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What are the chances of getting herpes and HPV from oral sex?

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Practicing since : 2005
Answered : 3163 Questions
Dear Doctor,

Topic: STD paranoia or reasonable fear or risk?

I am a 28 year old XXXXXXX male that has been in a 7 month monogamous relationship (from late XXXXXXX to now). Neither my partner nor I have shown any signs of STDs since we started being sexually active (July). Both of us are HIV neg.

My fear is over the other more commonly transmitted STDs...Herpes and HPV. Partner claims he has never had an STD in his entire life. I believe him but I guess I have some trust issues. As for myself, I was last blood tested for everything under the sun (Hepes 1 and 2, HIV, Clamydia, etc.) etc. in March 2012 and nothing was found. I’ve also had two of the three Gardisil shots.

We do use condoms for anal sex although more recently, we've fooled around with oral sex, and there has not been condom usage. My concern is the risk for oral sex, again---mainly Herpes and HPV...because once you get it, you cannot get rid of it. After every sexual activity, I find myself panicking the next day, routinely examining my mouth in the mirror.

As I understand it, Herpes usually shows in a few weeks and HPV, within 1-3 months.

I realize that some one who is sexually active is never “in the clear,” but wouldn’t it be fair to suggest that after 7 months, one would be somewhat more “in the clear” than not?

Sorry to be so long winded. I appreciate your advice.
Posted Thu, 14 Feb 2013 in Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Answered by Dr. Rhea Chanda 1 hour later
I do understand what you fear.Let me be clear here.These stds that you fear like herpes and HPV definitely may be cause for concern. As you have rightly said, you can never be completely out of danger of contracting the disease. I suggest that you use condoms whenever possible. Yes,oral sex can transmit herpes,so you need to be careful. The point here is that as long as both of you are in a monogamous relationship,and have clean healths then there should be no risk of contracting the disease. I suggest that you have a yearly health check up done with all blood tests just to be sure yourself. Here the element of trust comes in where you talk with your partner about fidelity so that both of you cab remain healthy.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What are the chances of getting herpes and HPV from oral sex? 7 hours later

What is the probability if transmission of Herpes or H.P.V. through oral sex (like fellatio) even if no sores or visual symptoms are present?

As for the yearly check up, what should I ask to be tested for?

Does the fact that I received 2 of the 3 Gardisil shots help at all?
Answered by Dr. Rhea Chanda 1 hour later
More than 90% of the time herpes will have open sores. Without sores its almost unlikely to occur. Hpv on the other hand may or may not have any lesions. Gardasil definitely helps so complete the dose. You should have a routine health checkup and ask for blood std panel.The way i see it if both of you are healthy and committed the chances of contracting anything are low.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: What are the chances of getting herpes and HPV from oral sex? 46 hours later
Indeed we are both healthy. Neither of us have ever had a "documented" STD/STI. Still, the thought that Herpes or HPV can be trasmitted without visual symptoms makes me very uneasy.

I will complete the Gardisil shots and try to get into the habit of using condoms for oral activity.

Is it true that HPV can cause neck cancer?
Answered by Dr. Rhea Chanda 1 hour later
As i have mentioned earlier,herpes usually has visual symptoms but HPV can have a latent appearance.It more common as a cause for cancer in women instead of men though if the infection occurs,there is always a possibility of pre cancerous lesions.
HPV can sometimes cause oral lesion,if thats what you mean by 'neck cancer'.If your Gardasil shots are done then dont think you have that to worry about.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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