[Question #617] HSV Type 1 or Type 2

42 months ago
Hello, I was diagnosed with herpes a couple weeks ago. My partner was born with Type 1 and passed it to my genital area through oral sex. Does this mean that we both have Type 1 or  do I have Type 2? I'm confused as to how I classify it. Since he passed the infection to me, I can't pass it to him correct, like we can have sex? Lastly, will I potentially get cold sores or always break out in genital area? Thanks a bunch,  just need some clarification. 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
41 months ago
I doubt that your partner was born with type 1, but they may well have contracted it as a child from someone who had a cold sore and so they have it orally.  Type 1 stays type one regardless of it's location.  It would be extremely unlikely for you to pass it back to him genitally since he has a long history of having it orally with a good immune response to the virus already, correct.  Did you get a cold sore when you contracted it genitally?  If not, you are unlikely now to get it subsequently, but it will take a few months for you to mount a really good immune response to your genital infection so during that time, it is possible but unlikely that you could also get it orally.  You might, during that time period, want to be careful about kissing your partner if they have a cold sore.

Terri

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41 months ago
Hi Terri, 

I did not get a cold sore, I have had some sores in my mouth but I assumed they were just normal canker sores on my tongue. Nothing I was concerned about. So I have Type 1 then yes, which is much less severe then Type 2 I have heard.  Given that it's Type 1, I can potentially have a break out anywhere on my body? Can I pass the virus onto someone else from kissing them or only from the genital area? 

Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
41 months ago
If you have type 1 only genitally (not orally) then you are only infectious from the genital area, not the mouth.  And yes, things inside the mouth are most likely canker sores, not cold sores.  And yes, HSV 1 genitally should recur infrequently, probably once every other year or so on average.

Terri
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41 months ago
Thank you so much, Lastly, am I extremely contagious to someone else who doesn't have it even when I don't have an outbreak? 
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
Terri Warren, RN, Nurse Practitioner
41 months ago
No, you are not extremely contagious.  The best research we currently have on this topic is that people with HSV 1 genital infection shed virus on about 5 days out of 100.  Not very contagious!

Terri
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