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HSV-1 - multiple strains?
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HSV-1 - multiple strains?

My wife has gotten cold sores frequently since childhood so she presumably has HSV-1. I have kissed her and received oral sex from her many times but have never had a cold sore or sign of genital herpes.

Four months ago I had protected vaginal sex with a different woman who then told me she has herpes. She has had it for 25 years and has never had a recurrence that she knows of. She was tested via the BioPlex 2200 HSV-1 & HSV-2 IgG, once right after we had sex and again about 3 months later (for verification) - both times the results were positive for HSV-1 and negative for HSV-2.

My concerns are:

1) if I picked up HSV-1 genital from this woman, could I ever give it to my wife?

2) Are there different strains of HSV-1, such that a person could be infected with different strains in different locations, or even more than one strain in the same location? (I don't mean HSV-1 vs. HSV-2, just different strains of HSV-1.)

3) Is it biologically possible that I could get HSV-1 oral and/or genital from my wife, and then give her HSV-1 genital?
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If you acquired HSV 1 from the other woman, it would be highly unlikely that you would give it to your wife because she already has HSV 1.  There are different strains of HSV 1, but its also quite unlikely that a person would have more than one strain of the same virus type.  The answer to the third question is the same, it would be very unlikely for your wife to get HSV 1 genitally from you since she has it orally.  If you've not acquired HSV 1 from your wife by now, the chances of that happening decrease over time.  The same probably applies to the other person as well.

Terri
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