[Question #5203] Can active cold sore trigger dormant HSV? And transmission rates.

22 months ago
I have HSV-1 with about 10 outbreaks/year around my face.  I've recently restarted taking valacyclovir daily.  I have & want open relationships with people who are very cautious about STIs.  To help them decide when to kiss me, could you answer: 

If someone has HSV-1 but it's dormant (never had an outbreak) or rarely active, can my virus trigger their virus to activate, or otherwise worsen their infection? 

What are the percentage shedding/transmission rates at the various stages of a cold sore?   (I can't find a chart or data, after lots of googling and PubMed reading!)  For example, is kissing particularly more risky when my sore has just healed (maybe still red), compared to asymptomatic times?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
22 months ago
No, your virus won't trigger them to have an outbreak.  Each of your immune system's will handle the virus in it's own way.
We know that people who have recurrent cold sores like you do shed virus on about 25% of total days measured.  And each person handles the virus in their own way so some will shed virus before an outbreak more, some after.  I would wait to kiss an uninfected person until new skin has replaced the outbreak.

Terri
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