Can You Get Herpes From Shaking Hands?

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Can You Get Herpes From Shaking Hands?

Can you get herpes when you drink after someone?  Can you get herpes when you share a towel?  How about when you use the same bathwater? Do you get herpes from blood?  What about from a toilet seat?  Can you get herpes from cuddling or shaking hands? The resounding and clear answer to all of these questions is a definite no.

You can only get herpes from skin-to-skin contact. You even can get herpes when there are not any visible signs of it on your skin. This is referred to as “viral shedding.” The type of skin-to-skin contact we are discussing is mouth-to-genital or genital-to-genital for the most part.

Herpes may only be transmitted when there is easy access to the body, so some type of superficial cut, mucous membrane or abrasion need to be present so that the virus has access. Generally, that type of transmission occurs through the friction and rubbing that occurs during sex (either genital or oral). It is unlike that herpes will be passed through just touching skin together. 

If during herpes outbreaks you abstain from having sex, then the risk of passing it on during herpes dormancy is 3 to 8% – when passing herpes from a male to a female the risk is greater (Warren, Terri J. 2002). The risk in all sexual activity is inherent even when a condom is used since the site where the shedding or outbreak is not always covered. For additional statistics and facts, the handouts can be downloaded here: http://herpeslife.com/resources/.

Are you concerned that you may have contracted herpes? If so, visit your doctor so that you can find out for sure whether or not you have a herpes outbreak. It is useful to know whether it is HSV-2 or HSV-1.

Soon after you contract herpes, your body will develop antibodies that will enable you to determine which kind you have by having a herpes blood test done. That is a convenient way of finding out without needing to rush in to see a doctor when you have a herpes outbreak.

Are you worried about spreading herpes to other areas of your body? For what I have heard from medical professionals and individuals in my support group, along with my personal experience, it is very difficult to manually spread herpes from one part of your body to another part.

It is possible. However, it is very difficult to do. One important thing to keep in mind is for some individuals, the virus will show up in the same exact spot during every herpes outbreak, but for other individuals, their outbreaks will move somewhat (the virus may use a different “herpes highway” or nerve system in or to move to the surface of the person’s skin).

For people where it moves around somewhat, that is most likely not due to anything they have done. In order for the virus to be moved manually to another part of the body, the fluid has to be transferred from within herpes sore to a different part of the body where there is an opening (mucous membrane, cut). Since the herpes virus breaks down rapidly in the open air, that would have to occur very quickly.

If you do have any kind of paranoia that this could occur if you wash your hands after you touch herpes sore than you will be safe. One thing to be careful of is to not touch a herpes outbreak and then rub your eyes immediately. That is because your eyes are a mucous membrane so herpes may spread to your eyes and an ocular herpes outbreak could be created. That is very unpleasant.

If you have herpes already, you might feel alone having to deal with the new virus. However, the truth of the matter is, you are definitely not alone. You are only alone if you want to be. A major component to contracting herpes is wondering if you will find somebody who will accept. Yes, there is. A major part of finding somebody is to have that “dreaded herpes talk” to tell them you have herpes.

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