Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

Transmission of HSV 1/

Hello. I have recently begun a relationship with a woman who has type HSV 1 genital herpes. She was diagnosed at an STI clinic (definitely HV 1 not HSV 2) some time ago and has told me about it.

I have had HSV1 on my lips for 35 years (have not had an outbreak for 5 years).

My question is if we were to begin a sexual relationship, which we would like to, what is my risk of HSV 1 transmitting to my genitals as well or is that not possible as I have the antibody now.

I look forward to your answer.
1 Responses
207091 tn?1337709493
COMMUNITY LEADER
Good for you for getting info before totally reacting.

Since you have hsv1 antibodies already, these will protect you from getting it again in another location on your body. Also, ghsv1 doesn't shed nearly as much as ghsv2, nor does it recur as much.

My advice would be to only avoid sexual contact if she has an actual outbreak when there is the most virus present (and which is good to avoid introducing other bacteria into her outbreak, helping it heal with less irritation, etc.), and you should be fine.

I wouldn't worry at all if I were you.
4 Comments
Thanks and very helpful.

Would you know the answer to the following?

If the antibodies I have from HSV 1 on my mouth would stop me from getting HSV 1 on my genitals why is it that you can still get recurrences on your lips (although I have not for a while) even though you have the antibodies.

I'd be interested if you know..

That's the way the virus works. Your antibodies are making the recurrences milder than what they might be, even though they don't prevent them.

Herpes resides in nerves, and occasionally, it becomes active again and recurs with a sore. Once you get it (or any other germ), your body starts to make antibodies.

Maybe think of it like getting a flu shot. It doesn't always provide 100% from getting the flu, but if you do, you will likely be less sick for a shorter period of time than had you not gotten the flu shot. That's what antibodies do for us.

Does that help?
Thanks. So could I get the virus genitally but it is just always kept at bay by the antibodies I have already generated.

Would oral sex, me to her, pose any risk if I have HSV 1 orally and she genitally?

No, your antibodies would prevent a new infection genitally for you. Genital hsv1 is almost never transmitted genitally to genitally, and herpes of either type is rarely transmitted genitally to mouth.

Since she has it genitally, and you have it orally, you can perform oral on her without risk.

In both cases - you to her and her to you - I would just advise that you both avoid contact in the area if either of you have symptoms. If she has genital symptoms, I'd avoid contact with her genitals (no genital to genital contact), and if you have oral symptoms, avoid kissing her if she doesn't already have oral hsv1. When someone has an outbreak, that's the time that there is the most virus, and that would be the only time that transmission could, in theory, occur. It's not at all likely, since you have antibodies, but if you are aiming for no risk, that's what I'd do.

Really, you should be fine, and I wouldn't worry at all.
Have an Answer?

You are reading content posted in the Herpes Community

Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
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.
Frequency of HIV testing depends on your risk.
Discharge often isn't normal, and could mean an infection or an STD.
STDs aren't transmitted through clothing. Fabric is a germ barrier.