A member asked:

Does touching a cold sore on the lip then touching genitals have a high chance of transferring hsv to the genitals? gf has cold sore, we are avoiding oral sex and kissing for now but wonder if touching genitals and normal sex is still okay?

2 doctors weighed in across 2 answers
Dr. Hiep Le answered

Specializes in Nephrology and Dialysis

Unless there is a direct contact between the active lesion and your genitourinary area, there is no risk of HSV-1 genital herpes. In addition, chance of HSV-1 previous exposure is already very high.

Answered 7/7/2022

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Dr. John Berryman answered

Specializes in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Herpes virus (HPV) is extremely contagious, and at age 30, most sexually active adults have been exposed to HPV, and the emergence of either oral or genital ulcers is dependent on activation of the virus from a stressful episode (school, work, emotional). If either you or your partner has/had former sexual contacts, transmission from oral to genital HSV is probably a moot point.

Answered 7/7/2022

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