Most people, men and women alike, fear dating someone with herpes. There’s no one to blame for the possibility of the situation, with confessions, issues about the condition, or devastation occurring within any relationship. What many do not realize is that it’s not limited to sexual contact involving genitals, completely unaware of what oral herpes or the common cold sores can bring about. Here’s a list of Frequently Asked Questions to help give you much-needed peace of mind upon knowing the right information sitting at the back of your mind.
Q. What is Oral Herpes?
A. Oral herpes is also called herpes labialis, or what you probably know as cold sores or fever blisters. It is an infection of the mouth, lips, gums, tongue, inside the cheeks, and even the face and neck, due to the type 1 herpes simplex virus (HSV-1).
Q. What is the link between genital herpes and oral herpes?
A. Most people indeed acquire genital herpes (HSV-2) during sexual intercourse, but you can get it to from engaging in oral sex. HSV-1 (oral herpes) spreads to the genitals when a person who has a cold sore goes down on you. Next thing you know, your body exhibits noticeable changes right on your most private part, as herpes sores have been transmitted on the genitals.
Q. Can I get herpes through kissing a person who might have it?
A. Yes. Unfortunately, a mere touch of the lips can be the kiss of death for HSV-1 is mainly transmitted by oral-to-oral contact. It’s not surprising how most people who have it have actually been infected during childhood, bestowed by a kiss from a relative or friend who apparently has the herpes simplex virus type 1 or oral herpes. However, it doesn’t mean you cannot passionately kiss your partner and enjoy the moment! It would be less of a risk if you’re with a long-time partner, and possibly one who’s been tested negative of herpes.
Q. Can I get herpes from potentially infected surfaces?
A. You may be wondering if you can become infected by using the same towel, toilet seat, wash cloth, or anything else a person who has herpes has previously used. Also, if you can get herpes by dipping in a bathtub or swimming pool where an infected person just took a dive. Despite the myths, no, you cannot get it from inanimate objects since the herpes virus tends to die quickly outside the human body, roughly about 10 seconds in dry conditions. However, the possibility of contracting herpes still lingers in terms of things intended to be put in the mouth, like drinking from the same drinking bottle and sipping from the same straw or eating from the same fork.
Q. I have oral herpes. When I don’t have a cold sore, is it OK to kiss my date?
A. Even without an outbreak or any of the visible symptoms present, oral herpes can still be transmitted through asymptomatic shedding of the virus. Most people don’t know they can give herpes to their date this way. Moreover, when oral sex is performed, it can be spread to the genitals. However, the use of protection and sexual pleasures without the presence of an outbreak can significantly bring down the risk and allow you to enjoy the moment.
Q. If a condom is used, can we have oral sex and not risk getting herpes?
A. It is advisable to wear condoms to drop the chances of getting herpes really low, and avoid the possibility of acquiring a stronger strain of the virus that will only make things worse. A condom may not be able to cover the entire genital area though, meaning herpes can still be transmitted, whether through oral sex or intercourse.
Q. I have genital herpes. Can it be transferred through oral sex?
A. Yes, it is possible. Generally, the risk of getting herpes from oral sex from a person with cold sores is higher than the other way around with a person who does not have oral herpes but has genital herpes.
Q. Should I tell my partner he or she gave me herpes?
A. Definitely yes, whatever form of sex you had. You must tell your partner what you just discovered for he or she deserves to know, in the best possible, and most mature way.
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