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Transmission of HSV 1

I am a 24 year old female and just got diagnosed with genital HSV type 1. I am a college student with big future goals and was not out looking for love but rather focusing on my future. Recently, I met a boy whom I may be very serious about. We developed serious feelings for each other mutually (and unexpectedly) the day before I experienced what I soon learned to be symptoms of a genital herpes breakout. I am assuming I contracted the disease from someone I hooked up with a month or so prior (he was my ex boyfriend from years ago, a good friend and years later we would occasionally hook up) via oral sex. I do not know if he knew he had HSV 1 or if he had an active cold sore at the time. It is such a common and misunderstood virus that although the consequences for me are awful, I do not blame him or anyone for my contraction of the disease. Hopefully if all goes well and I keep my immune system in good health, my outbreaks will be minimal. My problem now is, I need to explain to this man that I do have the virus and will for the rest of my life have the tendency to transmit it through sex or genital contact. My biggest question is : If during this conversation he says he has had a cold sore on his mouth (the typical and less intimidating form of herpes) is he still able to contract the virus from genital contact from me? Or is he immune to the virus even if I was experiencing asymptomatic shedding and we had sex and therefore the virus made contact with his genitals? If he already had the HSV 1 virus, can he have a genital outbreak just from contact with my genitals while the virus is active, knowingly or unknowingly? Also if he had type 1 HSV and only ever experienced oral lesions, had none at the time or in a while, and performed oral or vaginal sex on me while I happened to be shedding the virus, could he have a herpes out break from that?
3 Responses
15249123 tn?1478652475
COMMUNITY LEADER
Hi, I will be happy to help.
If he has oral hsv1 then he will be immune to getting it elsewhere. This he would have nothing to worry about from your genital hsv1. Your second question is a no. It would not trigger an outbreak.
Now there are some things you need to aware of. First, genital hsv1 is really not a big issue. Anyone who gets cold sores is really immune to hsv1 of the genitals. That's over half the population. It has few recurring outbreaks. Some folks never get another past the primary. Genital hsv1 sheds very little as well and isn't very potent when it does. It will be very unlikely you ever spreading it to another by vaginal Intercourse.
I would rather my partner have a genital hsv1 infection than an oral one.
Even if the guy you like can't remember getting cold sores. Have him take a simple blood test as many people have hsv1 and don't get cold sores.
Hope this helps a little.
1 Comments
Thank you so so much! Your answer is extremely helpful. Such a relief!!!
15249123 tn?1478652475
COMMUNITY LEADER
You're very welcome.
Avatar universal
I am in a very similar situation to you. I was just diagnosed on Thursday with genital hsv 1. From everything I've read and discussed with other people that have it, there is never any certainty that it won't spread. However, if he already has the hsv 1 virus in him, it is unlikely that he will contract it genitally because he already has the antibodies in his system. But from what I've heard, there is never any guarantee. The biggest thing I'm having an issue with is people saying that have HSV 1 genitally isn't a big deal and I probably won't ever spread it. The thing is, I did not contract this from oral sex. I contracted it from normal vaginal sex. So to say that I probably won't ever give it to someone seems silly. I know that we are probably lucky to have gotten 1 and not 2, since it seems to be much less severe. But the risks are all still there. There is less of a chance of transmission, but obviously it is still possible.
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