Can you get Genital Herpes from Herpes in your Mouth?

Dear Dr. Tom:

If you have oral sex with someone who is infected with herpes and get herpes in your mouth, when it reoccurs, does it then become genital herpes, or would it just reoccur in your mouth?

Dr. Tom’s Response:

Dear Anonymous:

Oral sex whether by fellatio or cunnilingus brings the virus from the penis or vagina into the mouth of the recipient. Herpetic infection of the genitalia is genital herpes. Recurrent outbreaks are most likely to occur in the mouth and adjacent areas. Self-inoculation to one’s own genitals and eyes has been reported. Also remember that this is a peculiar virus which has not read our textbooks.


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