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A 20-year-old female asked:

Partner and i both have hsv1. is it ok to kiss if we have symptoms? will it transfer to genitals if we have oral sex? could it transfer to other places if i have a sore and kiss them on the cheek, hand, etc.? thanks in advance?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Hunter Handsfield
Infectious Disease 54 years experience
People are immune (at least highly resistant) to new infection with the HSV type they already have. Couples do not "ping pong" their mutual HSV infections back and forth. Probably it's best not to press your luck: I suggest no intimate exposure (sexual kissing, oral sex) during an oral herpes outbreak. But any contact when there are no symptoms is entirely safe.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Dr. Birendra Tandan
Urology 35 years experience
It can go to genital areas by oral sex. But not on the cheek. Avoid kissing when you have an active sore.
Created for people with ongoing healthcare needs but benefits everyone.
Last updated Mar 7, 2022

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