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Avatar universal

HSV-1 / HSV-2 and Kissing

Hello Dr. Handsfield/Hook ,
When i was little, I used to get cold sores on my lips and on the right side of my nose.
I am a female, early twenties, not sexually active. I had my first kiss with a male in his early twenties who is highly promiscuous with over 12 female sexual partners. I don’t think he has male partners and i don’t know whether he practices safe sex or not.
My encounter with him involved 3-4 kisses. They were brief , somewhat deep, each did not last more than a minute. Touched tongues a couple of times, and I sucked on his bottom lip. He also kissed my neck.
3-4 days after, my left side gum was inflammed. 8 days after the kisses, after brushing, I felt pain in the right side of my neck and the gum on my right jaw was inflamed and I had a small cold sore on the right side of my upper lip. It was red, elevated and had a pore on it. (I had a similar sore show up last year). The areas under my tongue were inflamed as well. The pain was from the bottom of the neck to my right ear and under my jaw. Both the inside of my bottom lip and the lip itself were irritated.The next day, I had body aches, a mild sore throat, and a lot of jaw pain from the inflammation. The symptoms were less the next day.
1)What are the risks of kissing someone with such a high number of sexual partners?
2) Do I have HSV-1?
3)Could I spread it to my genitals by touch? showering etc?
4)If I have HSV-1, what are these symptoms I am experiencing now? Could I possibly have been infected with HSV-2 from this guy?
5)Since he is very promiscuous, what are the chances that he has oral HSV-2?  
6)If he has HSV-2 in the mouth and he has sores, could I get HSV-2 from this incident?
7) What about the syphilis? Should I expect mono in 4-6 weeks?
8)I am having a full body laser hair removal session in 6 days. Includes the lips and the genitals. Should I go along with the appointment?
9) What is the right thing to do next time I am in a similar situation where  kissing will be involved?


4 Responses
300980 tn?1194933000
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL

Welcome to our Forum.  I'll try to work through your questions. Before I do however, a few comments about cold sores and HSV-1.  If you had cold sores as a child, you have HSV-1 and will have it for the rest of your life.  You are not alone in this.  Over half (about 60%) of American adults have HSV-1 and although not all of these people have cold sores, virtually all of them have HSV-1.  Once a person has HSV-1, they cannot get it again, even at another location on their body.  If you have HSV-1, you can give it to others through direct contact, including kissing although most exposures do not lead to infection, both because most people already have the virus and because most exposures of infected persons to uninfected persons do not lead to transmission of infection.  The infection is transmitted in less than 1% of possible contacts.  

1)What are the risks of kissing someone with such a high number of sexual partners?
See above. there are no STDs transmitted by kissing and partner numbers have nothing to do with risk of HSV-1 since most people acquire the infection during childhood.  

2) Do I have HSV-1?
Almost certainly, see above.

3)Could I spread it to my genitals by touch? showering etc?
No, you cannot spread it to other parts of your body.  This is not  concern.

4)If I have HSV-1, what are these symptoms I am experiencing now? Could I possibly have been infected with HSV-2 from this guy?

No on both counts.  I do not know what caused your symptoms- perhaps some other virus but not HSV-1 because you already have it and not HSV-2 because this is not transmitted through kissing.  

5)Since he is very promiscuous, what are the chances that he has oral HSV-2?  

Very low- close to zero.  Oral HSV-2 is very, very rare.

6)If he has HSV-2 in the mouth and he has sores, could I get HSV-2 from this incident?
See above.  This is a "what if" question which has no basis in fact.  

7) What about the syphilis? Should I expect mono in 4-6 weeks?

Your symptoms do not suggest syphilis an your statistical risk is miniscule.  I doubt that you will come own with mono.

8)I am having a full body laser hair removal session in 6 days. Includes the lips and the genitals. Should I go along with the appointment?

I see no reason why not.

9) What is the right thing to do next time I am in a similar situation where  kissing will be involved?
Not sure I follow your question.  As I said however, there is no risk of getting any STD from kissing.  

I hope my comments help. EWH
Avatar universal
Thank you Dr. Hook!


Avatar universal
Dr. Hook,

So, if one already has HSV-1 of the lips, they CAN'T get it genitally? I've heard a lot of people saying this is not true and that it is certainly possible to get the same virus in these two locations, which is the reason why I'm asking.
300980 tn?1194933000
MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL
"Lots of people are wrong."  When a person gets HSV-1 (or 2) at one site on their body they develop an immune respnse that prevents second infections at other sites.   EWH
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