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Can I transmit genital herpes through kissing?

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Hey everyone, I haven't been able to find a clear answer to this question and am hoping you can help. I have genital herpes and think I might be having an outbreak because the area was feeling a bit sensitive. I've only ever had one outbreak before so I'm not sure what to expect but there are no visible symptoms, just a bit of tenderness. I have antiviral meds that I am supposed to take whenever I have an outbreak and have been taking them for the past 5 days. My partner also has herpes but didn't get it from me and is completely asymptomatic. I only have genital herpes, not oral herpes. Based on all of this information, do any of you know if it's safe for me to kiss my partner right now?

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I hope you are well. 

Having the next outbreak is always a little scary, since sometimes we aren't exactly familiar with how the outbreak will look and feel.  

Usually, the symptoms you had during the first outbreak are a good indicator of what the other outbreaks might be like. If your first outbreak consisted of burning, itching, tingling, tenderness, etc, that may be what the next outbreak would feel like, too. 

Tenderness can also be caused by intercourse, hormones, PMS/periods, and even physical activity like bike riding. Has the tenderness went away since you started taking the antivirals?

Just to be clear, do you have HSV-2 in your genital region? (sometimes people call HSV-2 genital herpes and HSV-1 oral herpes but they can both occur in other places, so it can get confusing! I just wanted to clarify to best help you ❤️). 

If so, you have your herpes in the region of your genitals, and just because you have herpes in one region of the body, doesn't mean it is everywhere else on your body, too. For example, I have genital HSV-1 and I do not have oral herpes, but I can still kiss someone and not transmit the virus to them if I am having an outbreak of my genital HSV-1. Now, if I had oral herpes and was having an outbreak or suspected I was virally shedding, then I wouldn't want to kiss someone.

So, it is safe to kiss your boyfriend if you are having an outbreak in your genital region and only are having an outbreak there. 🙂 Your whole body is not contagious when you have an outbreak, just the area(s) of skin that is is shedding or having an outbreak. 

Also, do you know if your boyfriend has the same strain of HSV (1 or 2) as you do? This can be discovered via an IgG blood test. Also, does he know which regions of the body he has it on? It is usually more difficult for someone who is totally asymptomatic to know where they contracted herpes, so it's okay if he doesn't know. An interesting fact is that if someone has the same strain of HSV as you do, it is unlikely they would contract the virus again since they already have developed antibodies for it. It's still possible, just unlikely. 

I hope this information helps you! 🙂 




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