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Avatar universal

Can herpes spread from sites that have never had sores?

About a month and a half ago I had tongue to clitoral contact with someone HSV-2 positive. She told me that she had never had a sore there and there was no chance for me to get it. I found out that she could still have it in that area without having sores though. A few days later, I felt numbness on the roof of my mouth and a few weeks later she had an outbreak so it looks like I am at risk.

I currently have two cold sores above my lip. I know I am HSV-1 positive, and what I have in the corner looks like the ones I have had in my past, however the ones above my lip look different from any I have experienced, burn and tingle and cause numbness in the surrounding area. However, before I knew I was having an outbreak, I used chapstick and probably spread the cells from the corner to the top of my lips. I realize the symptoms could have escalated because of the stress, and that I could simply be noticing my cold sores more now.

The thing is, I have been reading that herpes only spreads through skin-to-skin contact, and my lips never touched any part of her vagina. Is it possible that they somehow spread from my tongue to the roof of my mouth and then came out through the lips?
9 Responses
101028 tn?1419606604
the location of lesions is meaningless. the virus sheds from the area of the lesions when they are present as well as from the entire anogenital area. In between obvious lesions, the virus sheds periodically from the entire anogenital area, not just from where the person typically has lesions.  

A partner having a recurrence a few weeks later wasn't a risk for you at that time any more than if she didn't have an ob for months later. if she had had a recurrence the next day or two then I would've said yes it was possibly a risk because of it but not a few weeks later.

You can get hsv2 orally but the risk overall is low.  

if you suspect you now have hsv2 orally, only way to know is to get a lesion culture done of your active cold sores. this needs to be done within 48 hours of the appearance of cold sores and before oral antivirals are started. if you do have hsv2 orally, you didn't spread it around with your chapstick.  

Avatar universal
Oh, then it will be too late for me to get the culture. I was hoping to get a doctor appointment on Monday. Unless I can find a place that can give me a PCR at last minute on a Saturday I will have to wait another 6 months for a biokit. Well at least I can try to get it diagnosed today. Thanks for the quick response!
Avatar universal
I guess that is another myth then, that only infected sites can spread the virus. If HSV "hides" in the nervous system, then wouldn't it be pretty much present anywhere in the area that it feels like, anywhere that has nerves? So in that case, it is possible that I was infected through my tongue and the virus chose to take up residence in my trigeminal ganglion like HSV-1 and come out through the nerves onto my lips. Is that correct?
Avatar universal
I called around and it seems as if the only option available to me is to go the emergency room for a prescription and then to the lab for the PCR. Now that I think about it, though, this sore has been here since the night before two days ago, so it actually has been present for over 60 hours. I really don't feel like wasting my money on an ER visit just to find out the sores have been there too long and the test will not be accurate. Is there a reason for the 48 hour limit, or is it just that most sores start healing by then? Mine are nowhere close to healing.
101028 tn?1419606604
you only have to wait 4 months for the biokit. 3 months for the herpeselect.  

if you were infected with hsv2 orally, it would be living in the trigeminal nerves.  

I wouldn't waste money on an ER visit.

keep all your questions in this post - I"m going to remove the other . thanks!
Avatar universal
oh sorry about that. So if I get a new sore, can I still get it tested after another 48 hours...or is it a consequence of the original outbreak and constrained by the same time limit?
101028 tn?1419606604
you could but odds are if you are getting new lesions, this isn't oral herpes going on.  
Avatar universal
That's exactly what I thought. Why, then, is it such a common misconception that HSV-2 "rarely" spreads genitally to orally? If I got it from (hardly) going down ONE TIME, and all of the stories I read on the forum are true (and what reason would people have to lie?) then it must be going on a heck of a lot more than they are saying. Especially when the TOP Google result for "oral HSV-2" makes the dubious claim that "Almost 100% of HSV-2 infection is genital." This is plain nonsense, and may cause people to take unnecessary risks. For such a popular search engine, they should take down misleading links like these to stop the dissemination of false information. It even states in the article, "most people have oral HSV-1 – providing some immunity against infection against HSV-2," a claim that has never been satisfactorily proven or backed up--it's just the truth, reversed.

But are you saying that HSV-1 rarely or never forms clusters? When I did the Google Image search for "HSV-1" I saw several pictures that had formed clusters...is this just more false information from lack of understanding?
101028 tn?1419606604
about 10 % of folks who contract hsv2 genitally also have it orally. it happens but not a lot.

certainly don't assume you have hsv2 orally. see your provider monday for a proper work up.  odds are if you did contract hsv2 orally it would present differently so it's well worth follow up. you could have other things causing your symptoms so follow up on it.

I also recommend no more googling for a few days ;)
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