[Question #4057] HSV1

32 months ago

Hello,

I have had Oral HSV1 for many years that I can remember. I’ve gotten cold sores once every other year or so. I’ve been in monogamous relationships with women and have had unprotected sex and oral sex and have never had an issue in spreading HSV1.

I’ve been dating a girl for the past few months, she had been with people recently before me as well.

We had unprotected sex and oral sex throughout the month of June. Towards late June a couple days after we had been together, I noticed small red bumps on my penis shaft and base near pubic hair. I wasn’t concerned because I’ve had small bumps before and they looked like they were coming from hair follicles. My bumps only lasted a few days and went away. However, when I mentioned this to her she said she has a few bumps too.

She ended up getting more bumps and had severe flu symptoms and her bumps opened up into painful sores. When she told me this I was very concerned and went to an urgent care to get checked. The doctor didn’t visually identify my bumps as Herpes so he had me take a blood test. My blood test came back negative for HSV2 and positive for HSV1 (which I already knew)

She went to her doctor and got her sores swabbed. Her results from the swab came back positive for genital HSV1.

 

My Questions:

1.       Is it more likely that I gave her genital HSV1 through oral sex versus genital sex?

2.       Is it possible that if I already had oral HSV1 that I could have later acquired genital HSV1? (i.e red bumps on my penis)

3.       Is it possible she may have acquired the virus from another person months before seeing me?

4.       It’s confusing to me that I’ve never spread this in my previous relationships, so why now? Maybe just rare chance that HSV1 was shedding orally without any symptoms?

5.       Now that she has genital HSV1 and I assume I only have oral HSV1 do we need to take any precautions?

6.       If I did give her genital hsv1 how come she didn’t acquire it orally as well through kissing?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
32 months ago
1.  almost certainly through oral sex.
2.  That would be highly unusual but not impossible.  Did your bumps break open into sores?
3.  That's possible yes.
4.  yes, that's likely what happened IF she got it from you.  We know that people with fairly frequently recurring cold sores shed virus on about one out of every four days
5.  No,  you don't need to take precautions as you already have had this a long time.  She could still show up with this orally, even though she has not yet shown symptoms orally but in these situations, we often see just one location being symptomatic.

Terri
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Susan Reynolds
32 months ago
from Chris (cd123)

Thank you Terri.

I wouldn't say they broke open into sores. They were not painful. And some initially appeared as small pimples but then they decreased in size and went away fairly quickly.

Is the only way to know if I have HSV1 genitally to go get a swab test if these bumps ever reappear?

Is there anyway to reduce oral HSV1 shedding frequency by taking medication? For possible future relationships if a women does not have anti-bodies to HSV1?

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Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
32 months ago
Yes, the only way to know the location of an HSV 1 infection is to have an outbreak in either location that can be swab tested to confirm that this outbreak is indeed herpes.
Yes, you can take daily antiviral medicine to reduce the frequency of oral shedding of HSV 1.  But remember that the antibody test for HSV 1 misses 30% of HSV 1 infections so an antibody test may or may not be accurate.

Terri
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