[Question #6024] Genital to genital HSV1 Transmission prior to formation of lesion?

18 months ago
Disclaimer: may be impossible to answer. Timeline: Monday - unprotected PVI sex with partner. No oral sex given or received. Tuesday- prodrome symptoms (though I did not recognize them as such, have never had an outbreak). Wednesday: formation of two small clusters of lesions- one with three little dots, the other larger and more painful. Immediately go to urgent care, get culture, comes back positive for HSV1. 

So, the question is as follows: I have read that genital to genital transmission of HSV1 is rare. Awesome! However, is there any information about those cases in which it HAS happened? I’m concerned because I know that with both types of herpes, the days before the outbreak are especially contagious. Would mine present a case in which my partner would be more likely to contract the virus? Partner is male and I am female, if that’s of use. Thank you! 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
18 months ago
Genital to genital transmission is rare but it happens and has been documented in the literature.  I would say that there is a reasonable chance that one might be shedding virus the day before an outbreak but that isn't for sure.  Has this partner ever had a cold sore in her lifetime, do you know?  If yes, then transmission from you would be unlikely.  Are you thinking she might have given it to you or you to her?

Terri

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18 months ago
Partner is male, and I am female. He has never had a cold sore, and while he was recently tested for STDs, realized that neither HSV1 or 2 was on the panel. If genital to genital transmission is possible, I suppose he could have given it to me (hence that first outbreak) or I could have given it to him prior to that first outbreak. Not sure this is a mystery that can be solved. But thank you! 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
18 months ago
You are most welcome.

Terri
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