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cold sore question
Oct 12, 2000

My boyfriend (who is +) currently has a cold sore on the side of his tongue. I've pecked him a dry kiss hello several times in the past week, with each kiss lasting a very short time. Is this a risk for contracting the virus that causes the cold sore??

Response from Dr. Reznik

We still do not know what causes aphthous ulcerations or cold sores that appear on non-fixed or non-keratinized tissues such as the floor of the mouth, buccal mucosa (cheeks) or lateral border of the tongue. We do know that aphthous ulcerations are related to stress, smoking, etc and tend to last longer and be more painful in people living with HIV/AIDS. Should you worry that you may be at risk for cold sores now? No.

If, on the other hand, your partner had a herpetic outbreak or cold sore on the lip, then you should avoid the affected area.

Bottom line: from what you have described, the benefits of a little "dry kiss" far outweigh any concerns you may have about now being at risk for aphthous ulcerations.

Take care,


Pain on those circumvalle Papillae bumps

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