Herpes Community
27.3k Members
Avatar universal

Educate a Gentleman!

Hello all... I recently started dating a girl that informed me she has recurring "cold sores", recurring approx. once every year.  Of course she informs me of this with NO active blister and after she performed oral sex on me.  I began to panic a bit b/c I know that Cold Sores are a form of Oral Herpes...HSV1.  Instead of running for the door I really wish to become educated on this topic since cold sores seem so common; although I have not had one in recent memory... ever!  
SO here it goes... this is my attempt to reassure the research and reading I have done this past week...please advise!

First Cold Sores do seem common... and I have read anywhere from 70%-80% of people, most frequently women, get cold sores.  It is NOT an STD... which I have to tell myself constantly.  The fact that I have not had one in recent memory probably has more to do with my immune system being stronger... and if I go off percentages there is a great chance I have the virus chilling in my facial nerves now, just latent?
Second HSV1 cannot transform into HSV2... which is the strain that resides in your spinal fluid and causes recurrent genital herpes; however..... and here is where I really need the advise:
You can get HSV1 genital sores that will only affect you once or twice with good medication, this is because the HSV1 is not in its normal site i.e. the facial nerves?  If you get HSV1 genital sores (which also seems rare) you do not have GENITAL HERPES HSV2?  Here is where I need advice

Bottom line NO oral sex if she has an outbreak!  NO kissing either?  Even if there was something that occurred "downstairs" HSV1 will not affect you in  the same way as HSV2? ... can they determine which kind you have, can they tell the difference due to symptoms?  Even if it happens once and it is through HSV1 do you have Genital Herpes!  Very confused with this...

Am I being too paranoid here... I want to continue dating this girl and I really want to be educated gentleman and not an ignorant kid!  Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated
15 Responses
897535 tn?1295210035
Have you ever been tested to know your own herpes status? Don't assume anything.

I have genital HSV1 from my partner performing oral sex on me (he's had oral herpes since he was a teen, we're in out forties now). He never had an OB in the 5 years we were together, but transmitted the virus to me.

HSV1 does not turn in to HSV2 on the genitals. It is HSV1, plain and simple. You can have it orally or genitally, and about 1/3 of all new genital herpes cases are in fact HSV1 (upwards of 70% amongst college-aged folks). HSV1 genitally presents the same as HSV2. Going forward, genital HSV1 tends to shed much less and cause much fewer OBs than HSV2. All of your genital herpes questions can be found in a great resource, the herpes handbook found here: http://www.westoverheights.com/genital_herpes/handbook/view_the_chapters.html

Can't imagine refraining from kissing, quite honestly. Oral sex, yes refrain during an outbreak, and realize there's still a risk with no symptoms. You could use condoms. Remember, most adults have oral herpes, no need to live in fear or paranoia. Should you decide to not continue dating this gal, or the millions of other folks with oral herpes (it's a mere pesky skin condition), you may just live a long lonely life alone. So yes, it sounds like you are paranoid and fearful of something that's really quite common and not a serious, life-threatening illness.

You can read more about oral herpes here:  http://www.ashastd.org/herpes/herpes_learn_oralherpes.cfm
Avatar universal
Thank you for your speedy response! Honestly after that I am worried even more:( which can be paranoia... I understand most people have HSV1 orally but the thought of transferring that downstairs is frightening to me!  So when someone asks the question- do u have genital herpes I must reply- yes!  My friend is a doctor and says it is transferable but kind of a one and done thing once the blister clears down there, it shouldn't pop up again if it is in fact HSV1... Not considered the recurring genital herpes even though its on your genitals??? This is where I am confused.  Her doctor says it is not transferable- I believe what they mean by that is the virus will stay HSV1 and not turn into HSV2. I read that most with HSV1 on the genitals only see symptoms again 2-5% of the time? That was on a main herpes info webpage. Due to the fact the virus is outside its normal site, not in the facial nerve. Was this the same for you? If you continue to see symptoms then yes it is a scary thought :( Do they have separate test for HSV1 and HSV2?  HSV1 blister on the genital areas mean you have Genital Herpes 100%?  Again please forgive my ignorance and I truly appreciate you sharing your experience with me!
101028 tn?1419606604
Yes you can transmit hsv1 to the genital area through oral sex. If you are concerned, only receive protected oral sex.

Yes hsv1 genitally does reoccur sometimes though the rates of recurrence in general are very low.  

yes they have separate tests for hsv1 and hsv2. If you've never been tested for herpes before, now if the time to do so while its on your mind so you can better figure out your risk in this relationship.

Avatar universal
Yea not sure what to do with this one :( it sounds like I may never have an issue with her transferring it to me, so many people have HSV1 that my chances of finding a good girl without is slim. I guess my problem is how often it occurs... HSV2 occurs frequently and HSV1 not as much, but is it once a year?  One every 10 years?  Where and how can I be checked for this virus?  I hear it is very costly too!  
Going back to an earlier post "petal" said HSV1 is HSV1 period!  But if HSV2 has the same symptoms as HSV1 on genitals than either way you have genital herpes?  HSV1 will stay on the genitals and recur frequently... Or is it a case of you being exposed again from an oral ulcer?  Seems like both are "bad" herpes but HSV1 is widley accepted as common... Sorry guys for being so confused.  I appreciate this boards patience with me
101028 tn?1419606604
1 out of every 2-3 women you've ever kissed in a lifetime has had hsv1 whether they knew it or not. Have you worried like this about any other partner?

your regular provider can order a type specific test for you. Odds are it will be covered by  your insurance.  Otherwise you can order it up yourself through www.tstd.org or www.healthcheckusa.com if either of them have a lab near you for about $100.

genital herpes is genital herpes regardless of which type you have.  The only reason knowing your type matters is so you can make educated decisions about what precautions to take with a partner.

Avatar universal
Hello again! So I finally went to the doctor to discuss my "issue"... And she said not to worry- seems like there is a ton of misinformation out there.  I was just confused.  HSV1 is very prevalent 60-90% of people have it and some never have issues... If HSV1 transfers down to your genitals location wise yes I would have genital herpes... Buts its HSV1.  The virus shouldn't flare up more than once or twice on your genitals after its treated properly...even though the virus remains in your system it would reside in your facial nerves- which chances are I already have.  HSV2 is not "bad" herpes but traditionally that is the STD and that type stays in your spinal fluid near your sacral bone and constantly flares up.  HSV1 has potential to flare up genital speaking but it would be rare- 2-5% have flare ups following the first one (this info I got off a national herpes website)- I also spent all night on youtube researching and came across a talk show with a specialist giving info on the subject- a lot of HSV1 genital cases have increased as HSV2 genital cases decrease- simply bc more people are performing oral sex and having protected intercourse.  HSV1 can potentially be more dangerous bc it can spread near your eye, ear, etc... So cause blindness but again its treated and the virus shouldn't affect you the same again, ie not on your eyeball just a traditional cold sore on your lip!  Or there is a great chance you'll never see another problem.  So even if HSV1 is transferred on my genitals in the doctors words the virus is for life but the flare up should be a one and done thing.  If it manifests again it should manifest as a cold sore on your lip or face... Bc that's HSV1's home base! This is the 3rd medical professional that has told me this info.... Good advice?  
Have an Answer?
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Here are 16 facts you need to know to protect yourself from contracting or spreading a sexually transmitted disease.
How do you keep things safer between the sheets? We explore your options.
Can HIV be transmitted through this sexual activity? Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia answers this commonly-asked question.
A breakthrough study discovers how to reduce risk of HIV transmission by 95 percent.
Dr. Jose Gonzalez-Garcia provides insight to the most commonly asked question about the transfer of HIV between partners.
The warning signs of HIV may not be what you think. Our HIV and STD expert Sean Cummings reports in-depth on the HIV "Triad" and other early symptoms of this disease.