[Question #1856] HSV1

44 months ago
Hi there.  I am a female and am in a fairly new relationship. We both did all the testing etc. In Canada though they do not test for HSV1 and 2. I have a long history of HSV1. I had a thin scab on my lip from a dog bite. It did not feel like a cold sore until this morning. Now its blistering and tingly. I performed unprotected oral on my new partner. I am unsure if he is a carrier of HSV1 and am worried sick about giving him genital HSV1. How common is this if he has not been exposed before.  Thanks so much!
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
44 months ago
well, often people do shed virus prior to an outbreak appearing so you may have been infectious at the time you gave him oral sex.  There is just no way to know for certain if you may have infected him or not other than just waiting to see if he develops any symptoms.  Also, you might want to ask him if he has ever had a cold sore in the past.  I would expect him to have symptoms within 2-10 days if he is going to develop symptoms.  I know it will be difficult, but you might want to discuss this with him so he can be on the lookout for new symptoms - your call, of course.  I know the waiting will be very difficult - I wish I had a better response for you about the % of risk here, but I just don't - so many factors involved but principally, has he ever had a cold sore in the past.  If yes, then it would be extremely unlikely for you to infect him genitally

Terri
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44 months ago
Thanks Terri.  I will ask him. If he has never had one, he may possibly still be immune from getting it in the genital region if he is one of the percent that carries it but has no outbreaks correct? I know some never get a sore.  Thanks again.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
44 months ago
oh yes, for sure.  About 70% of those infected with HSV 1 don't report cold sores so he definitely could be infected and not have symptoms and if that is true, he would be in the same situation in terms of his immunity from getting it at a new location, correct.  Good luck with this discussion and you have one more post to do so let me know if you have other questions, please.

terri
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44 months ago
Thanks Terri  That's reassuring.  He days he can't remember if he has had one in past but he may have as a child. If he hasn't and does develop sores by chance, since it is HSV1, would it most likely be one outbreak without recurrent since HSV1 prefers the oral area? Thanks again. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
44 months ago
Well, he could get an antibody test and see what's positive.  I would actually recommend that since he could have HSV 2 and you nor he knows it and it would give you better answers about his HSV 1 status. 
For many people genital HSV 1 does recur albeit infrequently. 

Terri
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