OP: Are coldsores contagious?

Just wondering.. I have a friend who every once in a while gets a cold sore, is it possible I could get herpes from something like sharing a drink or some chapstick with her? I've never shown any signs of it but I was still wondering. I now that sores on your mouth could lead to genital herpes if your not careful.


Posted: 27 Sep 00:31


hmm we'll let brandye answer this one since she has the medical degree
i do know that there are several types of herpes.. the one that causes cold sores is herpes simplex I i believe... dont quote me on that... and theres a couple others... but im not sure how the others work. yes i think there is a possibility that if you shared a drink or chapstick w/ her while she has a cold sore that is surfaced then you might also get a cold sore. im pretty sure genital herpes is a whole other ballgame. now there is possibilites of transferring different things if oral sex is involved but i dont think you have to worry about that


Posted: 27 Sep 00:32

Ahhh! I typed a huge long post, just as the thread was being moved. Well, here goes again.

Genital herpes is another ballgame, but it's not a whole other ballgame. Genital herpes and oral herpes (aka labial herpes) are usually caused by two different versions of the herpes simplex virus (HSV). HSV-1 is usually the cause of oral herpes, and HSV-2 is usually the cause of genital herpes. However, HSV-1 can be transmitted to the genital region, and HSV-2 can be transmitted to the mouth. If either happens, the virus will cause symptoms identical to the symptoms of the virus normally found in that region.

The vast majority of people have oral herpes. I am not sure of the exact statistics, but I have heard figures as high as 98%. The fact that you have never shown symptoms does not necessarily prove that you do not have it, as many people with HSV-1 or HSV-2 go through their whole lives without any noticeable symptoms.

As ItalStal said, you should avoid sharing drinks, chapstick, etc. with your friend when she has cold sores. The risk of transmission is especially high at those times, although there is some risk of transmission at any time. Even if you already have the virus, exposure to others' sores can cause you to have an outbreak.

As demonbuttercup said, it is possible to transmit both HSV-1 and HSV-2 during oral sex. It may also be possible to transmit either virus from your mouth to your own genital region. For example, you might transmit the disease from one area to the other if you use saliva as lubricant during sex or masterbation or if you eat just before or after masturbating. You may also indirectly give it to yourself if you transmit herpes to a partner through kissing, oral sex or vaginal sex, and s/he spreads it to another part of your body through one of those same three activities. If you are worried about spreading oral herpes to your genital area, wash your hands before and after masterbation and don't use saliva as lubricant. You can protect yourself and your partner from herpes during oral sex by using a condom during fellatio and a dental dam during cunnillingus. Condoms are not entirely effective against herpes, since it can be spread on contact, but they do offer some protection. Again, while there is some risk of transmission at any time, be especially carefull when their are sores visable.


Posted: 27 Sep 00:32

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