This forum is an un-mediated, patient-to-patient forum for questions and support regarding herpes issues such as: Herpes symptoms and treatments, causes, diagnosis, and herpes in men, tests, telling your spouse or partner.
I was hoping to gain some perspective on a scary situation for myself. I have since childhood suffered with the odd cold sore. This morning my boyfriend and I had oral and regular sex, after I noticed that I had a red spot on my lip. It doesn't feel like a typical cold sore however I am now worried that I have exposed my boyfriend and myself to genital herpes. What are the chances that HSV1 could develop into HSV2 in this situation?
Since you've had cold sores since childhood, which is HSV-1, you are immune or at the very least highly resistant to acquiring genital HSV-1. If you think about it, many babies get oral HSV-1, and babies are prone to touching their whole bodies, so if HSV-1 could be transmitted easily, then we'd see plenty of babies walking around with genital HSV-1. Thankfully, we do not see this.
Your oral HSV-1 could be transmitted to your partner through oral sex if your partner doesn't have oral HSV-1 himself, but you two will not ping pong a shared HSV-1 infection to other parts of your body such as the genitals even if you did give him genital HSV-1.
There is no way that you can give him HSV-2 since you don't have HSV-2, and the only thing he's at risk for is HSV-1 if he doesn't already have it orally. If he does have oral or genital HSV-1, it's pretty much a non issue going forward in regards to precautions since as stated above, you won't ping pong HSV-1 back to each other in different locations.
If this is in fact a cold sore that's in the beginning stages, it's definetely possible for him to contract it genitally if he doesn't have an established infection orally. Oral HSV-1 can shed and be contagious up to 18% of days per year, so if he doesn't have oral HSV-1, and didn't contract it genitally from this exposure then you should notify him of the risks involved. HSV-1 is a common virus that most adults carry, so it's likely he already has this. Has your partner ever been tested for HSV-1? If not, he should be tested, and if he comes up positive then it's really a non issue.
I was just under the impression that HSV-1 can mutate into HSV-2 if exposed to the genital area. To my knowledge I've never been tested for any HSV types I've just had about 4 cold sores across my 24yrs. My boyfriend is my first sexual partner and I'm his second. He has had a cold sore or two as a kid but none in adulthood
As Grace pointed out, you both really should be tested. Herpes is a common virus regardless of type. You both have oral HSV-1. Depending on age, HSV-1 infects between 50-90% of adults while HSV-2 infects 1 in 5 depending on age as well. Even if your boyfriend has only had one partner in the past, both of you should get tested; it's much better to know than to worry.
It appears that both of you have HSV-1, and most adults carry it. It's common for people to get a couple of cold sores (HSV-1) as kids then never get them again, so since it appears you both have HSV-1, it's not an issue in your relationship sexually (oral or genital sex). There is no way HSV-1 can develop into HSV-2; they're two completely different strains.
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