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Ask Dr. K
GET HERPES FROM MY SISTER?

QUESTION
My sister has herpes. She doesn't want to talk about it, no less answer my questions. I am a bit afraid to be around her, though, because Iím afraid I might catch it. Can I get herpes if she takes a sip of my drink? Or can I get it from using the same toilet?

ANSWER
You didn't say where her herpes infection is located on her body: Is it in the form of a cold sore (fever blister) on her lip (known as oral herpes) or is it a genital infection?

If she has genital herpes, you cannot get it from casual contact such as during hugging, sharing clothes or from sharing a toilet seat. Genital herpes is spread via sex. If she has cold sores on her mouth (oral herpes), that can definitely be spread by kissing.

Herpes infections stay in the body for life, but most people learn to cope and adjust. Your interactions with your sister don't need to change. Being informed is the best medicine. You might learn about herpes yourself, and/or direct your sister to the City Clinic website for up-to-date information.

To your health,
Dr. K


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Last modified on Wednesday, November 18, 2009.
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