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Dr. C.
Dr. C., M.D.
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 3064
Experience:  30 years medical experience
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Acting scene I had to kiss a girl several times. About half

Customer Question

For an acting scene I had to kiss a girl several times. About half way through the scene she told me maybe it wasn't a great idea to kiss because she had a "fever blister". I looked it up and it's herpes.. Now I am freaking out fearing that I got it! I need information regarding the ease of being infected and the timeframe for symptoms
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 10 months ago.

Hi, It's Dr. C. Board certified physician. I can help you today.

I'm sorry about this herpes scare. First off, let me say that at least 50% of people already show evidence of oral herpes by the time they are 20. Most people catch it at a young age group and don't even realize it. Some of those people do get repeated outbreaks while others don't. So it's hard to say if you already have had the virus and your immune system is handling it. If this incident with the acting scene was recent. You can get blood tests to show if you already had exposure at a younger age group or have caught the virus recently. The tests to be ordered are HSV IgG and IgM titers. The IgG titer turns positive at about 3 months after exposure while the IgM turns positive shortly after catching the virus, somewhere in the range of 1-2 weeks after very first catching it. The IgM level then gradually goes away by about 3 months and is replaced by permanent blood levels of IgG. Typical onset of symptoms after first exposure is 3-7 days. Risk of transmission with a single exposure is hard to judge and depends heavily on the stage of her "blisters". When they are already in the healing stage, the virus doesn't shed and transmit as easily as if the blisters are in an earlier stage.

I hope this information was helpful. Please reply if I can clarify anything or add details.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
being that i had the contact yesterday, when would be a good time to get blood work done and know for sure that i'm in the clear?
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
You mentioned a 1-2 week thing and a 3 month thing, which i was confused about.
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 10 months ago.

About 10 days. If the IgM is + but IgG negative, you have been recently infected. If IgM negative and IgG positive, you are in the 50+% who already had exposure at an earlier age group. I've attach a graph image of the antibody response in herpes. Anything else I can help with today?

Expert:  Dr. C. replied 10 months ago.

If you look at the graph you can see how the IgM goes up first, then by 3 months is gone but the IgG goes up and stays up. That's how we tell the difference between a recent infection and evidence of having an exposure more than 3 months ago. Is that less confusing?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
to be totally free of the disease both would need to be negative?
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 10 months ago.

Yes correct. If both were negative at 10 days, you never had it and didn't recently catch it. Anything else?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Is it possible to have a fever blister (as in the case of my scene partner) but not have herpes?
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 10 months ago.

Yes, that is common. Not all "fever blisters" are related to herpes. Some people have such responses to various foods. Also to be complete, if both the IgG and IgM are positive, it would mean that a person had exposure in the past, plus either a recent reactivation of the virus or re-exposure.

Anything else?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Tht is all. Thanks
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 10 months ago.

You're welcome. I hope both tests are negative. Good luck. Please leave a rating for my service. I aim for excellent and appreciate your feedback. Thanks.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Can oral herpes become genital herpes
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 10 months ago.

Yes it can. About 80% of oral herpes is Type 1 and 20% Type 2. And about 80% of genital herpes is Type 2 while 20% is type 1. We think of HSV Type 1 as oral while HSV 2 is genital. Both can transfer during oral sex or with use of spit as a lubricant for sex or masturbation. If that's not clear let me know.

Anything else?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Im sorry but i'm asking if i kiss someone and were to get oral herpes can that on itself convert into genital herpes..
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 10 months ago.

Oh I misunderstood. No it can't. To become genital, there would have to be contact of the mouth with the genitals or at least spit with the genitals. The virus doesn't jump by itself. Is that helpful?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thanks!
Expert:  Dr. C. replied 10 months ago.

You're welcome. I'm glad to help. I hope you feel you got excellent service.