I am a woman in my early twenties. About four months ago, my former partner had a small cold sore on his lip (at the time I didn't realize it was a cold sore), and he preformed oral sex on me. About a week after this incident, I got a fever and noticed a few painful bumps around the opening of my vagina. I also got a few sores inside my mouth (nothing visible, just painful), but they didn't look like typical lip blisters, so I am not sure if I ever even got oral HSV 1 from the incident. I saw my gynecologist and she preformed a swab of the genital lesions a few days later. It came back positive for HSV 1. I went on valtrex to get rid of the lesions, and they disappeared on my genitals in about a week. Since then, I have had no outbreaks anywhere on my body. Additionally, I am taking 500 mg of valacyclovir every single night. I am now having regular unprotected oral and vaginal sex with a non- herpes partner. I have not told him about my condition.
How possible is it that I give him HSV 1 if I am without symptoms (valtrex one a day, but no condoms)?
-What is the probability that I spread the virus genital to genital?
-What is the probability that I spread the virus genital to oral?
-What is the probability that I spread the virus oral to genital?
-How does my use of valtrex affect these probabilities?
I am shocked that there is little research about the HSV-1 shedding and transmission rates, because this has become such a common phenomenon. Even though my doctor and OBGYN strongly advise me to tell all future partners about this, I am skeptical to tell my partner that I have genital HSV-1 for many reasons. First and foremost, I know about 60% of people already have the antibodies protecting them against the virus, which means if my partner has it, he can't become re-infected. Also, because I have the virus removed from the site of preference, it is even less likely for me to spread the virus. Additionally, I am taking a suppressant medication, which cuts shedding rates even more. I am very careful to not have sex during outbreaks. Therefore, I feel that me telling him I have HSV 1 would only cause unnecessary emotional turbulence for a statistically improbable event. Genital herpes is surrounded by all sorts of stigma no matter what kind it is. Chances are, if I tell him I have GHSV 1, all he will process (like any early twenty year old man) is the fact that I herpes. In reality, me disclosing this information would cause more harm than good to the relationship. It would be the equivalent of someone who occasionally gets cold sores to inform any person they ever kiss that they have HSV-1, and we all know that no one really does that.
Any answer to the questions posed above would be great, because there is so little information online about rates of asymptomatic shedding from female to male for GHSV 1.
Thanks in advance for your time!