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Genital Herpes Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

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ask: my girl friend has vaginal herpes. i dont.. can i get infected if i kiss her? and if she gives me a blow job?

By Anonymous
 
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Anonymous

There are things you can both do such as taking valtrex to stop outbreaks. Best of luck

October 12, 2009 - 3:27pm
Diane Porter

Anon, welcome to EmpowHer, and thanks for your question.

It's smart that you're asking questions. About.com says that genital herpes affects at least forty-five million people in the United States who are infected with the herpes simplex virus (HSV). According to the CDC, one out of five teenagers and adults is infected with genital herpes.

No, you can't get genital herpes if you kiss your girlfriend on the lips. The viruses that cause the cold-sore kind of herpes and the genital kind of herpes are two separate viruses.

Here's a great frequently-asked-questions page on genital herpes from womenshealth.gov:

http://www.womenshealth.gov/FAQ/genital-herpes.cfm

And here's an explainer from about.com that focuses on symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and prevention:

http://womenshealth.about.com/cs/herpesgenital1/a/genitalherpes.htm

There are two Herpes Simplex Viruses -- HSV-1, which usually causes cold sores or fever blisters around your mouth, and HSV-2, which commonly causes genital herpes. Here's how the Centers for Disease Control says they are transmitted:

"HSV-1 and HSV-2 can be found in and released from the sores that the viruses cause, but they also are released between outbreaks from skin that does not appear to have a sore. Generally, a person can only get HSV-2 infection during sexual contact with someone who has a genital HSV-2 infection. Transmission can occur from an infected partner who does not have a visible sore and may not know that he or she is infected.

"HSV-1 can cause genital herpes, but it more commonly causes infections of the mouth and lips, so-called “fever blisters.” HSV-1 infection of the genitals can be caused by oral-genital or genital-genital contact with a person who has HSV-1 infection. Genital HSV-1 outbreaks recur less regularly than genital HSV-2 outbreaks."

Here's the CDC fact sheet:

http://www.cdc.gov/std/herpes/STDFact-herpes.htm#Howspread

One of the best pages I found is that of the Mayo Clinic. "Having genital herpes is no reason to avoid sex or give up on relationships. If you or your partner is infected, you can manage the spread of HSV by taking steps to protect yourself and your partner."

Here's their page, along with some links to prevention and safe sex:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/genital-herpes/DS00179

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May 25, 2009 - 7:48am
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