› Forums › Herpes Questions › A complicated kiss question
- This topic has 4 replies, 2 voices, and was last updated 6 months, 4 weeks ago by Terri Warren.
August 26, 2022 at 7:48 am #78543
A little bit of background: I am HSV2 positive and HSV1 negative I have had HSV2 for about 15 years. I have had unmistakable outbreaks out my genitals and have seen things on my mouth that have me wonder if I have a concurrent type 2 infection orally which I know rare but is sometimes the case especially with gay men such as myself.
Here’s what happened:
On Tuesday I was on a long bus ride and I felt a whooshing sensation in my penis. I started to think that maybe I was getting an outbreak.
On Wednesday I noticed what looked like a small kinda circular ulceration or fissure on my lips. My lips have been very dry because we are having incredible hot weather where I am, but I also thought maybe I was having some kind of minor HSV2 outbreak on my lip. By the way, I never got any outbreak on my genitals following the whooshing sensation.
On Thursday I went out to a bar with a friend. I struck up a conversation with this guy who tried to kiss me as we said goodbye. I gave him the cheek and kissed him on his so that his lips would not be exposed to mine. All in all I gave him about 2 or 3 kisses on the cheek. Now I am worried that his cheek was exposed to my ulceration/fissure. Is that a possible route of transmission or is the cheek skin too thick to be a cause for infection. I’m almost positive I made no contact with his actual lips with mine but I guess its possible I made contact with the side of his lips. And truth be told Im not even sure what I have is HSV2 orally. But what else would cause a single small circular ulceration/fissure? Maybe it’s simply from my skin being dry.
As you can probably tell I feel very guilty about the whole thing and could use your expertise. Is this a non-issue or should I be worried?
Thanks Terri, and thank you for this forum!
August 26, 2022 at 10:11 am #78546
Just to be clear, whatever that thing on my lip was had not fully healed when I kissed him on the cheek those two or three times. I know you don’t really have to worry about a cheek kiss when there are no visible symptoms…but I’m not sure how worried I should be considering that I DID have visible symptoms
August 28, 2022 at 8:36 am #78567Terri WarrenKeymaster
I’m glad you are posting here because there is a simple answer to a question that has been bothering you.
First, I would suggest that if you get something like this again, that you have it swab test by PCR.
Second, the kisses on the cheek present no risk for HSV 2 (if that’s what it is and I doubt it) transmission. The skin of the cheek is too thick for virus to penetrate. Transmkission happens when two mucous membranes get exposed to each other. This didn’t happen in your situation. You need not feel any guilt about this.
August 28, 2022 at 10:13 am #78569
Thank you so much for this info. I feel much better about what happened!! If this happens again I will do my best to get a swab as you have recommended. Fifteen years down the road my symptoms are incredibly infrequent either genitally or orally. Id say I get noticeable symptoms once every couple of years. And I’m not even sure if I have oral HSV2…just a suspicion.
I have a quick follow up: Hypothetically, if someone who has an active HSV sore on their mouth would a quick peck on the lips be any less likely to transmit HSV than a lingering, romantic kiss? Or is all lip contact of any kinda a risk when someone has an active sore?
(I ask this as an HSV2 positive person. I’m not sure if a quick peck has more or less of a risk depending on the HSV type).
Thanks again, Terri! As someone with HSV, I really appreciate you and this forum! It is an excellent resource for me as I try to navigate my love life with this virus.
August 29, 2022 at 2:05 pm #78585Terri WarrenKeymaster
Yes, the more contact, the wetter and longer, the more risk there is of transmission. But your HSV 2 is genital and I doubt you have it orally.
You are most welcome. I’m glad you find the forum useful!
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