[Question #1088] Recent genital HSV1 diagnosis

50 months ago
Hello,

I was recently diagnosed with genital HSV1 after receiving oral sex from a new partner who was not showing symptoms at the time. I now understand that this type of transmission is common and can occur during asymptomatic shedding. I have done some research online and have met with my doctors to better understand what I now have and how I can move forward safely. I am continuing to see the same person and would like to progress in the relationship but have been hesitant to do so without a clearer understanding of the risks involved.

My question is, if my partner and I have unprotected sex is there a significant risk of me passing  my genital HSV1 back to him genitally? (He has oral HSV1 and is the same person I mentioned above.) Can he still perform oral sex on me? 

In discussing these questions with my OB/GYN, he said we should be fine having unprotected sex as my partner has the antibodies due to his existing HSV1. I would like to be able present all of this information to my partner so that we can weigh the risks and make an informed decision together. But before I can do that I feel I need a second opinion because I'm a little skeptical of my doctor's insistence that we should be fine whilst having unprotected sex that is not during an outbreak. Just to be clear I do understand that I can pass this through unprotected sex with a new partner but I am specifically asking about this situation since he is the one who transmitted it to me in the first place. It's all a bit confusing! 

Thank you for your time and expertise!

Additional info if necessary - I did not have HSV1 up until this point, no history of cold sores etc. He has tested positive for HSV1 (obviously) and his last known/realized outbreak was 15 years ago.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
50 months ago
I would certainly agree with your doctor.  Once you have HSV 1 in one location on your body, it is extremely unlikely he would get it in a new place on his body.  If you were my patient, I would say go ahead and have a great relationship and put this worry behind you.  In my experience at my clinic, most HSV 1 is transmitted in the absence of cold sores so don't be too upset with him, if you are upset.  Your future with HSV 1 infection is likely to be mild and infrequently recurring in the genital area. 

Terri
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50 months ago
Thank you Terri, I really appreciate your advice! I am not upset at all and am in good spirits. It has been something I never thought I would go through but overall it has been more positive than anything! Thanks again.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
50 months ago
You are most welcome

Terri
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