Q. Individual has genital herpes and performed oral sex. Is transmission of infection possible?

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary
and medically reviewed by Dr. Divya Banu M
This is a premium question & answer published on May 30, 2020

Hello doctor,

If an individual has genital herpes and performs oral sex on a non-infected person, is it possible for it to still be transmitted?

Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary

Andrology Geriatrics Psychiatry Psychologist/ Counsellor Psychotherapy Sexology


Welcome to icliniq.com.

I read your query and understand your concerns.

First of all, I would like to inform you that there is definite risk of transmission of HSV if there was direct skin to skin contact such as sex, oral sex, passionate kissing among others. However, the risk is low provided there was no active lesions at the area of contact. But practically speaking people with active genital lesions can have active lesions over the oral mucosa which can shed the virus, which can be transmitted to their partner.

I also like to make it clear that itching and burning sensation are very rare before appearance of lesions. It is good idea to get tested for herpes antibodies.

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