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Tested positive for herpes. Have white dot on labia. Can I transmit herpes to others?

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Practicing since : 1999
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First, 25 years ago I positive for herpes 6. I had a small white dot (not a lesion) on my labia. Today a doctor told me that herpes 6 is not sexually transmitted. Is that true? If so, how did I get it and can I transmit it to another person?
Second, about 5 years ago I had a cold sore? Is that a different virus? How can I know if I am a risk for transmitting that virus?
Posted Tue, 30 Apr 2013 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 9 minutes later
Hello, I would be happy to help you with your question.

Herpes that is associated with genital lesions is either HSV-1 or HSV-2. I have no idea what herpes-6 is related to nor do we test for it in regular practice. So, it sounds like someone thought you might have had herpes (but did not explain it that well to you) and the fact that you have not had a problem for 25 years suggests that it was NOT the herpes that we typically associate with the sexually transmitted type - so your doctor was probably right!

Cold sores are causes by herpes virus! Usually, in most cases, it is related to HSV-1. If you have symptoms of a cold sore, or a visible lesion, then you need to avoid direct contact with your partner. Otherwise, you really have little to worry about.

I hope that this helps. Please ask if you have any followup questions.
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Follow-up: Tested positive for herpes. Have white dot on labia. Can I transmit herpes to others? 8 hours later
Thanks. Some further clarification: I had this small white spot on my labia, not an open sore and not painful, which was discovered by my ob-gyn a few weeks before I was due to deliver my youngest child. He said a blood test for herpes was needed to see if a vaginal delivery would be safe for the baby (though, in fact, the spot was long gone by then, as it happened) The test came back positive for herpes 6. This is how it was discovered
Can you tell me how I might have acquitted herpes 6? And does this mean that the white spot on my labia 25 years ago might have been, simply, some sort of pimple and not even as an expression of the herpes 6 found in my bloodstream?
Finally, what, if any, are the symptoms of herpes 6?
Answered by Dr. Timothy Raichle 3 hours later
Hello and thank you for the followup.

There are nine different serotypes of herpes virus. Herpes virus 6 (HHV-6)infections usually occur during childhood and result in generally mild, self-limited illnesses (like the flu). From what I can find about this viral type, there is NO association with genital lesions or ulcers. So the blood test indicated prior infection, but had no implications for your pregnancy.

I can actually find little information on transmission of this virus, but since it is mostly a disease of childhood, the transmission is probably either airborn or through direct skin-to-skin contact - not sexual contact.

And yes, the white spot on your labia 25 years ago was likely NOT HSV-1 or HSV-2. It might simply have been a clogged gland. Almost certainly it was NOT related to HHV-6.

The symptoms are those that I described above. I hope that this helps and good luck!
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