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Ask Dr. K

About six weeks ago, I gave oral sex to a man I'm dating. I was diagnoses with Herpes Simplex I about a year ago. I'm concerned because recently I've had a sore throat. I seem to have polyps or blisters on the back of my throat. They look like liquid-filled bubbles - they are not white - and one has already popped and scabbed over. I'm wondering if this is a herpes outbreak or if I could have HPV on the back of my throat? I have no knowledge of my partner having HPV, but who knows? I'm looking forward to your answer.

Even though I'm a medical doctor, I cannot make this type of diagnosis unless I see you as part of a medical examination. Please make an appointment with your doctor today.

While the symptoms you describe could be oral herpes, the only way to know for sure would be to see your doctor and get tested. Since you currently have visible symptoms, I recomment getting a culture test within the first 48 hours after symptoms appear. Beyond 48 hours, there is a risk of receiving a false negative test result because the sores may have begun to heal leaving too little virus on the skin to culture. Just so you know, a variety of other common viral infections including cold viruses, Coxsackie viruses, and entero viruses, among others, can cause sores and blisters in the throat. HPV does not usually cause blistering. See information at to find out more about herpes and HPV.

To your health,
Dr. K

Last modified on Thursday, November 19, 2009.
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