[Question #3379] HSV1

38 months ago
Hi
I recently tested positive for hsv 1.  I test negative 2 years ago.    How do I know if it is genital or oral?
  I do not recall a cold sore or blisters on my genitals.  In the summer I did have what I thought was jock itch but am not sure.  It lasted about 3 weeks and the  jock itch cream was not effective at first because it was expired.    During that time I had rash break out on inner thighs after exercising in heat.  I bought new jock itch spray and everything cleared up.  I did notice a few times slight pain when urinating during the 3 weeks.  Also, one red spot on base of my penis for a day or two.


Also I have read that hsv 2 rarely gets transfered to someone giving oral sex...is that also true for hsv 1?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
38 months ago
Testing positive for HSV one can be a complicated issue. A positive test cannot tell you the location of your infection, only that you are infected with that type of herpes. Have you ever in your life had a cold sore on your lip or in your nose? If the answer is yes, even as a child, then you know that you have HSV one orally.  If that is the case, it is extremely unlikely that you would subsequently acquire HSV one genitally. 

And you are correct that HSV-2 rarely gets transferred to someone giving oral sex. If someone has HSV one on their mouth, they certainly can transmit that virus to the genitals of another person by giving them oral sex. If someone has HSV one in the genital area, that virus is rarely reactivated and it would be very unusual for someone giving them oral sex to then get HSV one on their mouth. There are lots of possible scenarios that we've just discussed here and if you are confused about anything that I have written, please feel free to ask me for clarification.

Terri
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38 months ago
Thanks for your response.  I do not remember getting a cold sore before and I did test negative 2 years ago so am I correct in assuming I got it in the last 2 years?
What is the best way to determine if it is genital or oral going forward?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
38 months ago
That's difficult to say because the IgG test misses HSV 1 infections 30% of the time so it could have missed it 2 years ago.  The only way to know if the infection is oral or genital is to have an outbreak either orally or genitally (waist to mid-thigh) and have it swab tested right away to typed (type 1or 2). 

Terri
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38 months ago
My igg test for hsv 1 was 25.20 H.....is that a high number?   Does a high number indicate anything?
Thanks for your help.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
38 months ago
That's not a high number - it's an average number.  It really doesn't mean anything in terms of how long you have been infected.  Wish we could use that to help you sort things out but unfortunately, not.

Terri
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