Sexual Health 

Is Herpes Simplex In Bodily Fluids?

Rich Mancuso Sep 12

Is Herpes Simplex In Bodily Fluids?

"I keep reading from a bunch of websites that herpes is in my saliva, but how is this true? Other websites say that's not where it comes from; I'm so freaking confused!" - Sharon M

This is a pretty common question and I can see why it may be confusing. The quick answer is that herpes simplex virus hides within the nervous system, but any idea that you are harboring a constant supply of the herpes virus in your mouth, vagina, or other parts is not only incorrect, it's also a bit extreme.

Many websites will say that skin to skin contact is how herpes simplex is contracted. While this is true, this idiom of how herpes is transferred from one person to another lacks some clarity and definition. There is a lot more to understand.

The outer layer of your skin is mostly dead, so unless there is a microabrasion or a cut, the virus has little chance of finding a way inside. Unless of course, the virus finds epithelial cells in areas such as the mouth, eyes, vagina, anus, or the inside of the nose. Cells in these areas are easily accessible and this is why infections are commonly seen in these locations. A more in-depth look on skin to skin, here.

When the virus becomes active, it sends little particles of itself down through the nerve branch and travels to the outer layer of the skin or mucosal membranes areas; such as the mouth, eyes, nose, vagina, and anus. However, when the virus emerges in mucosal membrane areas, it will also be present at the same time with any fluids that exist there.

Studies have shown that the herpes virus has a much longer life span in warm wet areas than on surfaces.{1} It should also be evident that these moist areas can provide a much smoother ride in its journey to find a new host. However, we need to be very clear that herpes is NOT inside semen or the blood. 

Here is an example.

Pretend that you are looking at a small lake filled with water (your mouth). Out of nowhere, floating debris and garbage show up on the surface (herpes). It wasn't there before, but now it's present. For some reason this happens once in a while. You can now see how it's possible that saliva and other fluids can help the virus continue its journey so that it may find another host. . . same space, same time.

I hope this helped in some way...

Medical vector created by brgfx -

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