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Expert Q & A Answers About HSV-1

How can I protect myself from catching genital herpes from my girlfriend?

I met a girl online who just found out she has herpes. I think she’s a very sweet person. Is it possible to lead a normal life with her? How do we have sex without spreading the disease? Will I get herpes from her if we take all the precautions? 

Can you get genital herpes from oral sex...with a prostitute?

I’m a 22-year-old male. I always had protected sex with only one girlfriend. Then, six months ago, I got drunk at a bachelor party and received oral sex from a prostitute. I’ve developed red bumps with white heads that come and go in the area around my penis. The most recent bump is larger, darker red and filled with pus (like a large pimple) and is now getting smaller and a little crusty around the edges. I also have similar bumps on the edges of my eyelids and around my mouth. I’m concerned...what do you think?

My partner and I have been having great sex for many years…but now, my vagina is extremely sensitive and intercourse is painful. Why?

My partner and I are in a monogamous relationship, and we’ve both been tested for HIV. We’ve been having great sex for a number of years without a problem...but now, intercourse is painful. The entrance to my vagina has become extremely sensitive and intercourse feels like being rubbed with sandpaper. I’ve noticed small sores in the area, too. My doctor was quick to say they’re herpes, but the test he did on one of the sores was inconclusive. What do you think?

I have genital herpes...will my boyfriend ever be able to give me oral sex without protection?

I’m a 22-year-old woman with genital herpes. Recently, I met a wonderful guy and we’ve been dating. Our sex life is fun and we always use condoms, but I miss receiving oral sex and I don’t think using a dental dam will feel as good. I read an article that said it was very unlikely (but not impossible) to pass herpes through oral sex. What do you think?

I think I have genital herpes...can I treat it with my oral herpes medication?

I’m a 21-year-old female and I’ve only had one sexual partner my whole life. We have been having sex monogamously for about a year now and we use a condom about 90% of the time. I get herpes outbreaks on my mouth and sometimes my nose when I’m sick or under a lot of stress. I haven’t had an outbreak for about six months. Today I noticed a very small pinkish bump on the inside of my vaginal lip. It only hurts when I press on it really hard, but I’m scared it could be herpes. I have a prescription for acyclovir for my oral herpes. Would this work to get rid of the bump on my vaginal lip?

What types of infections cause bumps in the pubic area?

I’m a 21-year-old female and I have bumps in my pubic area. I always thought they were hair follicles, but now I’m uncertain...maybe they’re herpes? They vary in size from big to small, they’re itchy and hard. A few days after a bump has formed, I see a light crust form over it. A different time, the inside of my vagina was red and painful. I also had pain when urinating. Do you know what these bumps might be?

I intimately kissed a girl...a few days later I noticed a white sore under my tongue and then a red sore on my lip. Are these STD symptoms?

I intimately kissed a girl, and few days later I got a small white sore under my tongue and then on my lower inside lip. And now I have a small light red sore on my outside lip and it itches. Are these symptoms of an STD?

Can the herpes virus remain dormant for a period of up to 30 years before any symptoms are evident?

My wife was recently diagnosed with HSV-2 after showing typical blistering in the vaginal area and having both blood and swab tests. Her physician prescribed Valtrex for treatment. We have been in a monogamous relationship for over 30 years and neither of us have had any visual symptoms in the past. She did have a similar occurrence about a year ago but tested negative. Her symptoms came in conjunction with several menstrual cycle problems and several yeast infections, all of which have been treated by her physician. I plan on getting tested, and believe that I’ll most likely test positive. Her doctor told her that he has never witnessed the virus being dormant for more than 12 years. This has caused her to doubt my faithfulness in the relationship, which I understand under the circumstances. I do not doubt her faithfulness at all. I could easily accept the fact that I (or she, for that matter) was infected prior to our marriage over 30 years ago and never knew...can the herpes virus remain dormant for that long before showing symptoms?

Can HSV-1 in the mouth be transferred to other body parts?

I know that HSV-1 can be transmitted to the lips or genitals of one’s partner. But is there a risk that the virus could be passed to other body parts, like the breasts or neck during foreplay and intercourse? And, what is the likelihood of spreading oral herpes through kissing if no symptoms are present?

Is it possible to have herpes and not know it?

I’m a 21-year-old woman. I'm. About six months ago, I found out that I have genital herpes. The only person I could have contracted it from is my current boyfriend (he’s my first). We’re close and I believe he didn’t know he had the virus, but my family and friends think he must have known. Is it possible that a man might not know he has the herpes virus?