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HSV 1/Herpes Zoster Question
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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HSV 1/Herpes Zoster Question

Hi - Thank you in advance for your time.  I would like to know 1. The chances I have given my husband HSV 1 on his genitalia and 2. Signs we should be looking out for to know if we need to be concerned.  He and I have never have had a cold sore or herpe on any part of our bodies.  However, this is where the story begins.. On day 1, I become ill and shrugged it off as a stomach virus.  Day 2, I started to feel odd tingles throughout my face (lips, nose, below my eye).  Day 3, I thought for sure I had a sinus infection but could see a of couple red spots throughout my face and on this day I gave my husband oral sex.  Day 4, I find out at my primary Dr. that I have herpes zoster on the middle branch of my face and that it was in fact on part of my lip where a blister did form on this day (day 4). It has been 9 days now and I have been asking him how his genitalia is looking but I dont want to stress him out too much as we have enough daily life stress as it is.  Our primary Dr. said to of course, sustain from oral sex which we did after we find out what was on my face but I didnt think to ask about the chances of transmitting it to him before the blisters had started.  Also, I have HSV 1 now forever, correct?  And it will just depend on how my body reacts to it as to how often I will develop cold sores?  Help understanding the viruses and symptoms of transmitting it to my husband to look out for would be greatly appreciated.  
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Welcome to our Forum.  I'll try to help. I think that you may be confused.  Herpes zoster is caused by the varicella zoster virus which, while related to HSV-1 an HSV-2 is an entirely different virus.  Varicella zoster virus (VZV) is the virus which causes chicken pox and when a person gets VSV ("shingles") as you did, it is not a newly acquired infection but typically recurrence of infection acquired years ago, usually in childhood.  Presuming that your husband either had chicken pox himself, he cannot get infection from contact with you.  Thus if your facial rash is VZV, you i not put your husband at risk for infection.

As a side note, I presume the your doctor has put you an anti-viral therapy for your VZV.  rugs such as valacyclovir hasten healing significantly.  

I hope this comment is helpful.  EWH
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Dr. Hook,

Thank you for the quick response.  Your assumption that he has had chicken pox is correct.  I do want to make sure I completely understand though - So even though the herpes zoster reached my lip and looks like a cold sore, I cannot transmit it to my husbands genitalia like a cold sore could?  Will I have reoccurring blisters on my lips now?

Thank you, thank you for your help.
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Correct. Cold sores are caused by a different virus.  You should not get recurrences of your herpes zoster on your lip.  EWH
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Thank you for you help.  This forum is a wonderful idea.
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