The risk of getting herpes from fellatio depends on several things which you don't say and cannot know (whether your partner has oral herpes, whether she had an outbreak at the time, etc)--but the risk for any single exposure is extremely low.  Anyway, the odds are you are immune to it.  At least half the population has HSV-1, generally acquired in childhood; they all are immune to getting another HSV-1 infection of the genitals or anywhere else.  Anyway, genital herpes due to HSV-1 really doesn't matter much.

If this isn't enough reassurance for you, see a health care provider and have a herpes blood test.  But this really isn't worth worrying about.

HHH, MD
6 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
Sorry doc I bet you hate thread "hijackers" but I was wondering if I could rely on my IgG test for hsv-2 after my 12 week test. Risk was unprotected vaginal sex.
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239123_tn?1267651214
See many other threads that discuss HSV blood tests.  Over 90% of infected people are positive within 12 weeks.  (But no further discussion in this thread, please.)

HHH, MD
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Avatar_n_tn
Doc...I know my partner did not have any cold sores on her lips, so I am assuming she did not have an outbreak at the time.

Additionally, I was tested for both HSV-1 and HSV-2 before this encounter, and at least 16 weeks past any previous exposure, and was negative for both.

Can you clarify your statement that "genital herpes due to HSV-1 really doesn't matter much"?
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Avatar_n_tn
I think he means that the outbreaks are infrequent (or never) after the first one and therefore it's not the same as having HSV 2 but you can check the archives.  There is a difference between having genital HSV 1 and HSV 2.

You can't give genital HSV 1 to someone else who is HSV 1 positive.  Half the population is HSV 1 positive because they get cold sores on their mouth.  If they get cold sores on the mouth they can't get HSV 1 on the genitals.

The only time this would be a concern is if you are with someone who never had a cold sore and was HSV 1 negative and then you could infect them with genital HSV 1.
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Avatar_n_tn
Doctor, I am not trying to be rude or condescending, I am confused ...
You repeatedly say in this forum that you cannot get herpes orally if you have genital herpes, and vice versa ... but, my doctor told me of a specific case where her patient had HSV-1 (oral) she had a sore on her mouth, her husband kissed her and then performed oral sex on her and she ended up with HSV-1 on her genitals while he still tested negative for HSV. How is this possible??? Is it 100% impossible to have HSV-2 in more than one spot? Please help! I really want to be able to have oral sex with my partner, but I am concerned about the spreading from my genitals to my mouth or his. Thank you.
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