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Monday, September 27, 2010 dave, Community Member, asks

Q: Can Cold Sores Cause Genital Warts

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Answers (2)
Lene Andersen, Health Guide
9/27/10 12:37pm

cold sores and genital warts are two different things. Cold sores are caused by the herpes virus which can be transmitted to your partner during sex, e.g., if you have a cold sore on your lip and are performing oral sex on your partner. If you or your partner get cold sores, be very careful during sex - herpes is for life. It may be a good idea to use a dental dam and if you can't find one in your local drugstore, you can look for it online or make one yourself out of a condom (if you or your partner have a latex allergy, use a latex free condom).


For more information, check out our HerpesConnection.

n_ebel, Community Member
7/ 6/11 9:24am


Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV) -1 is most often the virus associated with oral herpes (aka: cold sores), but can also be transferred to the genitals during oral sex... 


Same goes with HSV-2 "genital" herpes - can be transferred to the mouth during oral sex...


Best advice I can give you: avoid contact with any kind of sore on your significant other...

Another tid-bit of information:

1.  Genital herpes can be spread with a condom (much less likely though), if the person infected is having a "flair up" on skin not covered by the condom.. 

2. herpes is permanent: even if you only get the blisters once, that doesn't mean you are safe from spreading it to others so wear a condom at all times to prevent transmitting it to your partner during "asymptomatic shedding" periods

3. a standard STD test/screen does NOT typically include HSV.. it would be a blood test to see if your immune system has "seen" the virus, and not necessarily whether or not you still have the virus in your body and can spread it  (some people never get the full infection so the test would show up positive without them having the disease)... But if you have the sores present then a diagnosis can be made

4. Life isn't over with herpes.. there are many ways to deal with the infection:

   - tell your partner's BEFORE becoming intimate about your status (you would want to know, right?)

 -  There are daily "prophylactic" treatments to help reduce viral shedding when you don't have any symptoms (ie: valacyclovir [valtrex])

 - the most recent CDC statistic is that in people between the ages of 14 and 49 years old, 1 in 5 women, and 1 in 9 men test "sero-positive"

 - unfortunately, the numbers are higher in different racial/ethnic groups: for African americans : 2 out of 5 people have HSV 2 (or have been exposed to it), and African american women have an outstandingly high rate of almost 1/2 (48%)!


For more info see CDC..

ashamed to be sick, Community Member
4/11/13 8:21pm

my husband passed hsv1 to me through oral sex. Does that mean I will have horrible break outs for the rest of my life? or after the first initial break out does it stop happening? I know the virus stays in my system but I needed to know about the break outs.

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By dave, Community Member— Last Modified: 04/11/13, First Published: 09/27/10