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Disclosing at Kissing

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People kiss each other all the time and pass on hsv1. Yet nobody really discloses that they have cold sores when the kiss someone. Since GHSV2 is actually harder to pass from genital to oral then hsv1 which goes from oral to oral, then it would make sense that if it's generally considered ok not to disclose on a kiss with hsv1 then it would be possibly even more ok to not say anything if someone goes down on you and you hsv2 genital (no breakout and on meds).



Kids pass on oral herpes to each other all the time .. it doesn't seem like a big deal.


Is genital to oral hsv2 even worth disclosing about ?

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People kiss people who have HSV 1 all the time like I said, and that's much more likely to pass orally than HSV2. And that's not even counting whether of not someone is taking meds.


Maybe the problem is that stigma that is still attached to it.


An ignorant version of me would say "yes, I'd want to know." But if the girl isn't having an outbreak, I have less a chance of getting hsv2 in my mouth from eating her out than I have of getting HSV1 in my mouth just from kissing 9/10 strangers on the lips.


Do you see what I'm saying?


In some ways, this example shows just how hypocritical the herpes stigma is.

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I agree that the herpes stigma is out of whack. But I also believe that open communication helps to put the stigma in its place. It's that we follow the fear of the stigma that has us not talking about this kind of stuff. I remember in a herpes support group a while back, we had a clinician who was from Brazil. She was blown away by the stigma here in the US ... because in Brazil, it would be commonplace for people to overhear at a bar in a totally nonchalant tone things like, "Yeah, let's go back to your place ... But no sex because I'm having a herpes outbreak, okay?" It's just something that people who are hooking up talk about. It's commonplace. And that's the kind of culture we are building around open communication around sex in general, not just STDs. It's a huge opportunity to help wash away the stigma and replace it with healthy sexuality.


And here's a blog article I wrote a while back about the whole disclosing-before-kissing thing:


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I agree the herpes stigma is hypocritical, but since I'm one of the few that think HSV1 SHOULD be disclosed before kissing, of course I'm going to say HSV2 should be disclosed before oral.


The stigma is ridiculous. I personally think the way to knock down the stigma is to blow up information about HSV1 coldsores.

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Adrian I agree and see your point completely.


If you had HSV1 in your mouth and were out on the dating scene, would you tell every girl you made out with?


There are many people who ok that.


It's just that once the genitals come into the picture it's stigma bullshit. Ultimately, you are right, but it's so not a big deal with HSV1 oral.



I mean what do you call it if you get HSV2 in your mouth? "cold sores"? "Genital herpes"? "cold sores light (because it oral hsv2 is the least reactive)?

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At the risk of hijacking the thread, I am curious about the likelihood of passing from genitals > partner's mouth. There's a video with Adrial and others chatting with a doctor. I haven't seen it in a while but as I remember the doctor basically dismissed it as being such low probability that it was a non-issue. "Non-issue" sounds like almost zero. Is that the general feeling?


My question isn't about disclosure obligations, except insofar as the informed consent is based on - what? "Don't worry, it's a non-issue, we can do this"?

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@Jayz I think this is because studies have not been done to pinpoint the exact level of risk, but experts often say it's very low risk. I know Terri Warren has said that in 30+ years of practice, she never saw a patient who contracted HSV2 from genitals to mouth during oral sex, but she also acknowledged it is a possibility, she has heard of such cases, and the risk is not zero.


I've had partners ask me if it's okay in terms of risk to perform oral sex on me. I've told them the risk is very, very low but not zero. Those who asked seemed to find that reassuring enough.

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