[Question #1766] HSV-1 risk of transmission

44 months ago
I recently tested positive for HSV-1. It is a HSV-1 IGG, TYPE SPECIFIC AB HERPESELECT test and my value is > 5.00. Does this conclusively prove that I have HSV-1? Is there a possibility of it being a false positive? Also, I had my initial outbreak about 3 years ago and I have never had an outbreak or a cold sore since then. What are the chances of transmitting the virus to a partner during kissing or oral sex when not exhibiting any of the symptoms?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
44 months ago
With an index value of >5, I think you are certainly infected with HSV 1.  So is 56% of the US population between 14 and 49 so you are not alone. 
You mention an initial outbreak - where was that and was it swab tested positive for herpes?  Once I know the answer to that, I can do  better job answering your other questions.

Terri
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44 months ago
My initial outbreak was in my mouth and lips and it was not swab tested
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
44 months ago
So you've had no genital outbreaks, just cold sore type symptoms?  If that is the case, then you know that your infection is oral.  There is no reason to believe it is genital. 
Unfortunately, we have no data on the transmission of HSV 1 from the mouth to the genitals or mouth of another person.  But the good news is that most adults (not all) have HSV 1 already and if they do,you are not a risk to them.  If you want to kiss or give oral sex to someone who reports any history of cold sores,you are not a risk to them.  Also, if they test positive for HSV 1, regardless of whether or not they have had a cold sore, you are not a risk to them.

Terri
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44 months ago
Yes. I have had no genital outbreaks. So, from the response, I can gather that I am risk to someone who has tested negative for HSV-1 or has never had cold sores. Can daily antiviral suppressive therapy help reduce transmission?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
44 months ago
Yes, you present a risk to someone who does not have HSV 1.  Daily antiviral therapy would help reduce transmission though this study specifically has not been done but we know that the medicine works for both HSV 1 and HSV 2, though it is slightly less effective for HSV 1.

Terri
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