Herpes Expert Forum
Genital HSV 1
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Welcome to the Herpes forum. This forum is for questions and support pertaining to herpes simplex virus infections (HSV-1 and 2) and herpes zoster (shingles) and the virus that causes it, varicella zoster virus. Questions about genital herpes are welcome both here and on the STD Forum.

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Genital HSV 1

My question is in regards to genital HSV 1. Awhile back I started dating a woman who disclosed to me she has genital HSV 1. I really care for this person. So I did my due diligence researching the virus. I was amazed to realize how prevalent HSV 1 is. I decided to go tested for myself even though I have never experienced any type of symptom. I was tested with a type specific and the results had come back positive for 1 negative for 2. I couldn’t believe it. However, the Dr. who gave me the results had said the range was very low and suggested that I get retested. I retested with the Western Blot which then again confirmed positive 1. So getting back to my question- I am in such a dilemma with this woman I have been seeing because I would feel like such a hypocrite for not pursuing a relationship because of what she has even though I carry the same virus and for all I know I could have it in the very same location. The consensus that I have been seeing online is that once infected in one location its unlikely to get it in another. So if I were to have oral HSV 1 which I cannot be 100 % sure since I have never experienced a symptom but statistic would point that direction it would be safe to say that it would be very unlikely that I would catch it genitally from this woman? How unlikely? I have had someone tell me it’s like catching the chickenpox twice it has happened but so unlikely. How accurate is that? In your experiences have you ever come across a case where someone has caught genital HSV 1 after already having been exposed to oral HSV 1? Where is current research in curing/permanently treating this virus? And I guess my bigger question is since I have never experienced a symptom would I ever know if I caught it genitally from this woman if the virus were to be transferred? Or  would I just have to assume that if we started to have sex that there is a possibility I caught it but won’t really know for sure. Thank you.
55646_tn?1263664409
In thirty years of practice, I have seen one possible case of someone who had a described history of HSV 1 orally acquiring it genitally.  

If I were in your situation (and I have been), I would have absolutely no fears about getting HSV 1 genitally (in the even that you don't have it already).  You would know that you have it genitally if you had a sore that tested positive.  But you wouldn't know if it was because you had it already or because you acquired it from this person.  Which is kind of what you said.  

So in summary, would you miss a relationship with a lovely person because they have what you have, and you don't know where you have it and you might never have symptoms and you might have it already anyway?  Every person has to come up with their own answers, but I know what mine would be as a professional well educated in this particular area.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you Terri for putting things into perspective for and reassuring me there is nothing to fear.
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55646_tn?1263664409
no problem.

Terri
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Avatar_m_tn
Hey Terri I came up with another question hopefully it is still okay to ask.

Since I have never shown signs of a symptom or at least signs big enough to recognize is there any relation to how much resistance/immunity I have to an exposure in a different location?  As I stated in my first question when I took the blood test my range was so low I needed to retest to confirm. Does this mean my antibody count is low therefore I may not be protected very much?  
Also do most initial exposures of genital hsv 1 cause symptoms. I've gone for who knows how many years being positive satistically orally without knowing, if I were to become infected genitally would I know or would it be a mystery too? Thank you so much for your time.
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55646_tn?1263664409
The level of the index value on the antibody test has nothing to do with level of immune function.  Many people who get HSV 1 or 2 never know it.

Terri
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55646_tn?1263664409
Terri Warren, RN, Adult Nurse Pr...Blank
Westover Heights Clinic
Portland, OR
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