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TheBugDoctor, Doctor (MD)
Category: HIV and AIDS
Satisfied Customers: 1747
Experience:  I am a Board Certified Infectious Diseases physician with many years experience treating a broad range of infectious diseases.
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Can genital herpes be passed to another person through

Customer Question

can genital herpes be passed to another person through kissing, and if so what is the likelihood of that happening?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: HIV and AIDS
Expert:  TheBugDoctor replied 2 years ago.
These days we generally see less of an absolute distinction between HSV-1 and HSV-2. Both can cause oral and genital herpes.
So if someone has active HSV-or is even shedding virus asymptomatically- in the mouth ( this is much more commonly HSV1- but not absolute)and then kisses someone who is susceptible- ie not previously infected- the contact can contract herpes. If they were kissing mouth to mouth, the contact would likely get oral/ lip eruptions with herpes.
If performing oral sex- the contact may indeed contract genital herpes from receiving oral sex.
I hope that helps, if not please clarify what else you are looking for
PLease also rate my reply.
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
thank you for the information...what i specifically am asking is - if there is only diagnosis of genital herpes, but no evidence of any herpes of the mouth - can genital herpes be passed on by only kissing?
Expert:  TheBugDoctor replied 2 years ago.
You mean if someone has HSV in their genital but not mouth ( a pretty uncommon scenario), can they transmit HSV by kissing?
I think you are making things more confusing by your terminology- but if someone does not have/ shed HSV in the mouth, they will not transmit it by kissing.
If they are infected and shed virus in their mouth- they CAN transmit it- If it is transmitted to someone else's mouth- that person with get HSV on their mouth/ lips. If they perform oral sex they can transmit it to the genital area. But if they are only shedding virus in the genital area- and not the mouth, they will not be contagious by kissing.
What you need to be aware of is many people who are infected by HSV may shed virus at times they do not have open sores- So even when one does not have an open sore if they are asymptomatically infected they can be contagious.
I hope that makes sense to you. Please rate the reply
Expert:  TheBugDoctor replied 2 years ago.
Thanks and please supply a rate for the answer.
If you have further questions please let me know