[Question #3012] Does Genital Herpes type 1 transmit as GHSV type 2?

40 months ago
I recently had a Herpes OB in my genitals and my results came back “active /positive for type 1. I had blood test and swab done. A week after me my boyfriend had an outbreak. His doctor did swab test and said he had Genital Herpes type 2.  How is that possible? Wouldn’t he have type 1 since that is what my results said? This was first OB for both of us. We had no idea we were infected.
 I’m thinking maybe his doctor didn’t do a type specific culture and since it happened on his genitals just assumed it was type 2.  Does Genital type 1 Herpes transmit to the someone else’s genitals as type 2?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
well, the most obvious thing here is that you have HSV 1 genitally and he has HSV 2 genitally.  It is also possible that, as you say,the doc assumed it is HSV 2 because it was genital, not understanding that most new genital herpes is HSV 1 now.  So get the records and see what you see.  The other possibility is that the typing of the swabbing was wrong.  When you get the records, we will know more for sure.

Terri
---
40 months ago
Thank you for your response. I spoke with my boyfriend and he said that the doctor showed him the results and that his swab was negative for Type 1 and positive Type 2. I am just having a hard time believing this and still think that the doctor didnt do a type specific swab. My boyfriend is annoyed with me that I don't believe the doctor and has just accepted that he contracted Type 2. I don't understand the odds that I break out and am swabbed as Type 1 and exactly one week later he breaks out and is type 2. How would I not have gotten the type 2 and vice versa?

A little background. We dated for 8 months and to our knowledge did not have herpes. Prior to dating me he was with the same person for over 10 years and neither of them had any outbreaks or known symptoms.  We broke up in August  and have recently gotten back together. He dated someone else during this 3 month time period and had unprotected sex.  It is quite possible he contracted the Type 2 from her. Since my blood test results were positive for Type 1 it would appear that I have had Type 1 and was not aware.

Moving forward, I am now worried I may have contracted Type 2. The last time we had sex was on Nov 11th. My outbreak started around Nov 13th. His outbreak started Nov 19. He is going for blood work. My most recent blood work and swab was taken on November 14th and like I said those results came back negative for Type 2 and positive for Type 1.

Questions summarized for you:

1.) How do we each break out within a week yet have two different herpes types? Would either one of our break outs have sparked a break out in the other person albeit we apparently have different strains?

2.) How long do I have to wait to get my blood tested again to see if I contracted type 2?

3.) If the last time he had sex with the other girl was in October how long does he have to wait to have an accurate blood test?

4.) Is there a specific blood test we should both be asking for?

5.) Am I at greater risk for contracting Type 2 now since I already have Type 1?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
You are asking me to explain things that I probably can't do.  If you do indeed have different strains of the virus, having an outbreak of one would not trigger an outbreak in the other. 
A blood test would be accurate for HSV 2 about 12 weeks after your last encounter - it could also be positive sooner if you are infected.
His blood test might be accurate now or in 12 weeks after his last encounter but he could certainly do one now.
You want an IgG type specific antibody test
not greater risk, but not less risk either.

Terro
---
40 months ago
what are the transmission rates or chances for genital hsv1 to transmit to someone’s mouth  if they get give me oral sex? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
Well, if he really does have HSV 2, the he isn't statistically vulnerable to acquiring HSV 1.  People who have HSV 2 are essentially immune to getting HSV 1.  The reverse it not true.

Terri
---
40 months ago
Thank you Terri. We are still waiting for his blood test to
Confirm type 2. If I’m understanding you if he does have type
2 the likelihood of him catching my
Type 1 anywhere is very unlikely. However, I can catch his type 2. 
40 months ago
I’m not sure how this is possible but someone asked a question on my post- the question about anal sex is not from me. I’d like it deleted but there isn’t an option. Thanks again for answering my questions. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
40 months ago
I'm not sure how that happened either but I took care of it.  So let me ask you - have you had an antibody test to determine that you are indeed negative for HSV 2?  I ask because I wonder if somehow your swab test was mistyped?  It might be a good idea for you to obtain an IgG antibody test.
We've actually gone beyond the number of posts we should do but your case is so interesting, I wanted to keep it going!  How about if you do one more post to update me on anything new and then if you have more questions you will need to renew.

Terri
---