[Question #5752] HSV1 - giving HSV1 to another by sharing utensils

21 months ago
If I have HSV1 genital herpes, can I give it to someone by using the same utensils if they are not washed?  I will say, I find it odd that I had my first outbreak four days after housesitting for someone whom I know has herpes and read here https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/laboratory-biosafety-biosecurity/pathogen-safety-data-sheets-risk-assessment/herpes-simplex-virus.html that: SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: HSV virus survives for short periods of time outside the host Footnote 3. It can survive on dry inanimate surfaces (survival ranges from few hours to 8 weeks). They survive longer at lower humidity.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
21 months ago
You absolutely not give your genital herpes to someone by using the same utensils and you certainly did not get it by housesitting for someone who has herpes if you did not receive oral sex from that person.  HSV 1 genital herpes is most often acquiring by someone giving you oral sex.  So think back about that.  The other thing is that because HSV 1 recurs so infrequently, you could have been infected for a long time and are now having your first recurrence rather than your true first infection.

Terri
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21 months ago
Thank you Dr. Warren for your kind response.  Yes.  Perhaps I got it years ago from a sexual partner and maybe whenever I had a yeast infection I mistook it or it never showed up but I'd never seen lesions or bumps as I did in the genital area now and was always tested for a full STD panel but realize now that herpes was never included in the testing.  How long am I contagious after this episode as I honestly just fear giving it to my parents (or others) using their bathroom at their house, toilet seat and of course going forward will not share soap or personal items?
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
21 months ago
You should never fear giving this to anyone except sex partners!  This is not transmitted via toilets or bathroom.  Soap's job is to destroy lipids and the virus is surrounded by a lipid layer and it is immediately destroyed by soap.  The thing is, you can be contagious even when you don't have an outbreak so there is no specific time to wait.  I would suggest waiting to have sex until new skin has replaced the lesions, for comfort and likely decrease in virus present.

Terri
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