Genital Herpes Clinic - Thursday, January 18, 2018

Can you get genital herpes from a cold sore?

May 5, 2010 by  
Filed under Discussion

I’ve heard from some people that you can get genital herpes via oral sex after having a cold sore and I’ve heard from others that you can’t becuase they’re different strans of herpes. But let’s say someone performs oral sex and gets a cold sore a couple days later, should the person who received the oral sex be concerned about getting genital herpes?

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4 Responses to “Can you get genital herpes from a cold sore?”
  1. Anna says:

    There are two different types of herpes- HSV 1 and HSV 2- but you can get both types orally or genitally. SO if someone with an active cold sore gives you oral sex, you have a chance of contracting genital herpes. If you are getting cold sores, then you do have either HSV 1 or 2 orally. This is not a big deal- so does 80% of the population. The only way for you to contract it genitally would be if a cold sore, or the genitals of someone with genital HSV, were to contact YOUR genitals. It’s confusing, I know.

  2. Julie R says:

    Yes, unfortunately, there may be concern in this scenario. The first poster is correct: HSV1 and 2 can be found both orally or genitally. If the person got a cold sore, HSV1, a few days after, he could have been shedding the virus when he was performing oral sex, which is how it is transmitted.

    You will have to wait and see if anything comes up on you. Then go to the doc. Good luck.

  3. summerbrookrobyn says:

    Yes, easily.

    Hsv-1 is the virus that causes most cold sores. It ‘prefers’ the mouth. It is happy to infect the genitals – herpes is opportunistic – but it is less infectious once there than when it is on the mouth. Far from being a ‘different’ strain that cannot cause genital herpes, due to the popularity of oral sex and how common oral hsv-1 is, hsv-1 now also causes 50-70% of genital herpes infections!

    Yes, when you have a cold sore is the most infectious time, and this most infectious period lasts from the very first warning signs before the cold sore appears – often several days before the sore – to at least five days after it has healed.

    However, just as with genital herpes, it doesn’t take a cold sore to spread oral herpes to the genitals. Oral herpes is infectious about 10% of the time when the person infected does NOT have a cold sore.

    My boyfriend and I thought he was only infectious when he had symptoms – and by symptoms I mean the slightest tingle on the lip, not just when he had a sore. Nevertheless, I caught genital herpes hsv-1 through him giving me oral sex when he was between cold sores. He hadn’t had one for months, and didn’t get one for months after.

    My sister also caught genital hsv-1 from a partner that was infected orally but was not experiencing symptoms. That is why 70% of new genital herpes infections in women are caused by hsv-1, which most people regard as the oral herpes virus.

  4. Rivergirl100 says:

    There are indeed two strains of herpes. HSV1, which “prefers” the mouth but can infect the genitals, and HSV2, which “prefers” the genitals but can infect the mouth.

    Herpes is spread through skin-to-skin contact – so basically kissing for oral-to-oral transmission, genital sex for genital-to-genital transmission, and oral sex for oral-to-genital or genital-to-oral transmission.

    The best site that I know for info about oral herpes is below.

    Good luck.

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