STDs Expert Forum
can I get herpes from saliva?
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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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can I get herpes from saliva?

First of all I would like to thank you for taking the time to help me with this question. I am 18 years old,and have never had sex. I have only kissed 3 different girls in my life, none knowingly having any std's. On the 21st of November, I went to a strip club with some friends. I recieved a lap dance, and during this lap dance, the stripper pulled down my pants, and gave me a hand job. She used some of her saliva as well for lubrication. I did not kiss her face , however her chest was in my face. I was pretty much in shock. Sadly, this was my first real sexual experience. Since that night, i've been panicking tremendously because of my fear of std's. About a week and a half after, i noticed a small canker sore looking thing on my gums above my teeth, and on the side of my mouth, i had a very small,tiny cut. It was not red at all and had no puss or anything. Both the sore and cut only lasted about two days. The cut healed, with a small scab, no scar. A day after, i saw two tiny red bumps inside my mouth, they were very very small, and healed within two days. Also, i am experiencing slight discomfort in my throat, a pain in swallowing.However, in my genital region, i have been experiencing an itchy/burning feeling. And today, the 5th of december, i noticed a tiny pimple like bump on my penis, on the shaft, under the head. It looks like it has a white center, and i dont feel pain when i touch it. As of now, it is the only bump that i've seen. I fear that she could have given me herpes through her saliva on my penis, or possibly even from her hand. I am in college, and have finals currently, and the only thing i can think about is herpes. I am terrified, many of the symptoms one would have appear to be occuring to me. I made an appointment with my doctor on the 9th to get tested. I asked the stripper if she had any std's after, she said none, and there were no marks or sores visible on her, but i do not trust her. Do you think I contracted herpes from this stripper? Also, if i did, is it possible to contract it both on my mouth and genitals?
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You describe an entirely safe sexual encounter, with no measurable risk for herpes or other STD.  Conceivably you could have acquired oral herpes (due to HSV-1), which can be transmitted by kissing but is not classified as an STD.  But more likely your symptoms are due to a cold virus or something similar.  Hand-to-genital HSV transmission probably never occurs; if so, it is extremely rare.

Bottom line:  It is exceedingly unlikely you have herpes.  But if your symptoms persist, see a health care provider.  Expert care probably is available at your student health service; most providers at such clinics these days are very knowledgeable about STD in general and herpes in particular.  (Your own doc may be very knowledgeable about these things--but the student health service probably is a better bet.  Or visit your local heatlh department's STD clinic.)  In the meantime, don't lose sleep over this; the odds you have herpes or any STD probably are in the same range as your winning the next lottery.

Good luck-- HHH, MD

4 Comments
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To start off, your encounter was probably zero risk for all STDs.  Cancer sores are not related to Herpes.  The bump you describe sounds more like either a sebaceous cyst or a papule rather than anything related to herpes.  Possibly even some mild irritation, but again not likely herpes.  The feeling in your throat is most likely linked to the anxiety you are suffering.  Its a common symptoms of anxiety, especially in the situation you are going through. I believe that the risk of transmission of any type of STD through saliva is almost nill, being that she used saliva to give you hand stimulation.  Honestly, you can put this all to rest as your risk was too close to zero to even worry about.  Concentrate on your study and dont worry about it.  Good luck!
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Thanks for the replies, i greatly appreciate it, i just want to add that the bump really looks like a pimple now, the whiteness inside is more visible, looks just like the puss that a pimple would contain, and it seems to have grown in size a bit. There is absolutely no redness around it, and the skin doesnt seem to be irritated. It is still the only one on my penis. Its prominence is unsettling, since i can not remember seeing something like this in my past. Also, it is likely that the stripper touched her own genitals before touching mine with her hand and saliva, and could have possibly had some vaginal fluid. Should i still worry about this? Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
I had a question regarding the spread of herpes from the mouth to the genitals.  I have gotten cold sores (and canker sores) for as long as I can remember.  But, as the years go one, I have gotten fewer cold sores and haven't actually had one in probably a year or more.  At any rate, I have recently found a blister on the inner lip of my vagina and was wondering if I could have transmitted this to myself if I had saliva on my hands and then touched my vagina.  The reason why I am looking at such a rare occurance as being possible is because I haven't had a sexual experience in over 2 years.  I have only had sex with one person and he was a virgin himself.  We used protection as well.  I've had oral sex and that is obviously a possibility but again, this was over two years ago.  I'm sorry if this is very confusing but I just want to know if I could transmit HSV-1 to myself.  I'm extremely scared, I've always been such a good girl.  Thank you.
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