MedHelp.org will cease operations on May 31, 2024. It has been our pleasure to join you on your health journey for the past 30 years. For more info, click here.
Avatar universal

If I have oral HSV1, am I immune to getting genital HSV1?

Hello, first off here is a little info about me: I have had oral herpes since I was a little kid. I very rarely get outbreaks on my lips in the form of cold sores.

I had a blood test done at a clinic called Planned Parenthood a couple years ago which came back positive for HSV1, but negative for HSV2.

I have had unprotected sex with a few girls this past year and I want to make sure that I did not pick up HSV1 genitally.

I have had no signs of symptoms on my genitals, no headaches, nothing at all.

Am I correct to assume that I have been safe from HSV1 infections genitally if I had unprotected sex? (my partners did not show any signs or symptoms and the time and I believed they were all negative.)

I understand that I can get HSV2 on genitals even if I have had oral HSV1 for many years.

However I am confused if I can get HSV1 on genitals or not if I have had oral HSV1 for many years.

When I went to a Planned Parenthood clinic a week ago, I spoke to their doctor and she said that I can NOT get genital HSV1 because I already have it orally.

Basically, I want to determine my genital HSV1 status If I get a blood test for HSV1 it will come back positive because I have oral HSV1, but that test won't specify if I have it genitally or not. Note that I have never had any kind of outbreak on my genitals.

I know that I am HSV2 negative, and a blood test for HSV2 will show that I am negative so I don't have to worry about HSV2 oral or genital herpes.

But since I have HSV1 orally I feel like it makes it impossible to determine if I have it genitally.
3 Responses
Sort by: Helpful Oldest Newest
Avatar universal
Correct, the immune system will essentially hold the virus to the infected location and prevent either perfectly or nearly perfectly further internal and external infection to another location.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
So, if I understand you correctly, once an individual is exposed to the virus regardless of the site, one cannot become infected with that same virus in another location?
If I have genital HSV-2 I will be immuned to infection at other locations (mouth, nose, eyes, brain)
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I do not believe there is a documented case of a male becoming infected genitally with HSV1 once they have an established oral infection.

This means that the chances are extremely low if existent at all. Further it means that even if a male becomes infected genitally, they probably won't know it nor be any different risk materially to female in which oral sex features in typical sexual activity.
Helpful - 0

You are reading content posted in the Herpes Community

Popular Resources
Herpes spreads by oral, vaginal and anal sex.
Herpes sores blister, then burst, scab and heal.
STIs are the most common cause of genital sores.
Millions of people are diagnosed with STDs in the U.S. each year.
STDs can't be transmitted by casual contact, like hugging or touching.
Syphilis is an STD that is transmitted by oral, genital and anal sex.