General Question

poofandmook's avatar

If you frequently kiss someone prone to cold sores, what are the chances that you've contracted that strain of herpes?

Asked by poofandmook (17277points) November 23rd, 2009

It’s the cold sores that are from herpes simplex something or other, isn’t it?

Can one have this strain, contracted from kissing someone with cold sores, and never have any sores themselves?

My good friend just found out that her new boyfriend of several weeks almost always has cold sores… and now she’s sort of flipping about “having herpes.”

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10 Answers

sliceswiththings's avatar

Depends if he has herpes-related sores or plain old cold sores. If he just gets cold sores, she’s not going to contract herpes.

poofandmook's avatar

I wasn’t aware there was a non-herpes type of cold sore.

aprilsimnel's avatar

There are 8 types of herpes viruses. Cold sores are HSV (herpes simplex virus)-1, though if someone goes down on you during an outbreak, you’ll get cold sores on that region as well, and genital herpes is HSV-2. They are transmitted through close contact generally and more likely to do so during an outbreak. Read more here.

And you can shed the virus even if you have no symptoms!

hannahsugs's avatar

I am frequently prone to cold sores, and while i avoid kissing my boyfriend during an outbreak, he basically is confident that by now (if he wasn’t before), he’s a carrier of the virus. The thing is, many people carry the virus in their systems and never get a single sore in their whole lives (bastards). The truth is, herpes isn’t that big a deal, and if you do get frequent outbreaks you can get your doctor to prescribe you an antiviral cream that you use when you get a sore, and it makes them go away super-fast. If you STILL get many sores, you can get a pill that you take every day that makes them less likely to come back.

In other words, tell your friend to relax. She probably either already has the virus in her system (many kids pick up the herpes virus in grade school) and doesn’t know it, or she won’t get it if she doesn’t kiss this guy when he has an outbreak. Worst case scenario: she gets the virus from him, and has a week or two a year when she has an annoying sore on her lip. Not the end of the world.

poofandmook's avatar

@hannahsugs: That’s what I figured, and I told her as much. But you know, “herpes” has such ridiculously negative social connotations.

sliceswiththings's avatar

@poofandmook Yeah, my childhood best friend had them as a little kid.

faye's avatar

According to my textbook HSV II causes 10–20% of the lesions above the waist from oral-oral or oral-genital contact. And about 10–20% of genital or anal lesions are caused by HSV I cold sores]

casheroo's avatar

I have an ex who got them. We never kissed when he had a sore. I think he tried to hide it from me in the beginning, but that’s sort of hard to do when you’re dating. I’m sure at some point most people kiss someone who is prone to cold sores. I’ve never gotten one knock on wood but I know it’s a possibility since I’ve kissed someone who had them..or at least we knew he carried them.

ItalianPrincess1217's avatar

Eeek! It freaks me out thinking about ever catching them. My friend gets them allllll the time. I feel so bad for her. They’re really big and obvious. And it really lowers her self confidence. I was always told that you can catch them for sharing drinks, lipstick, kissing, etc. Even if they aren’t having an outbreak at the time.

faye's avatar

Tea Tree Oil prevents cold sores from growing tho I would not recommend it for genitalias!

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