Myth: My partner and I only have oral sex but not intercourse, so I am safe from contracting herpes.
Fact: Most type 1 genital herpes is transmitted by unprotected oral sex. The type 1 herpes virus can be spread through oral sex; meaning, if your partner has a cold sore, herpes can be transmitted to you in the form of genital herpes. Conversely, the opposite is true; if your partner has genital herpes, it can be transmitted to you in the form of cold sores. It is important to use barrier protection (dental dams or Saran wrap that is non-microwaveable) during oral sex. In fact, you should always use safer sex, even when you are asymptomatic (no sores are present). Please see our safer sex page for more information.