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Transmission of Genital HSV-1 to those that already had the symptoms orally.

I have some questions about HSV-1 that I'm hoping you all can answer.  Back in November, I was diagnosed with genital HSV-1.  My doctor said I probably was infected via receptive oral sex.  Lucky me.  My culture was positive for HSV-1, but my blood test was negative...pointing to a recent infection.   I'm still trying to gather facts to provide to anyone I should date in the future...if anyone will want me after I disclose my status to them.  I’ve only had one outbreak thus far, and I’m on Valtrex.  Anyway, here are some questions I have:

- If my partner has ORAL HSV-1, is it possible for me to spread the virus to him genitally even though the virus is already present in his body?  And...can he spread it to me orally?  Or...does it just show up in only one area of the body once you're infected?  ***After I told my ex-boyfriend about my diagnosis, he barely admitted to infecting me and acted like it wasn't a big deal.  He didn't seem worried about having unprotected sex with me after telling him.  I have a bad feeling he already knew he had this issue and has perhaps infected other women.  

- Is it possible for either one of us to cause "reinfection" to each other?  At one point he blamed me for giving him a cold sore on his mouth.  

- Even though I have HSV-1 genitally, do I need to worry about spreading it to someone orally?  I feel self-conscious about even kissing someone.   Should I worry?

-  Are there any statistics out there on the spread of genital HSV-1 via genital to genital contact?  I haven't really seen a lot out there regarding the spread of HSV-1 in that manner...just HSV-2.

My apologies if these seem like stupid questions.  However, I need to have all of the facts so I can explain this to potential partners.   Since HSV-1 is so common orally, I'm wondering if anyone testing positive for the HSV-1 antibodies and may have had a cold sore on their mouth at one point in their lives can be infected genitally.  My ex-boyfriend and I broke up about 5 months ago and I'm so ready to move on from him, but I'm afraid to because I'm so ashamed to tell people about this which saddens me.  I wish I never dated him.  

Any advice you can offer would be greatly appreciated!  Thanks so much!  
3 Responses
15249123 tn?1478652475
COMMUNITY LEADER
These are all good questions.
Genital hsv1 has few outbreaks and sheds far less than hsv2. If your partner has an oral infection than you are at no risk of passing it to their genitals. You are also not at risk getting it orally from them. So no you shouldn't worry and you can not spread your genital hsv1 through kissing or giving oral sex.

Very little studies have been done (basically none) on genital hsv1. What we do know is it is rarely passed on from genital to genital contact. The reason is how little the virus sheds and it's lack of potency when it does. I truly wouldn't worry and you odds of everything passing it on is very very small. This includes people who don't have hsv1 at all.

Hope this helps
1 Comments
I have another question.  In the answer above you stated that I cannot give my partner the virus in the genital area if I perform oral sex on him.  What about if I receive it from him?  If they don't already have it orally...are they at risk of getting it orally if they perform oral sex on me since I have genital hsv1?  I'm guessing the answer may be a "yes" in this case, but I wanted to double-check when it's the other way around.  It seems like I've read that people have contracted HSV2 from performing oral sex on partners that had genital hsv2.
15249123 tn?1478652475
COMMUNITY LEADER
All you really should disclose is that you have hsv1.the type that has cold sores. You seem to be the type of person that will feel better disclosing it. That being said if I had no hsv1 infection I would rather my partner have it of the genitals as Ithe isn't as easily spread from there.
1 Comments
Thanks, for your reply.  I probably would feel better disclosing it.  Clearly, I want to have an actual discussion at the right place, and the right time, which I know aren't right after or right before sex.  I'm not looking forward to that conversation, but I wouldn't want anybody to ever be put in the position I was in.  I have a feeling that my previous partner knew this was an issue.  Hopefully, no other women have had this issue with him.  I wouldn't wish this on anyone.  
15249123 tn?1478652475
COMMUNITY LEADER
Getting hsv2 orally is rare.
Yes you can possibly give it to someone who gives you oral sex. That being said, the odds are very very small.

I understand and completely agree with you. Timing is everything. There are a lot of folks who have hsv1 orally and don't know it. They get the infection very young and don't get cold sores anymore. It is estimated that up to 65-70% of the population have it. So you are far from alone on this.
Some women have a few outbreaks and that's it. No more outbreaks.
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