[Question #1333] herpes 1 and 2

48 months ago
i have herpes 1 and 2 as confirmed by all the specific blood tests needed.  I know 2 is genital and was
diagnosed when a lesion was cultured.  I did not know till now 1 could also be genital. I had chicken pox
as a child, never had cold sores. I know 1 can be passed when someone kisses you as a baby,etc. How can I find out
if i have 1 in the genital area also? I always thought it was above the waist. I also read read since 2 likes the genital area
,it is rare it can be passed  with oral sex.  I'm confused. So, if I have 1 in the genital area also  can it  be passed easily? In
19 yrs I have had 4 outbreaks and have been on valtrex for 10 yrs daily,    Again never a cold sore. Is it true the virus weakens the longer you have had it?   It seems when I have had an out break,its from major stress. Is stress a major
source for them.? thank you   
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
48 months ago
While it is true that HSV 1 can be both oral and genital, I think it is really unlikely that you have both HSV 1 and 2 genitally. 
However, if you have never had a cold sore on your lip or in your nose or on your chin, there is no way to know with 100% certainty where your HSV 1 infection is. 
HSV 2 strongly prefers the genital area, and that's why it is rarely passed to the mouth of another person  - HSV 2 has such a strong preference for the genital area.  I'm not saying that can't happen, it just isn't common. 
The virus doesn't really weaken the longer you have it rather the immune system appear to become more skilled in working with the virus to control it.  Stress might be a trigger for some with herpes. 
If you happen to have HSV 1 genitally, it is NOT easily passed through intercourse, no, because it is rarely shed from the genital tract.

Terri
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48 months ago
thank you. To be clear, can you give hsv 1 if you have it genitally during oral sex?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
48 months ago
Not sure what you mean by "during oral sex"  Do you mean giving or receiving?  If you are the receiver of oral sex and you have HSV 1 genitally, there is a small chance you could transmit it to someone elses mouth but not likely because HSV 1 doesn't shed often from the genital tract.

Terri
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