A service provided by the BC Centre for Disease Control
Can I give my partner oral sex if I have HSV-2 and I have an outbreak and he doesn't?

If you have an active HSV-2 outbreak and your partner does not have HSV-2 it is  okay to perform oral sex on him as long as your outbreak is not around your mouth and there is no contact with the area of your outbreak.

The HSV is found on and around the site of the outbreak so as long as there is no contact with this area, there is no chance of passing the virus to your partner.

Please leave a comment to let us know if this answers your question or if you need more information.

Health Nurse

For other readers, please feel free to leave a comment, or let us know if this was helpful.

This answer was posted on August 18, 2014

Community comments

HSV2sad says:

me with HSV2 , I was transmitted from a guy 5 months ago. I had symptom right after having sex with him for first time, went to clinic got medicine/gel type cream...it was gone after. - Now i'm seeing someone, made out with him last night...I didn't have a gut to tell him that I have HSV2.... We kissed, I gave him oral sex shortly.......then we had sex with condom.

My question is 1)is it okay that I gave him oral sex? 2)would my bodily fluid(cum) could transmit HSV2 on his thigh skin as he was pleasing me with his finger?

I feel so bad that I didn't tell him about my STD..............and so worried if he'd be transmitted....
Please tell me what's gonna happen to him.....because of me..... I feel horrible... :( I am horrible person...

Health Nurse says:

You would not pass genital HSV-2 to someone by performing oral sex on them. With genital HSV-2 the HSV would just be around the genital area and the person would need to have direct contact with that area for any chance of HSV being passed.

It is possible for HSV to be in the genital area from viral shedding even if someone is not having an outbreak. This shedding is on the skin so can be in the fluid and could pass, but you really need direct contact and rubbing/grinding. Even if someone was shedding it would be a low chance of passing HSV with the sex you have described. In the clinic we don’t really see HSV passing like this as it still needs to get past the first layer of dry skin and we find that the dry skin on the fingers, hands and thighs is usually thick.


Health Nurse says:

When a person with genital HSV is having vaginal sex, not having sex during an outbreak and using a condom will really reduce the chances of passing it to someone. The only other thing you can do to reduce the risk would be to take antiviral medication on a daily basis.


Health Nurse says:

What you are feeling is so common with people who have HSV. There is a lot of stigma attached to having HSV on the genitals, even though HSV is very common. This can make it stressful for people who want to talk to their partners.

Have a look at our Patient’s Guide on our HSV web page it has some great information about HSV and how to talk with partners.

It can also be helpful to talk to someone about how you’re feeling. Let us know if you need help finding someone to talk to in your area.

Let us know if you have any more questions or concerns.


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