My partner and I both have herpes 1 and 2. If he has a coldsore on his lip should we avoid kissing and oral sex?
1)There are two strains of herpes. Those strains are HSV-1 and HSV-1. HSV-1 is oral herpes 90-95% of the time and genital herpes 5-10% . HSV-2 is genital 90-95% of the time and oral herpes 5-10%. If a couple has only oral HSV-1 one partner's oral herpes outbreaks won't have a great impact on the other partner. It is not possible to pass oral HSV-1 to a partner who already has oral HSV-1. If a one partner has oral HSV-2 (less common type of oral herpes) and if one partner has oral HSV-1 both strains of herpes could spread by kissing. In that situation both partners may come in contact with a strain of herpes he/she doesn't have.
Herpes could spread by oral, anal and/r vaginal sex. Dental dam could be used to reduce the chance of passing herpes to a partner by oral sex.
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2) If you and your partner both have oral HSV-1 (no other STD's orally) kissing is safe. Remember 5-10% HSV-2 is oral herpes. HSV-1 usually causes oral herpes outbreaks and HSV-1 is usually spread by kissing. HSV-2 is usually spread by vaginal sex. If a partner has an active herpes sores I would suggest taking a break from kissing to be 100% safe. If you want to read more about this topic check out the web site below.