[Question #4382] HSV1/2 Risks?

30 months ago

I made out a girl who is hsv1/2 positive multiple times over the weekend and we fooled around some. We were down to our underwear but never fully naked. I didn’t put my penis anywhere near her vagina and only fingered her some. We cuddled and dry humped some but always with underwear or shorts on. She gave me brief oral twice, maybe lasting 20 seconds each time. She had no signs of a cold sore and has not had one in two years. Her nose is where she used to get cold sores. Should I be at all concerned that I could have contracted HSV1 genitally from the brief oral exposures? Do I have any risk from this for HSV2?

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
30 months ago
You don't have a risk of acquiring HSV 2 with this encounter, and contracting HSV 1 through a single encounter is unlikely but since she does have a history of cold sores, I cannot say there is zero chance that you acquired HSV 1.  You should simply observe carefully for any sores that might be present in the genital area for the next week or so and if none appear, I think the chance that became infected is very close to zero.  Do you know for certain that you don't already have HSV 1?

Terri
---
30 months ago
I  tested negative for HSV1 last month. 
30 months ago
To clarify, I shouldn’t be at all concerned that I could have contracted hsv2 from receiving oral sex from her? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
30 months ago
No, I don't believe that you should.  First, oral HSV 2 is uncommon.  Second, when people have it, they rarely recur or shed virus as HSV 2 has a site preference for the genital area - it just doesn't like the mouth much. 
As I reread your first post, I should note that you could become infected with HSV 1 through kissing.  And I should also tell you that the HSV 1 Igg test misses 30% of infections so though a negative is good news, it is not a perfect test by a long shot.

Terri
---
30 months ago
Thank you for the information. You may have seen from reading  my previous questions that I’d been concerned about unprotected encounters with the same woman 3 months ago after she found out her hsv2 status. I have not experienced any sores from what was an on and off sexual relationship since June. We haven’t had vaginal intercourse in 3 months. I tested negative 3 and 6 weeks post last possible exposure. My plan has been to test next week which will be twelve weeks. If I test negative again for hsv2 next week can I reasonably say that’s conclusive. As for HSV1 if I experience no genital sores in the next week can I assume from there I don’t have it genitally? I understand there’s still a chance I have it orally and I’m ok with that. Is it safe to assume she has genital hsv2 given her previous HSV1 infection with nasal cold sores? I’m honestly just ready to put all this to rest and regret doing anything with her this previous weekend which consisted of us both being shirtless with either underwear on or shorts/pants, heavy kissing, and the two brief oral exposures I mentioned. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
30 months ago
Yes, if you test negative for HSV 2 at 12 weeks, you can reasonably say you dont' have HSV 2 infection, regardless of location.  The antibody test doesn't tell you where an infection is, only that you have it or you don't.  The IgG test picks up 92% of HSV 2 infections compared to the herpes western blot so those are good odds, I think.  And yes, it is reasonable and accurate to assume that she has this genitally - the CDC says if someone tests positive for HSV 2 one should assume it is genital.   If people who test positive for HSV 2 by antibody do daily home swabbing for four months doing the most sensitive swab test, 95% of them will shed virus during that time.  Having contact with someone while shirtless and undergarments and heavy petting does not constitute any risk for genital infection. 

Terri
---