May 25, 2021 at 9:22 am #73705LearningMoreParticipant
First, thank you for all the information you provide! I wanted to ask you a question about a potential nonsexual exposure to HSV2.
For background, I am an adult male with oral HSV1 and tested negative for HSV2 on 5/23/21. It has been over a year since my last sexual experience so I feel confident that result was accurate.
On that very same day after I got my test done, I hung out with a friend who I know has a genital HSV2 infection. We did not have sex – it was a purely platonic hangout.
When we greeted each other, he pulled me in for a “bear hug” where my leg briefly brushed his. Later, I noticed that he had a bump on the front of his thigh, about midway between his knee and his hip. The shorts he was wearing didn’t cover that area, so the bump was exposed.
I’m concerned the bump may have been a herpes lesion. It’s hard for me to say for sure exactly which part of my leg touched his (or if I even touched the bump). Since I was wearing shorts that came down to the top of my knees, I think the highest point on my body that could have touched his would have been the very bottom of my thigh, where it joins my knee.
Which brings me to my question: are other parts of the body outside of the genital area susceptible to HSV2 infection if they come in contact with a lesion? I wasn’t sure if the sacral nerve extended down that far or if HSV2 “liked” the nerves in that area. I also wasn’t sure whether a brief contact was enough to transmit the virus or if it would need to be “worked in” with friction.
To be honest, I’m not sure whether or not the bump really was a herpes lesion. If you forced me to choose, I’d probably say it wasn’t – it was a single, well defined bump (maybe folliculitis?) that didn’t have the “little bubble” vesicles that I’ve come to recognize in my cold sores. But for purposes of discussion, let’s say it WAS a herpes lesion and that the area around my knee touched it.
Thank you for any insight you can provide!
May 25, 2021 at 4:19 pm #73722Terri WarrenKeymaster
The contact you had with your friends poses absolutely no risk of getting herpes whatsoever. If it was a herpes lesion, which I doubt, the skin of the thigh is too thick for virus to penetrate. This should not worry you any longer.
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