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What are the chances of contracting herpes through dried sores?

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HIV AIDS Specialist
Practicing since : 1974
Answered : 2400 Questions
Hi Sir/Madam, I hope that you would help me in the present situation. A week ago (on 14.01.2014), I (male, 32 years, single), indulged in sex with a guy aged around 35. I m XXXXXXX and met him over internet. We had foreplay, kissing, cuddling etc. and then I received oral sex i.e. I inserted my genitals in his mouth till ejaculation. After this, I noticed a few (may be 4 to 5 ) pea sized dried sores over his waistline and thigh (his penis appeared to be normal). On asking about the same he gave a vague answer and told me that he does not have any STD/STI/skin disease and those sores he get occasionally due to his excess fat (he was quite chubby). I too trusted him at the time but 3-4 days later while browsing over the internet I got to know more about a few STDs specially Herpes Simplex and got worried that he may have been suffering from the same and I could have contracted it from him. While cuddling, I rubbed my penis on his entire body including face, chest, belly, waist and thighs and I may have certainly rubbed my penis on those sores. Thus, during the event, I presume two activities to be risky i.e.- (A) Receiving oral sex. (B) Rubbing my penis on his body, specially sores. As of now, I am asymptomatic except having general pain in legs (muscle and joint) which I have been feeling for last two days and which may be attributable to other reasons. My questions are- 1. Considering the above facts and event, which condition he may be suffering from. 2. Have I contracted any STD from those dried sores. 3. What are the chances of having contracted Herpes from him in case, he was suffering from it. 4. Most importantly, what should I do in the present situation? SHOULD I GO FOR ANY POST-EXPOSURE-PROPHYLAXIS. Thanking you in anticipation. Regards, XXXX.
Posted Sat, 15 Feb 2014 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 4 hours later
Brief Answer: Unlikely Herpes. Impetigo is a possibility. Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX Welcome to XXXXXXX Thanks for posting your query. I can understand the genuine fear about STD. But in you case you need not worry about that. Anal intercourse is most risky among all types of sexual activities. But you did not have anal sex. Oral sex carries a very low risk for HIV/STD. 1. Genital herpes would manifest in and around genitals and anus only. It is rare to get manifestations elsewhere in the body. The lesions of your partner could be an secondary bacterial infection (impetigo), following some itchy lesions of body like a fungal(ring worm) infection of skin or Scabies. 2. You would not get any STD through those healing ulcers. 3.Unlikely to get a Herpetic infection. 4. Post exposure prophylaxis is meant mainly for HIV. If at all you want to take, it has to be given before 72 hours preferably within 24 hours. As you did not have a penetrative anal sex you don't need PEP. As you had no symptoms of itching or any sores elsewhere just forget about this incident. Your risk for STD/HIV is negligible. Try to have a protected sex in future to avoid such tension. I hope that I had answered your queries. If you have more doubts feel free to ask. Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What are the chances of contracting herpes through dried sores? 43 hours later
Thank you Sir for replying my question and relieving my anxiety up to some extent. However, I would like to seek some clarification regarding the answers provided by you as asked under- Answer No.1.- You have informed that Genital herpes would manifest in and around genitals and anus only. However, I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the sores he had were on his waist line. Also, he had one or two sores on groin (junction of the torso with the legs) and NOT ON THE THIGH AS I INADVERTENTLY MENTIONED IN MY PREVIOUS QUERY. These two areas i.e. WAIST LINE and GROIN are not very far from the genitals. Would you still say that he is unlikely to be suffering from Herpes? Answer No.3.-You have stated that in the present scenario, I am unlikely to get Herpes. However, I have come to know that the Herpes is highly contagious and transmission may also occur through skin-to-skin contact during periods of asymptomatic shedding. In view of the above, how far I am safe if I assume that he was suffering from it? Answer No.4.-I understand that PEP for HIV must be started within 72 hours at most. But I am not concerned about HIV since I did not indulge in Anal Sex and hence, HIV transmission appears to be unlikely. But I am concerned about Herpes since I had vigorous skin-to-skin contact. I want to know that- (a) Whether any PEP is available for Herpes or not? (b) If yes, then would it be to any avail to take the same considering the fact that 8 days have passed since the incident? LAST BUT NOT THE LEAST, WHAT IS YOUR OPINION- Should I contact a Dermatologist/STD Specialist immediately? or Should I wait and watch to see that whether I develop any symptoms and till when MEANS after how many days I can assume myself safe provided I do not develop any symptoms in that period. or Can I forget the incident. Thank you again for giving your valuable time. Regards, XXXX.
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 4 hours later
Brief Answer: PEP not recommended for Herpes.If nosymptom forget Detailed Answer: Hi, Welcome once again. 1. Herpes Simplex lesions are not common to get at waist line. Though uncommon, groin as a site of presentation for HSV can not be ruled out. 2. HSV is (unlike that of Herpes Zoster), common around genital and anus as in case of HSV2 and around mouth, nose and eyes in case of HSV1. Uncommon to get elsewhere in the body. So rubbing your penis over his body and over healing ulcers are unlikely to be source of HSV. It is true viral shedding persists even after healing of lesions for sometime and this confines to naso-oral region and genito-anal region and not anywhere else. 3. PEP is not recommended for HSV so far anywhere. Chemo-prophylaxis and suppressible therapies are recommended to prevent frequency of recurrence if it is more than once in a month. In my opinion, it is enough for you to wait for any symptoms to meet a Dermato-Venereologist. Not necessarily now. If there is no symptoms till six months simply forget about this incidence. Dr S.Murugan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What are the chances of contracting herpes through dried sores? 3 days later
Thank you Sir.
Answered by Dr. S. Murugan 23 hours later
Brief Answer: You are most welcome Detailed Answer: Hi XXXXXXX You are most welcome. If you don't have any more questions to ak, you can close this conversation. Wish you very happy days ahead. Dr S.muruigan
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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