"Oral Herpes"
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Pnut Click to EMail PnutClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-00, 01:08 PM (CST)
"Oral Herpes"

I am in a relationship with a woman. We are on the verge of having oral or regular sex. I get cold sores or fever blisters about once a year, but I havent had one in over a year. I told my partner that I have had them in the past. I also explained I get pretty predictable signs before hand. This has given our relationship a little pause. She is concerned about me tranmitting Herpes cold sores to her mouth area or down below if I perform oral sex on her.

I assured her that I would never perform oral sex if I had an outbreak or felt one comming on. Is there any other advise you can give me? I have read her about suppressive medicine? Will that reduce the chance of me giving this to her?

I have also read that many people have it and don't know it. Are there any easy ways for her to get tested if she doesnt have symptoms?

Any other suggestions.


 Table of contents

RE: Oral Herpes, Sunshine, Mar-13-00, (1)
Wow!, lisx, Mar-14-00, (2)
Caring guy.., Rajah, Mar-14-00, (3)
RE: Caring guy.., Mbel, Mar-25-00, (4)
Thanks for the interest......, PNUT, Mar-25-00, (5)
RE: Thanks for the interest......, Laurie, Mar-25-00, (6)
RE: Thanks for the interest......, dizzy, Mar-25-00, (7)
RE: Thanks for the interest......, mari, Mar-25-00, (8)
RE: Thanks for the interest......, mari, Mar-25-00, (9)
RE: Thanks for the interest......, lisx, Mar-26-00, (10)
Fear of oral h, Laurie, Mar-26-00, (11)
RE: Fear of oral h, dizzy, Mar-26-00, (12)
So actually we pretty much agree., Laurie, Mar-26-00, (14)
Argh!, Della, Mar-26-00, (17)
Well!, Laurie, Mar-26-00, (18)
Shoot.., Della, Mar-26-00, (19)
RE: So actually we pretty much agre..., prissy, Mar-26-00, (21)
Time for Della's input, Della, Mar-26-00, (15)
well well well, lisx, Mar-26-00, (20)
Here's an interesting thought exper..., M'sMom, Mar-26-00, (23)
RE: Fear of oral h, lisx, Mar-26-00, (22)
RE: Fear of oral h, mzztree, Mar-26-00, (13)
Hi, Mari, M'sMom, Mar-26-00, (16)
RE: Oral Herpes, Mbel, Mar-27-00, (24)
RE: Oral Herpes, M'sMom, Mar-27-00, (25)
RE: Oral Herpes, mvw88, Mar-27-00, (26)
Hmm.., Della, Mar-27-00, (27)
RE: Oral Herpes, Laurie, Mar-27-00, (29)
Question for M'smom, mari, Mar-27-00, (28)
I have NEVER , Laurie, Mar-27-00, (30)
RE: Question for M'smom, Nanc, Mar-27-00, (31)
RE: Question for M'smom, mzztree, Mar-27-00, (32)
RE: Question for M'smom, Della, Mar-27-00, (34)
RE: Question for M'smom, M'sMom, Mar-27-00, (33)
RE: Question for M'smom, mari, Mar-27-00, (35)
Hey Mari, Della, Mar-28-00, (36)
How do unkissed kids get oral h?, M'sMom, Mar-28-00, (37)
Mari, Laurie, Mar-28-00, (38)
thanks, mari, Mar-28-00, (39)

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Messages in this topic

Sunshine Click to EMail SunshineClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-13-00, 05:07 PM (CST)
1. "RE: Oral Herpes"
I think that you may be safe with performing oral sex on her if you do not feel anything coming on. However, be extremely careful cuz that is how i got genital HSV 1. it was heartbreaking for me: the physical & emotional pain. My boyfriend did not have a visible cold sore @ the time but the next day he did. neither one of us knew that it could be transmitted that way. my gyno told me that if i were to ever have oral sex performed on me again i need ceran wrap. i do not know how that would work. but just be so careful cuz for me this is awful.

lisx Click to EMail lisxClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-14-00, 05:14 AM (CST)
2. "Wow!"
I have to say that I take my hat off to you for being so aware. So many people do not even aknowlege that cold sores are herpes. Apparantley a huge percentage of new herpes cases are being diagnosed as type one genital, ie, the kind of virus usually associated with cold sores manifesting in the genital area. I really commend you for investigating this issue before proceding with a sexual relationship. I hope that doesn't sound patronising, I mean it sincerley.

If you feel the tingle, or any or the signs that let you know that a cold sore outbreak is on the way, don't engage in any oral contact with your partner. If she has oral type one too, kissing would probably be ok, but no oral/genital contact. Read as much as you can find about transmission and learn how to protect your partner.

Good luck to you.

Love lisx


Rajah Click to EMail RajahClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-14-00, 03:02 PM (CST)
3. "Caring guy.."
Pnut, I am glad you found us. There are blood tests that can be done to test for herpes. The statistics are in favor of her already having the virus as almost 90% of the population does have it. Since you are looking for the simple presence of a mature HSV infection, I would think that even the common ELISA test that most local labs can do would be useful here.

As far as suppressive meds.. If you only get Outbreaks once or so a year, that seems like overkill, but I understand the concerns.

Keep us posted.



Mbel Click to EMail MbelClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-25-00, 02:07 PM (CST)
4. "RE: Caring guy.."
Hi pnut

I too have oral herpes on my lips. I had no idea it was herpes until recently, and the worst part is I have had it for 15 years. I'm not sure if I had infected my ex boyfriends. I just found this site several days ago before I finally went to see a doctor for it. She prescribed me Famvir to take orally. I have to tell you I'm scared to learn how contagious it is while you are having an outbreak. There is not much information about oral herpes, and most of people who have them don't realize they have one. I was among one of these group. Please keep us posted when you learn of any thing new and preventive.

Take care.


PNUT Click to EMail PNUTClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-25-00, 05:34 PM (CST)
5. "Thanks for the interest......"

I feel a little sheepish recieving your congratulations for being so aware and caring. I am only aware now, because I found out I gave HSV1 to a former partner by performing oral sex on her. It was very ugly. As you can imagine, she was furious and angry and livid and and and and it was just bad. She told others, friends or people we knew in common, that I had an STD. It was just ugly..... I didnt have a clue I could give it. I didnt get ob's often, but I never gave the a second thought even if i had them. They were just nasty pimples. My mother and sister both have them. Never a big deal. I became aware because I gave someone this virus. I didnt resopnd well. I was not sensitive to her response. I responded poorly, like I said, ugly all around. I guess I feel like i should not be congratulated. I have given oral sex to two other girls. I have not had the courage to find them and tell them. All around, I don't feel like I deserve the "atta-boy."


Laurie Click to EMail LaurieClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-25-00, 06:44 PM (CST)
6. "RE: Thanks for the interest......"
LAST EDITED ON Mar-25-00 AT 06:45 PM (CST)

Hey, look.

By the time they reach my age (40ish) 90% of the adult population has HSV-I orally.

Even among those who DO know they have it (and most don't) way way too many don't realize what it is or how it can be transmitted.

Don't you dare beat yourself up for not knowing what the majority of the population does not know. Most of us got this as kids, not from sex for Pete's sake. Geesh. Don't fret one second about your ex-, not that she doesn't deserve support and consideration but assuming she's an adult she has to take responsibility for her own knowledge, hr own education, her own awareness or apparent lack of awareness about herpes. Takes two baby, just remember that. I know you feel guilty but it was not your fault. Nobody has any business judging you on that count or slamming your name for something almost everybody has.

The good news, now that I'm off my soapbox, is since most people DO have HSV-I although I can't tell you "hey it's safe" I can tell you that anybody who already has antibodies (and that's anybody who has EVER had a cold sore) is much much much much MUCH less likely to pick this up genitally. And if they do, it is much less likely to cause recurrent problems.

Use common sense -- avoid sex and kissing and sharing cups when you feel the tingle of one coming on, and for about 4 days after all traces of any sores or tingles or whatevers are gone.

To say never have oral sex is like banning oral sex -- can you even begin to imagine 90% of the adult population NOT having oral sex? We have to be educated, we have to be prudent, we have to make our own choices JOINTLY with our partners what risks we are and are not willing to take.

I'm sorry for what you've been through, but you are no less a caring human because you didn't know. Remember -- SHE didn't know either. Your partner may well already carry antibodies, a serum test will answer this question. She could have had a sore or two or a dozen as a kid and simply not remember -- or she could have never had symptoms but still have it. If not, the two of you need to become more educated on what precautions to take and when. She would stand a greater risk of getting it orally from kissing than from oral sex, tho it's more "acceptable" to get it orally I guess. No kissing? Ha. That's like telling me not to kiss my kids, and they have it now too -- do I feel guilty? Sometimes I do. But what kind of life would they have if momma never kissed them? I was careful. It happens. If not me, Uncle Chris or Aunt Jane or sharing a drink with a kid at school.

Good luck with your relationship.


dizzy Click to EMail dizzyClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-25-00, 07:42 PM (CST)
7. "RE: Thanks for the interest......"
Pnut, I'm glad you are trying to be more aware now, even if you weren't in the past. The guy who gave it to me never cared one way or the other and is still out giving it to other women (not to mention taking it back home to his wife (no, he wasn't married when I was with him)). Speaking up now takes a lot of courage.

Remember that there is still a possibility that you can shed the virus asymptomatically. Even when you don't have a blister or warning signs. One of the things you can do to protect your girlfriend during oral sex is to use Dental Dams. Not only to protect her, but yourself as well. She may have something (other than herpes) that she doesn't even know about. It's much harder to detect many STD's in women than men. So just be careful for both of you.


mari Click to EMail mariClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-25-00, 11:48 PM (CST)
8. "RE: Thanks for the interest......"
That is a pretty rotten attitude. I do not have hsv oral. Nor does my husband, or anyone else in my family. I get real sick of people trying to convince everyone that "At a certain point in life, nearly EVERYONE has oral Herpes."

I (and the rest of my family) must be in that elite 10% of the population that is so often mentioned. And please do not try and convince me or cause paranoia that I or someone in my family does indeed have it and "just doesn't know it".

As far as passing it on by sharing a cup...highly unlikely as stated over and over by the Herpes Hotline. Kids tend to get it because kids kiss kids when young. It dies quickly and won't survive on a cup, straw, or other inanimate object. I won't try to convince all of you nay sayers, just call yourself and find out. But enough already of putting the fear of Oral H into everyone.

Said my peace, thank you.


mari Click to EMail mariClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-25-00, 11:50 PM (CST)
9. "RE: Thanks for the interest......"
Sorry...meant this to follow post number 6.

lisx Click to EMail lisxClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 00:10 AM (CST)
10. "RE: Thanks for the interest......"
I am interested to know how you know that no body in your family has HSV 1 oral. I am also curious as to why it matters so much to you. It is just an itty bitty virus. I most probably have never had HSV 1 oral, judgeing by the severity of my primary genital ob. However, both my kids have had an oral each. Big deal Itty bitty virus. It is only when you call it herpes that it bothers people. That is why we get the generic "cold sore" and "fever blister" diagnosis. I choose to say it loud and proud..."what is that sore on your son's lip?" "Oh that, it is a herpes outbreak!!" It shocks, but I kind of like it!!

Laurie Click to EMail LaurieClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 07:31 AM (CST)
11. "Fear of oral h"
Is exactly what we're trying to get rid of here.

It's pretty benign. So you're in that elite 10-20%, good for you. That doesn't give you the right to be down on the rest of us, even if we are the majority. That's not a scare tactic, it's a fact. We're all just people, the point is acceptance -- not fear. If you need to assure yourself that you and your family has escaped HSV, fine, do it, but I don't see how that affects the rest of us. And if you and your family don't have it, never had symptoms, then I would think it would matter to you that you DON'T have it much less than it would matter to me that I DO.

What am I missing here, what buttons have been pushed?

As for the cup thing, yea, it doesn't last long, and it's not likely transmitted that way, you have a point on that one. Kids kiss kids, but more often than that, grownups kiss kids. It's still not sexual and nothing to be ashamed of. Even if it was sexual it is nothing to be ashamed of. THAT is the point.


dizzy Click to EMail dizzyClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 08:25 AM (CST)
12. "RE: Fear of oral h"
I think Mari's problem is probably more with how "non-chalantly" it was stated (yeah, I know I'm a bad speller *s*).

I also had a slight problem with that you *seemed* more interested in the spread of it orally than genitally. Normally, orally isn't so bad if you got it as a kid and have already built up an immunity to it somewhat. But adults I have seen who caugth HSV as *adults* tend to have more, more severe, OB's than those who get it as kids. Depending on what you do and where you live, that can be a big problem, so in those cases it really isn't as "itty bitty" of a virus as some people think. Especially if you have such severe OB's and have an infant. I have seen what both HSV1 and HSV2 can do to a baby.

But what pnut was talking about was spreading orally/genitally. The genital OB's can sometimes be even more painful than oral H, especially in women. Granted if it is HSV1 it shouldn't be as bad, but you never know who mnight be the exception. And to say that it is only an "itty bitty virus" in that sense is wrong.

And, even in children, when looking at it from the right perspective, oral hepres is a big deal as well. I remember when I was in school there was one little boy who had cold sores all the time. He was about 6 when it started, and ALL of us kids knew it was a form of herpes. And please keep in mind that kids can be very cruel to other kids who are different, and the OB's this kid had almost continuously was enough to make the other kid's think he was really different. He ended up committing suicide shortly after his seventh birthday. Rememebring what happenned to him, if I had Oral herpes, even just a mild case (which I just found out I may actually have) I would do everything I could to keep my kid from getting it. And if that included not kissing her, then so be it. There are many other ways to show affection to a child. Fortunately my daughter already understands that.

Please don't misunderstand me. This is not a rant/rave/flame or whatever else you might want to call it. I am simply saying that what you may not see as being so bad *for you* can be a really bad for someone else.

And it's not about fear of getting it. But keeping people aware of it. By increasing awareness maybe we can decrease the rapidity at which it spreads. And eventually, instead of 90% of the population having it, our kids, and their kids can bring it down to 0%. To simply say "no big deal" about something that does cause some people a lot of pain is not the right thing to do.


Laurie Click to EMail LaurieClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 03:34 PM (CST)
14. "So actually we pretty much agree."
If I focused on the benign aspects it is exactly to ease the fear of the big H -- oral or genital. And I'm not sure how I could come across that I'm more concerned with the oral spread than the genital spread, but if you say so then it is probably true (since that's what you read in my words).

The thing is, this guy's ex- pretty much raked him over the coals because he had something that nearly everybody else has -- not to be nonchalant about it but if he is a diseased leper spreading herpes around then we all are. Minimizing the effects of herpes is just as harmful as maximizing it, but we need to get rid of the stigma here. We don't need to be careless, but we don't need to be paranoid, and we sure don't need someone running around telling everybody we have some filthy STD because we had a cold sore once and, partly due to public ignorance which his ex- shared equally with him, passed it to them. THAT was my point.

While it is understandable he may feel guilty, who do we blame for public mis- or non-information? So now that he knows he is acting honorably but he doesn't feel honorable because he gave it to his ex- because he didn't know and she's running around telling everybody he's like some kind of low-life because he has oral herpes. I can't treat that kind of thing nonchalantly, the psychological damage this disease does is STILL, almost always, much worse than the physical damage, and maybe saying "I'm in the same boat, he's in the same boat, she's in the same boat, and a good portion of the strangers you meet are also in the same boat" isn't the answer, but for some, it makes them feel better. And it happens to be true.

As long as oral sex is a staple of our diet, and I don't see that changing any time soon, it is something MOST of us have to live with. Whether it is oral-genital or genital-oral or genital-genital or oral-oral transmission, I view them all equally and didn't intend to give any one more focus than any other. Whether it is type I or type II and where it is located really doesn't matter (let's not argue this point) as far as treatment goes, but it does matter as far as transmission goes and the nice thing about oral HSV -- if you can call it a nice thing -- is many people have antibodies to it and stand less of a chance of getting it whether you have type I or type I genitally, it is a factor in the transmission formula.

And as we all already know, when it comes to herpes especially, there are no guarantees either way. You can get type I when you have type II, you can get type II when you have type I, you can get it orally when you already have it genitally, you can get it genitally when you already have it orally, and you can get both types in both places often in the same sexual encounter.

So I don't INTEND to come off as nonchalant, but I think it's really important to get some perspective here. We can be paranoid and fearful because so many people have it or we can educate ourselves, decide our course of action jointly and calmly with our partners, and go on living. In no case is it all right to look down on those who have it because they have it.

Yes, it's a big deal. That's why we are all here.

I hope this post was perhaps worded a little bit better.


Della Click to EMail DellaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 03:52 PM (CST)
17. "Argh!"
Damn. You just contradicted me Laurie! And I posted 2 minutes after you!
I agree with you, but I also agree with what I said. I believe -in one aspect- it is a big deal, but in another, it isn't.



Laurie Click to EMail LaurieClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 04:20 PM (CST)
18. "Well!"
Isn't that what I said?

Thanks Della


Della Click to EMail DellaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 05:07 PM (CST)
19. "Shoot.."
I guess so! Now that I have taken a second look-see... All I saw at first was the "It is a big deal..." And I thought to myself, DAMN! I just said it wasn't!



prissy Click to EMail prissyClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 05:58 PM (CST)
21. "RE: So actually we pretty much agree."
Thank you for voicing exactly how I felt at this point. As I read this string to get caught up, I got totally irritated with the way your words were taken. You are trying to voice that no matter what, having any form of this does not make you a bad person. Congratulations to those of you who don't have any form of herpes; however, I will lay money down and bet that you are not totally immune to it. So the people out there judging us should be very careful that a rock doesn't crack their little glass house. As for us contending with this, I am hopeful that we realize that we are good, caring people. I can sleep at night knowing that my God is with me and loves me and forgives me. I thank all of you that have been here for me because you are great people and I can only strive to pass your love and kindness to the next scared person who finds us and gets the guts to post.
Love and peace,

Della Click to EMail DellaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 03:36 PM (CST)
15. "Time for Della's input"
Dizzy & Mari-
The case you mentioned about the 7 year old committing suicide seems like a very rare case. It is terribly sad, but not common. It is tragic that children are so cruel to one another, but that is a fact of life (my personal opinion) and should be more incentive to teach your children to love themselves no matter what!
The stigma attached to herpes seems to be what you all have fallen into. Herpes is a painful virus for some. But anything beyond that is a social problem. If people tend to feel shameful because of it, it's because we have been brought up to look at it that way. People should not be ashamed, and it is a pity we continue to feel that way. It seems to me that Laurie is just trying to avoid continuing that process: That it is not a shameful virus because the majority of us caught it unknowingly. It was not our fault. On top of that, 80 % of the population has it, so for that alone there should be no shame! Dizzy: you are right in that this virus does cause many people emotional pain on top of the already painful blisters, but your theory on nobody getting herpes is -although nice- unrealistic. If anything, lean towards the hope of a cure (which I personally find a bit unrealistic at this point as well, but more realistic than the percentage dropping to 0). So instead of being unrealistic, it seems that Laurie is trying to help people get over the thought that this virus is "bad". Because it's not. It's common. And for that reason alone, it is no big deal.



lisx Click to EMail lisxClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 05:28 PM (CST)
20. "well well well"
This is quite a debate. And I don't know how I feel about it exactly. The thing that got to me about mari's post was the feeling that the back was fully up about the suggestion she might have oral herpes. My main questions were, how do you know you don't have it, and so what if you do. I am quite sure I don't have oral h. I have never had symptoms, and therefore I don't care if I do. When my kids had their OBs, I treated it with zovirax cream and it went away. I honestly don't think that anyone has to get so bad these days that it would be cause for the misery endured by the poor kid in the earlier post. It is a funny doesn't matter/does matter issue. Really, chances are that we have all got it, and it doesn't matter. Really chances are that you can infect somebody genitally with it, and it does matter. Be aware, people, and try to make those around you aware. It is really time the world got a grip and stopped being so scared of the word herpes.

Love lisx


M'sMom Click to EMail M'sMomClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 07:22 PM (CST)
23. "Here's an interesting thought experiment"
Let's say that someone contracts......swine flu. What do you think of them if:

They show no symptoms, and don't know they have it, and give it to someone else?

Do your feelings about them change if they find out they have it, and don't tell anyone or change their habits?

What if they refuse to be tested, saying that since they have no symptoms, there's no reason to do so?

Suppose they tell you that they are carrying swine flu, and can't share their soda with you for fear of giving it to you? How do you react?

Do you think you can't be this person's friend?

How about their lover?

Do you feel the need to tell others that this person has swine flu?

Suppose you DON'T have swine flu. How do you feel?

Do you need to tell everyone you don't have it?

No right or wrong answers here, it's just interesting to see how you would react to some of the situations we've discussed here if the virus were something other than H-E-R-P-E-S.



lisx Click to EMail lisxClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 06:38 PM (CST)
22. "RE: Fear of oral h"
I don't believe that anyone commits suicide because they have herpes. I believe that people commit suicide because of the way other people respond to their herpes. This does not come down to the herpes, I still stand by my itty bitty virus theory. However, an itty bitty virus when combined with a huge ignoramus can make for a nasty combination. With both types of virus, people can have their lives made a misery. And the main problem with herpes is that no matter where it is on your body, if you call it herpes rather than a fever blister or cold sore, everyone thinks it came from SEX and therefore people are disgusted and embarrassed by it. This is a social problem. The more people are forced to say that word, the sooner it will lose it's stigma.

Love lisx


mzztree Click to EMail mzztreeClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 09:09 AM (CST)
13. "RE: Fear of oral h"
Oh dear! I have never thought much about oral h. Never had symptoms, never been tested. Don't know if I have HSV1. Genital h for 25 years....presumably HSV2. I suppose the only way to know for sure is a type-specific blood test. Wondering if mari and her family have been tested?

Now I am thinking....I hope I DO have HSV1 as well....that would mean I don't have to worry about getting it! But, that would also mean I DO have to worry about spreading it. Damn, I don't need more worry, either way!

Ugh! Fear of nasty, ugly, painful oral symptoms. (Some folks DO have miserable oral outbreaks.)

Paranoidly yours,


M'sMom Click to EMail M'sMomClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-26-00, 03:38 PM (CST)
16. "Hi, Mari"
I just want to give you a personal datapoint. I've never had a cold sore that I (or my mom!) can remember, or any symptoms of any kind of hsv anywhere, but I got a Western Blot test a couple of months ago (after my daughter was diagnosed with genital herpes) and I am positive for hsv1.

Just thought I'd share with you that it *is* possible to have the virus with no symptoms at all.




Mbel Click to EMail MbelClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 01:11 AM (CST)
24. "RE: Oral Herpes"
What I dont understand from reading all of these messages is that, what is the point of all this. Isn't this forum for support for those who have the virus?? I went to see the doctor for my outbreak on my lips. She did the culture test. I wasn't suggested or offered a blood test to see what type of virus I have. Does that indicate the commonness of the virus?

I dont think people are aware of the cold sore or fever blisters are the same family as herpes. I got the virus as a kid, and didn't know much about it. Maybe we can inform those who are new to this virus some more information on how to take care of themselves when they do have an outbreak and when they don't. To be honest, I'm scared to be kissing any one or if to do oral sex on my partner when I don't have the symtom, would they get it from me. Not to mention that it can get into body fluids in saliva, semen or vaginal fluids even when you don't have the symtoms.

Yes, it is the shameful thing if you call the virus herpes when you tell people what you have. But it's to the benefit of those who are not affected yet or do not have the symtom to be aware of the virus when it occurs to their friend or family members. The more knowledge and awareness people have about this virus the less chance of spreading it while you have the outbreak is less.

If someone can provide me with info or tips on how to take care of myself when I have the outbreak and what can I do and can't do when I dont have the outbreak, I'll appreciate it.



M'sMom Click to EMail M'sMomClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 06:00 AM (CST)
25. "RE: Oral Herpes"
Hi, Mbel,

You asked why you weren't offered a blood test to type your oral outbreak. I can think of two reasons:

If your doc is no better informed than most, he or she didn't see any reason to type - the treatment is the same in either case. (Lots of people aren't aware of the issue of protecting a partner or the differences in shedding and recurrence based on the site and type of infection.)

On the other hand, if your doc is a little more up on herpes, he/she may know that oral hsv2 almost never recurs, and so assumed that it was type 1.

If you (or your partner) are interested in knowing types/status for sure, get a Western Blot blood test (see the awareness page). It won't tell you WHERE, but it will tell you WHAT quite accurately.

As for things you can do to minimize outbreaks, good health habits (healthy diet, enough sleep and exercise, not too much stress) help a lot. Some people also find that a diet high in lysine and low in arginine helps, or using immune building supplements. If you really suffer a lot, or if you have concerns about your partner, suppressive anti-virals are also a possibility.

As for cans/can'ts: don't touch anyone's skin with the infected area when you have an outbreak or when you feel one "coming on". What you can do when you aren't having an o.b. depends on your parter's hsv status, how well you can predict your outbreaks, and how risk averse you are.

If you and your partner both have the same type of virus (say, hsv1) I wouldn't worry much. Your chances of transmission are minimal. (But of course, never 0.0%)

If you are able to tell pretty accurately when an outbreak is coming and avoid contact then, you can be pretty safe. I know of plus-minus couples (talking gh here) who maintained that status for years just by avoiding contact when the plus partner felt "a tingle".

It goes without saying, though, that these are rules of thumb, not set in concrete. There's always a possibility of passing the virus, although if you are careful, it can be quite small.

Hope that helps.


mvw88 Click to EMail mvw88Click to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 10:20 AM (CST)
26. "RE: Oral Herpes"
I have had cold sores since I was a child, and my partner gave me genital herpes thanks to a cold sore he had while performing oral sex ( I was pretty naive back then). However, when I finally went in and got tested, I was told I had HSVII, which I thought was odd since I was infected by the oral version. However, I never gave my partner herpes through oral sex; once I knew that it could be spread that way, I didn't even venture into that territory if I had any kind of bump on my lip.

Della Click to EMail DellaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 10:37 AM (CST)
27. "Hmm.."
How bizarre. Had this partner been tested? Was he (and were you) sure he did not have HSV2 on his genitals and had given it to you through intercourse at one point? This is always possible, seeing as I harbored my HSV2 for 9 or more months before an OB occurred...

Good luck,


Laurie Click to EMail LaurieClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 12:43 PM (CST)
29. "RE: Oral Herpes"
Now don't forget, just as type I can infect the genitals, type II CAN infect the mouth.

It is more often assumed that this is not the case, but it happens. Just cuz he had a cold sore on his mouth doesn't mean it was necessarily type I.

Maybe. Probably. But maybe not.


mari Click to EMail mariClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 10:40 AM (CST)
28. "Question for M'smom"
A couple of things. First, to M'sMom, you said that you were tested with the WBT and tested positive for hsv1. Do I understand correctly that this test can only test for either/both hsv1 or 2 but not for the area that is infected? For instance, could you have hsv 1 Genitally and not orally at all? Just curious about that, because I thought that is how that test worked. Only a culture can actually tell *where* you have hsv1 or 2. So theoretically (sp?) you could have hsv 1 genitally and have no symptoms, just as you could have hsv 1 orally and have no symptoms. Am I right or way off base? If that is possible, than you may never know *where* you are infected with hsv1 until you have an ob.

And why I got my back up on Laurie's post is mainly because of so many people (adults at that) are posting here about agonizing over their oral h, and should I tell my partner, can I kiss my partner and so on. In fact, one of Pnut's questions in the original post hit on that his g/f is questioning if she can get it orally too by kissing him. So...why would someone, in this case Laurie, knowing she has hsv 1 orally, take a chance and kiss her kids on the mouth? That is how it is spread, right? Kissing on the lips to transfer it to the mouth? And she said if not her, than an Aunt or Uncle or kid at school. Why is she okaying this nonsexual way of showing love to her kids? I do not wish to sound so mean or callus. I simply do not understand if someone is educated on Oral H. and has Oral H would kiss her own kids on the mouth. Why not cheek, forehead, ect...

I am not a mouth kisser with my family, never was. Just the way I was brought up. But ever since having children of my own, and knowing what I know about H, I strongly discourage anyone from kissing my kids on the mouth. Just doesn't sit well with me.

I know that it is nonsexual. Don't misread what I am typing. I just don't understand why someone would do that to their children. People here get very upset with adults not informing their partners about their H status. Oral or Gential it seems. But why then, would a parent take such risks with their own children? Years from now those kids who contracted H orally from mom or dad or uncle or aunt, might find themselves right here asking "should I tell my g/f about my Oral H"

I agree strongly with the post about not taking any chances with your kids. There was also a post on this thread mentioning that she has never given Oral H much thought, because she doesn't have it. But now, she is concerned she may have it and can spread it. My point exactly about stating that "everyone probably has it". One can never tell without having an ob to be cultured. So why try to shove it down our throats here stating those 90% statics? I do not have this *fear* of H. I have hsv2 Genitally for years. I just don't need (and I think someone else said it here) another thing to worry about. And don't tell me I am paranoid, because reading over and over the 90% statistic quote at this forum would make anyone afraid of ever kissing anyone again.

The poster who said we should try for 0% with our children is right on the money. Thank you. I know this is long, forgive me, but I felt I had to explain. No flaming/putting down anyone/ going on here and I apologize if I sounded that way. I just have very strong feelings when it came to the remark that "if not me, than someone else would have infected my kids". That doesn't need to be that way. My kids (4 and 1 1/2 yrs) know we kiss on the cheek only.

thanks for listening.


Laurie Click to EMail LaurieClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 01:13 PM (CST)
30. "I have NEVER "
Kissed my kids on the mouth.

And neither did my parents, aunts, or uncles kiss me on the mouth. BUt I got it anyway.

The chance is always there to pass it on, just as the chance is ALWAYS there to pass it on during sex between HSV+/- people. But the risk can be very small if you know your symptoms -- never nil, but very small. Is it worth it? I don't know. All I know is I can no better imagining not kissing my kids than I can imagine not f*cking my man, if I had one, who was HSV-. At some point you have to make the choice to use common sense, whatever precautions you can, be aware, not careless -- but don't let it run your life. That's all I was saying.


Nanc Click to EMail NancClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 03:33 PM (CST)
31. "RE: Question for M'smom"
I am SO glad to see this debate going on here. This is exactly the point that I have been trying to bring up. Cold sores ARE herpes, & can be spread to places other than the lips. I truely dont believe that any where near enough people know this.

Mari, I do kiss my kids on the lips occasionally. I have had oral herpes all of their lives. (they are 12 & 14) Neither of them has ever shown any symptoms. From the time they were little babies, they know that when I have one, we only touch cheek to cheek, & "kiss" the air. Without an ob, I usually try to plant my kisses on their hair, thinking this may be the only safe place. I have seen pics & heard of people with herpes on the nose, cheeks, chin, ankle etc. Seems that herpes can be anywhere, not just lips & genitals. I am afraid of my kids getting it. I've only recently learned of asymptomatic sheading, maybe they already have it, with no ob's. Maybe we've been lucky.......But I sure can't imagine NEVER kissing my kids.

At any rate, I'm glad to see this discussion.

Love, (without kisses!)


mzztree Click to EMail mzztreeClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 06:32 PM (CST)
32. "RE: Question for M'smom"
Interesting....herpes on ankle, etc. Could this be due to some well-intentioned adult kissing a child's 'boo-boo' to make it feel better? Hmmmm.



Della Click to EMail DellaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 06:49 PM (CST)
34. "RE: Question for M'smom"
I *am* getting sick of this debate!
FYI: My dad just walked in and saw me on this website (and since I'm not about to tell him, "Yo, dad, I (his 18yr. old daughter) am on this site because I have genital herpes!" I told him that I'm doing a speech on it (which is also true), and he was like, "What kind of perverted school are you going to??" Pissed me off.
I said, "Hold up, Pops. Have you ever had a cold sore?"
He says, "Yeah, like once."
I say, "That's herpes."
He says, "Yeah, but it's a different strain or something.."
I say, "Uh, yeah sortof, but it's still herpes."
He was like, "Whatever."
So I told him about how many people have it, and how many people are unaware, and he shut up pretty fast.
Damn if I'm not in a bad mood now about him saying that "perverted" shit.
I don't know what kind of difference it will ever make to discuss this with uninfected people. That "good virus/bad virus" article on the bio. page is so true.

In a bad mood,


M'sMom Click to EMail M'sMomClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 06:33 PM (CST)
33. "RE: Question for M'smom"
Hi, Mari.

That's a looooonnngg post for one question.

You are right: Since I never have symptoms, I don't know where my infecion is. And don't think that doesn't bother me! I don't know which end is up (so to speak!) and I really don't know exactly what to tell a partner!

As best as I can figure statistically, the odds are about 10 to 1 that the infection is oral, but there are *so* many contributing factors that that could be way off. Either way: I have herpes and would have never known it had I not had a test. Have I passed it on to anyone? I sure could have. I definitely kiss babies, and believe it or not, I used to have sex.

What precautions should I be taking? I don't know. My current view is that in general I will err on the side of caution. For example, I won't kiss babies eyes (very important, ocular herpes is real scary!) and I plan to tell any possible sex partners about my hsv status, although my opinion is they will probably just think I am NUTS. (Well, see, I don't have any std's except maybe herpes, which I've got hsv1 but I don't know where, could be oral, could be genital, hell, it could be on my FOOT for all I know, I never have symptoms but I test positive,....anybody wanna help me script *that* conversation???)

The other side of the coin though, is that there are tons of things that can be passed on by physical contact - many of them much more easily than herpes, including Hepatitis C, impetigo, conjuntivitis...and these are all general touch transmissible. If we want to completely avoid the dangers of passing disease, we just can't touch anyone, ever. That would be a sad world. So I think what we have to do is just make some general rules for ourselves and our families that afford us some protection from disease, but don't isolate us either. I think that exactly what those decisions are is kind of individual.

Good discussion, Mari.


p.s. I taught my daughter not to kiss on the mouth as a kid for a completely different reason: I didn't want the good touch/bad touch distinction to be too difficult for her. (Yes dear, it's o.k. if Uncle Billy kisses you on the mouth like this: MMMM-wah, but if he uses his tongue, that's a bad thing.) I just thought "no mouth kissing" was easier. She got over that just fine at about 13. -mm


mari Click to EMail mariClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-27-00, 11:06 PM (CST)
35. "RE: Question for M'smom"
Thanks MM for the reply. Your reasons for teaching your daughter about "no mouth kissing" is also similar to one of ours. Contracting H was just thrown in the mix too.

As far as not kissing your kids on the mouth, and then they still contracted Oral H, then can someone please explain how one does get it on there mouth if they haven't been kissed there? Or maybe Laurie's kids don't have it on their mouths, just somewhere on the face? This is all getting a bit confusing. I realize it can appear on the face as I know someone that has it there. I guess I just assumed ( I know, never assume anything) that when people say that they think that they infected their children, it was from kisses on or near the lips.

Before anyone gets upset thinking that I don't know enough about H, remember I said that I have had it Genitally for years. So I am not casting stones. Just a sensitive area when children are involved. Seems unfair to casually say that "they are most likely to get it from someone, may as well be mom". I would think a person who has H would go to ANY and ALL measures to be sure to not pass that onto their (or anyone's) child.

I am not better than anyone here, just another point of view.



Della Click to EMail DellaClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-28-00, 01:04 AM (CST)
36. "Hey Mari"
I don't remember who made that comment (unsure if it was Laurie, maybe Lisx?) I would go back and check, but it's a bit late...and I'm a bit pooped out by this entire subject! I do see where you're coming from Mari, but I also see where ?? (the author of the post that stated the thing about giving oral H to their kids) is coming from. Since the odds are sooooo in favor of these kids getting it - and since most people don't know or care that they're spreading oral H anyway, the author just as soon it be them giving it to their kids than someone else, because at least their kids could build up an immunity to it, and not have such severe OBs as an adult.
You're idea of eventually no one having this virus is a wonderful idea, but I personally find it unrealistic (unless a vaccine is discovered). So that's why I can see where the above author is coming from. Although, I do see the beauty in your idea...

Thanks for sharing your opinion,


M'sMom Click to EMail M'sMomClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-28-00, 05:34 AM (CST)
37. "How do unkissed kids get oral h?"
Hey, Mari.

I don't know for sure about this, but I suspect that, just as you can re-infect yourself genitally by touching yourself (especially when you just contracted the virus), kids can "move around" herpes by rubbing their hands over their faces.

Matter of fact, today I saw a woman kiss a little boy (I guess her son) on the cheek and he immediately "scrubbed it off" with his hand, which touched his mouth several times. Strikes me that if mom had oral h and was shedding, he could have contracted it then.

Honestly, what's really amazing to me is that kids don't contract more diseases. They pick up food with hands that have been *everywhere*, they eat dirt, they share ice dream cones with their dogs. It's a wonder they survive, God love 'em.



Laurie Click to EMail LaurieClick to view user profileClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-28-00, 05:49 AM (CST)
38. "Mari"
When I got this, as a child, I never had outbreaks on my lips. They were on the roof of my mouth. Was I kissed on the roof of my mouth?

Although I guess it is common to have outbreaks at the point of infection, and the primary is usually at the point of infection (so I guess I probably did have one on my face or wherever as a child), once the virus takes up residence it can and eventually will infect somewhere else -- anywhere else -- along the nerve pathway. If herpes "likes" living around the lips, that is probably where it will break out ? I'm not sure. I don't kiss my kids on the lips, my parents never did that, and though I know it is "nonsexual" my guts still say "ew" when I see it. I have been very careful with my kids, and it eats at me, I don't know how they got it but they did, at least I think they did, time will tell if they tend to "outbreak" every time they are sick, maybe it was another virus those couple times, after all they were sick. I can't let the guilt overwhelm me, I have to know that I was careful, I was prudent, and it still happened -- just like it happened to me.

Similarly with genital herpes, and one of the reasons condoms aren't enough to protect, you can shed and outbreak anywhere in the region.

I don't know where you got this "no big deal" thing, I never said that. This guy didn't know, and he infected his girlfriend, and the purpose and message in my post was not the way you read it.

The 80-90% figure is accurate -- the purpose of "telling" that figure is because many people take solice in knowing they are not alone. Another purpose is because whether or not your partner has the same type you have can be considered when you are sitting down with them deciding what precautions can and should be taken. They were wondering what to do to keep her safe, and the first thing is possibly to find out if she already has antibodies because that figures in to the transmission factor.

Telling him he was not bad or not dishonorable because he passed it on to his ex during oral sex is not the same as saying "no big deal." She didn't know what he didn't know, and it happened. Accept it and move on. Knowing now what he didn't know before, he is acting honorably.

I've heard this thread referred to as a "debate" and I don't see it -- I think we're all pretty much on the same page here.

My own point of view is yea, it's a big deal, we don't want to keep spreading herpes, oral or genital. However. The only way to absolutely stop it is no touching, no kissing, no sex, and everybody get a western blot so they can find out whether or not they need to join the leper colony. I'm sorry, that's not acceptable. We need to be aware, we need to be prudent, we need to be educated and educate our partners and do the best we can -- and go on living. It's out there -- we need to know it, not be afraid of it, but be aware of it. If we catch it it's not the end of the world. Don't be careless, use good hygiene, but don't be ashamed and don't beat yourself up if, in spite of all reasonable cautions, you inadvertently pass it on. I don't think there's anything unreasonable about that attitude and I'm sorry if you take offense at it but I'm not joining the leper colony. I'm going to cuddle and kiss my kids and if I am fortunate enough to find love with an HSV- man I am going to share all forms of physical intimacy with him and hope for the best -- never taking chances when even the slightest symptom is present anywhere on my body.


mari Click to EMail mariClick to check IP address of the poster Mar-28-00, 10:16 AM (CST)
39. "thanks"
Well, this has certainly been informing and interesting. And I agree, I don't feel this was a debate type of thread. I too, feel we are all on the same page, and I feel very good about all of us. None of us lost our temper or attempted to put the other down here.

That is so wonderful when complete strangers are able to dicuss their feelings, opinions, and share as much as we just did and no one takes a bitter stand.

Thanks to all who were involved here on this one, and especially to Pnut who began this whole thing. Although he is probably since moved on, I still hope the best for him, as I do for us all.




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