[Question #6063] HSV-1 Genital Herpes

18 months ago
I contracted genital HSV-1 through oral sex.  At the time I had friction wounds on my penis from rough sex the night before and then received oral sex  the following night.   My partner was positive for HSV-1 and would get cold sores but never told me that beforehand.  Did having the open wounds increase the chance of contracting the virus or do you think I would of contracted it regardless?  I guess I am curious so that I can relay that information to future partners, because if I were safer chose not to receive oral sex with open wounds on my penis I may not have contracted the virus.  I want to move and start dating again but am trying to bring as much facts to the table as possible to tell my future partner and not expose them to the virus.
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
18 months ago
I would say the open areas of skin did facilitate entry of the herpes virus into your body, yes, but that's kind of water under the bridge now, would you agree?
HSV 1 is a very common cause of new herpes but the good news is that it recurs infrequently, and sheds when you have no symptoms infrequently, far less than if you had oral herpes (cold sores).  In the first few months of having the infection, you will give off virus on about 13 out of 100 days measured, but once you've had this for two years, you will only shed on about 4 days out of an entire year.  Transmission through intercourse is rare.  but is you want to be safest, consider condoms and daily antiviral medicine to reduce the risk of transmission to an person uninfected with HSV 1.  However, if that person has ever had a cold sore, transmission to that person is an EXTREMELY low risk since they already have the same virus that you do, regardless of the location of their infection.

Terri
---