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Herpes/HIV coinfection
May 27, 2013

Hello, I am sorry to hear about Dr. Bob. After reading some of testimonials, it seems Dr. Bob positively touched a lot of lost souls and helped them figure out a path for this horrific disease. My question involves oral licking. I was with a woman who was HIV+ and has oral herpes (but no active lesions)--I applaud her openess and she was the one to refer me to this site. We mutually masterbated for 20 min and then she proceeded to lick my penis on the shaft without a condom with no sucking and nothing on the head/tip about 10 times(I know it was foolish but got caught up in the moment). I know the risk is low for HIV in normal circumstances but I was wondering if the masterbation would increase the likeihood of HIV transmission. Also, I could not find stats for possible herpes infection given she did not have any lesions. I am having anxiety over this and would appreciate your help. Thank you and Happy Memorial Day tomorrow!

Response from Dr. Wohl

There is no risk for HIV here. HIV is not transmitted by casual contact with infected fluids. The virus does not penetrate the skin (little cuts or abrasions do not allow entry of HIV). Oral fluid is not contagious for HIV.

Now, herpes simplex virus (HSV) is a bit of a different story. This virus can be transmitted more casually. As many know, there are two types of HSV, numbers 1 and 2. Classically, we considered HSV-1 to be a mouth virus that causes cold sores and HSV-2 its black sheep sister that produced genital lesions. We now appreciated that HSV-2 can be in the mouth and HSV-1 can lead to genital ulcers.

Most of us get HSV-1 so that is not really avoidable. HSV-2 is more likely to be sexually transmitted and can be shed even when no lesions are present. If you are concerned about HSV-2, you can be tested to see if you have antibodies (you might from a prior encounter). You can test again in a few weeks although I suspect this will be negative.

DW



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