Expert Answers Factual Answers to Your Sexual Health Questions

Expert Q & A Answers About HSV-1

If I give my boyfriend oral sex when I have cold sores, could he catch genital herpes?

I’ve always gotten cold sores on my lips and I have some now. When I give my boyfriend oral sex, can he get herpes from my cold sores? Is it bad to give him oral sex when I have cold sores, or are oral and genital herpes two different kinds of herpes?

I know I was exposed to the herpes virus. When should I get tested?

I was exposed to herpes, got tested and found out that I’m negative for the virus. Should I get tested again to be sure I am not infected? In the meantime, can I still have sexual contact?

I have HSV-1 and HSV-2...my partner has herpes, too. How can I safely give her oral sex?

I’m a man with HSV-1 and HSV-2, and I am beginning relationships with women who also have HSV. Are there any devices for giving oral sex to women? I know condoms protect in the reverse scenario.

What STD tests should we have before getting married?

My girlfriend and I aren’t going to sleep together until we’re married...but she has had two previous partners, and I haven’t had any. What kinds of STD testing should we have before marriage to make sure we’re both healthy? I’ve heard that HIV might not show any physical effects for a long time, so this worries me.

Is a cure for herpes in the works?

Are researchers looking for a cure for herpes? If so, how long will people living with herpes need to wait before we see a cure? Do researchers need funds?

I think I have herpes...will I ever be able to have sex again?

I am a male who has never had sex with a female, and about a year ago I had sexual activity with another male. Come to find out, I got genital herpes from it. I have never been tested or taken medication, but I’m pretty sure I’ve had about three herpes outbreaks. I am straight and all of my friends think that there is something wrong with me because I have not had sex yet (with a woman). But now I don’t want to take the risk of having sex with a woman and spreading the disease, especially because everyone knows I’m a virgin. Could I say I got herpes from oral sex? I have no clue what to do!

Can I get herpes from giving my girlfriend oral sex?

After performing oral sex on my girlfriend, I break out with cold sores around my mouth. Am I at risk for herpes?

I had oral sex seven months ago and just noticed some bumps on my vagina...do I have herpes?

The last time I had sexual contact with anyone was about 7 months ago. I've never had sexual intercourse; however, I have performed oral sex and had it performed on me (without a dental dam). I have developed a mild itch and redness on my labia majora and I noticed one or two hard, painless bumps on my labia minora. Do I have herpes? 

My partner and I both have genital herpes...do we still need to use protection?

My boyfriend and I have been seeing each other for about six months and we both have genital herpes from previous relationships. We're confused about the subject of oral sex and touching each other. We both want to give and receive, but we're worried about moving the virus to different parts of each other's bodies. Of course, there is always protection that can be used with oral sex, but both of us would really prefer just going natural. 

Are these red dots on my penis genital herpes?

I’m in college and I just started having sex with my girlfriend. My girlfriend is clean (and my other partners were either virgins or had STD tests). But after we have sex, I get red dots around the base of my penis. The dots disappear after a few days as long as we don’t have sex. At first I thought they were the result of a tight condom (often after sex I have a red ring around the base of my penis), but then a sore opened up where the red dot was. Could this be a sign of herpes? Is it possible to get herpes without having intercourse?