Person Giving Oral Sex had a Cold

Published: May 14, 2012
Dear TeenHealthFX,
I received oral sex, I then found out the person giving me oral sex had a cold. I vaguely remember a teacher saying that if you received oral sex from someone with a cold, that it could turn into herpes (he claimed it was the flu/cold of the penis). Is this true? My partner just has a cold, not herpes or anything.
Signed: Person Giving Oral Sex had a Cold

Dear Person Giving Oral Sex had a Cold,

 

You cannot transmit the herpes virus unless you have the herpes virus. So someone who has just a common cold without the herpes virus is not going to spread it. They are 2 separate viruses that affect the body much differently.

 

What you may remember your teacher talking about is that you can get the herpes virus if someone who is infected performs oral sex on you who has an open cold sore. There are basically two types of herpes: Herpes simplex virus-1 (HSV-1) is the virus that causes cold sores, the small and painful blisters that usually appear on or around a person’s lips. Herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) is the virus that causes genital herpes.

 

Here is some important information on how HSV-1 is transmitted and important facts to be aware of:

·         HSV-1 spreads through direct contact with another person. This can include skin to skin contact, as well as contact with oral or genital secretions (like through kissing, as well as vaginal, oral, and anal sex).

·         If a person has HSV-1 and gets cold sores around the mouth, it is possible to transmit the virus during oral sex, causing HSV-1 outbreaks in the genital area of the person’s partner.

·         HSV-1 can be spread by sharing a cup, utensils, or lip balm/lipstick with someone who has HSV-1.

·         HSV-1 can be spread if a person touches a cold sore and then touches a mucous membrane (such as in the nose, mouth, eyes, or vagina) or area of the skin with a cut on it. Because of this, it is very important never to pick, punch, or squeeze a cold sore. In general, it is best not to touch cold sores.

·         It is especially important not to touch your eyes after touching a cold sore as HSV-1 can do a lot of damage to the eyes. If you have touched a cold sore, have a cold sore, or around someone who has a cold sore, it is advisable to frequently wash your hands.

·         HSV-1 is most contagious when a sore is present, but it can still be passed on even if you cannot see any sores.

·         Cold sores can turn into bacterial skin infections if not taken care of properly and can even be dangerous for those with weakened immune systems (such as people with cancer, HIV, or for small infants).

 

Your partners claim “it was the flu/cold of the penis” sounds suspicious. If your partner had any open sores on his body or you have any concerns you were exposed to the virus you should have yourself tested. The majority of people who've been infected with HSV never know they have the disease because they have no signs or symptoms. The signs and symptoms of HSV can be so mild they go unnoticed.  

 

You can be seen for testing and a medical evaluation confidentially at a teen health center at a low/no cost fee.  In Northern New Jersey area, you can call the Adolescent/Young Adult Center for Health at 973.889.6350 for an appointment or call your local Planned Parenthood

 

 

 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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