[Question #3683] Transmission of genital hsv 1

35 months ago
I have genital hsv 1.  I obviously know...now....that hsv 1 can be transmitted via oral sex, but was wondering what the chances are for transmission  of genital hsv 1  from genital to genital and/or to mouth.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
35 months ago
I have yet to see a case of genital to genital HSV 1 transmission and I believe that both Dr. Hook and Dr. Handsfield have said the same.  However, it has been documented in the literature so we know it is possible.  We have no data on genital to mouth transmission but that is also unlikely given that HSV 1 genitally is shed infrequently.  I know you would like more exact numbers and I wish I could give them to you but I can't - I can only say it is unlikely.  And here is the good news - if you having sex with someone who has ever had a cold sore or who tests positive for HSV 1, the risk of transmission is very close to zero since they already have the virus.

Terri
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34 months ago
I have two follow-up questions.  

1) how frequently does HSV 1 shed

2) if the transmission of GHSV 1 is "unlikely" via intercourse and/or oral then why is it considered a sexually transmitted disease.  Having to divulge this information is very hard.  I do divulge, but wonder if it is necessary.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
34 months ago
HSV 1 genital infection sheds on about 5% of days measured.
It is considered a sexually transmitted infection because it was transmitted during sexual activity. 
I know it is difficult to disclose - remember that you can likely have safe sex with someone who already has cold sores -same virus!

Terri
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34 months ago
How many days are measured?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
34 months ago
Sorry, missed this.
That means if they had people doing daily home swabs of the genitals looking for virus, HSV 1 genitally would be found on 5 days (or 2.5 days on 50 days swabbed

Terri
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