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Avatar universal

HSV1 from a kiss on the cheek?

My friend whom I have not seen in a over a year gave me a social kiss on the cheek which lasted maybe 2-3 seconds at the most. She is known for being promiscuous which is the reason for my nerves and anxiety.

On another occasion, my aunt also gave me a social kiss on the cheek when I came over her house.

Neither of them had any visible sores.

I cannot be worried each time someone who's HSV-1 status is unknown gives me a kiss on the cheek because it's hard to avoid, especially being Spanish. Yet still, my anxiety rises. Should I stop worrying about social kisses on the cheek? How likely is the chance of contracting oral herpes from this? Please and thank you for your response(s).
2 Responses
Avatar universal
Most people are infected with hsv1. Are you sure you are not? Also, the virus can't just simply be laid on the skin. In adults, it  typically must be massaged into the skin in order for transmission to occur.

Discordant couples can go years and even a lifetime without transmission occurring. This is anecdotal, but I am hsv1 negative and I was married for 15 years. My partner was hsv1 positive, experienced regular outbreaks and we kissed and had oral sex all the time without transmission occurring.
I am negative for HSV1 & HSV2. I get tested regularly. My boyfriend is also negative for both. I just get nervous about the social pecks people have given me because I've gotten different information on that topic.
Just so you are aware, the hsv1 IgG blood test misses 30% of hsv1 infections.
So should I be worried over social pecks or am I thinking too much?

I got tested again and was negative.
You can safely assume at least 50% of the people you have and you will encounter in life will  be infected with hsv1, including romantic interests. Most do not know they are infected because the never or very rarely get outbreaks. Should you be worried? That's up to you. It's your mind that chooses to fear some things and not others. I've been romantically involved with many people that were infected with hsv1 and never worried about it.

By the way, clinicians will tell you that those who test negative (falsely) on the hsv1 IgG test, will continue to do so  regardless of how many times they take the test.
This IgG test does not sound reliable. Is the IgM test more accurate, would you say? What's the difference between the tests?
The hsv1 IgG test is not very accurate. The IgM test is even less accurate and should never be relied on. The best test available is the Western Blot herpes test performed at the University of Washington.

Let's assume for argument that you are infected with hsv1 and you are not getting outbreaks. Does it matter?
So on the percentage scale, if you say it misses 30% of infections, the test is only then 70% accurate?

I've never had an outbreak in my life and have always tested negative, so I guess it doesn't matter. I just test 2 times a year along with all other STDs. But if this test is that bad, should I just stop all together and leave this specific HSV test out, even my regular twice a year?
I believe anyone who is not in a monogamous relationship and is having sex with multiple partners should always use condoms and get tested regularly, at least once per year. The hsv1 IgG test, like other tests, should not be interpreted in solution. You have to take into consideration the riskiness of the encounter, presence of symptoms, known hsv status of partner, etc.

Is the test 70% accurate? Approximately yes. You also have to consider false positives too and the population your testing before considering reliability of the test.  
I understand. Thank you for taking the time to explain.

Along with my negative result, I am in a monogamous relationship with a person who is also HSV negative, never had any symptoms, etc.. therefore I consider my results mainly reliable. It's just my anxiety over small, hard-to-control things like sharing water bottles/lipsticks with my mom, social pecks from family members, etc.
Avatar universal
as an adult, oral herpes is almost exclusively transmitted through romantic type kisses, not social pecks. You aren't likely to contract hsv1 from this
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